The old me is dead. Everything I thought I was...gone. I spent twenty three years, married, raising children, working part time in publishing, writing the next bestseller. I didn't have it all, but I believed I could if I only worked hard enough. After all that was what "they" said right there in books, magazines, commercials. If you were pretty, smart, educated and hard working you could accomplish any dream.
My dream...to matter...to be someone...to have respect. And I worked my ass off, put my husband through college, put myself through college, twice- Associates in Engineering and BS in Journalism. I love magazines and wanted to work in the industry, but by the time I got the BS I was thirty something, a vet of the Air Force, married with two kids living in the midwest-far from any publishers. So, I did my best, worked part time, raised my kids and turned my dream to a career in commerical fiction. If only I could publish this story, I could have my dream. I was certain I was that good...that I am that good. I put my head down and worked, writing three 500 page novels a year in the dead of night. I believed.
Wake up- the kids are grown and gone-having struggles of their own and no they don't want your advice. The husband who I pushed, pulled and nurtured? He is a drunk. Finally sober after twenty years-he doesn't want me around. I know too much. The writing? I sold! Eight books this year-but the publishers are small. The money- almost a grand a book- doesn't pay for the equipment I write it on-plus paper, maintenance, ink, postage...
I have to get a full time job. I have two degrees. I can write. I can do graphic design. I can do websites and marketing. I have ten years experience. No one wants to hire that. I'm too old for creative work-too pretty-too ugly-too experienced- not experienced enough- not "cool" enough-not "hip" enough- too suburban. I hear "We are concerned that you may not be flexible enough." "We are concerned you haven't enough experience supervising staff." "We are concerned that this position doesn't have a staff for you to supervise and you would be bored." "You are overqualified." "You've never done this exact job."
I read self help books. They say when you hit mid life and find yourself without spouse or children or job-rejoice! You get the fun of starting completely over. You can pursue your dreams! You can be anything-do anything.
That is Crap! See above job hunt. Look I don't want to just whine in this blog. I want to share the journey...in case there is anyone else out there...waking up...and wondering What the Hell Happened?