Monday, February 07, 2011

The Big One

Today I wanted to write about my yearly attempt to see all of the Oscar nominated films (and this year I will get closer than most years, thanks to the accessible nature of the films), but I have been meaning to talk about my big Decision. So here goes.  Last Friday, I officially quit my job as middle school librarian (which may confuse some, since I am taking the year off from that job.  It was a year off to be with Romy, with the job guaranteed for me next year).  It was an incredibly difficult decision to make.  Before I had a child, I assumed that I'd always work.  That even after I had Romy, I'd be heading back to work and bringing home the bacon.  But I have changed.  My priorities have changed.  My goals have changed.  Did you know I have won awards for being a librarian?  Maybe they're just grants, but the American Library Association made them feel like awards.  Either way, I was damn good librarian for ten years.  I'm not going to go into my resume and pull out all of the things I've done (wouldn't THAT be an interesting blog post?  No.), but I think I have a right to be impressed with myself.  That's one of the reasons this decision was so hard to make.  So much of my identity the last ten years has been as LIBRARIAN.  And that's a pretty cool identity.  Truthfully, I think it sounds a lot cooler to say "I'm a librarian" than "I'm an author" when people ask me what I do.  Maybe that's because I still feel more legit as a librarian than as an author.  Or maybe it's because I was so confident that I was good at it, as opposed to the constant self doubt of my authorness.

It was also very difficult to leave my current school because of how much I wanted to be there.  It's in an amazing district, and I have many friends who work there.  Did I give up my chance to comfortably retire from a great school?  That was a hard choice.  I sort of felt like I was screwing my family out of the comfort and stability of a regular, solid income for the rest of their lives.  My husband keeps telling me that's ridiculous, since I can go out and get another job if I need to.  All I can think is: really?  Aren't people having trouble finding and keeping jobs?  Especially with libraries losing funding and closing left and right?  That thought still makes me shudder.

The easy part of the decision had to do with the whole reason I left my job in the first place: Romy.  Romy Romy Romy.  I can't miss out.  I can't leave for work every day before she wakes up, and I can't get home with only an hour or two to see her at night.  That does not work for me.  As I may have said before, I don't really have any regrets, at least not big, important ones (more like stupid little ones, like not handing Joss Whedon one of my books when I met him at Comic-Con), but this would be THE regret.  And what a terrible one to have.  So Romy's stuck with me for a while.

I though there was going to be a sign, letting me know that I made the right decision (this was back before I told my school I wasn't returning).  My big hope was that the TV deal for NERD would come through, so I would be financially stable at least for a year or two.  That didn't happen.  So I made my decision, made my appointment to talk to the vice principal, and then... the blizzard happened.  I had to wait two days, which made me think maybe that was a sign that I made the wrong decision.  But instead, I chose to believe that since I still felt so strongly about my original decision, that was the sign the blizzard was giving me.  Because, of course, we had a blizzard in Chicagoland because of me.

So that's the news.  Believe it or not!  I have to go.  Romy's calling me over the baby monitor.


ladyslvr said...

You made the right decision, if for no other reason that you already knew that you would regret missing Romy's early years. Romy will be off to kindergarten soon enough (how does that happen?!) and, then ...?

ladyslvr said...

er, um ... the above post is from

Wendy P.

craftysunday said...

You're a librarian, an author, a mom, and an awesome person. You'll wear so many hats in your life, this is just one kick-ass hat that will hang in your closet for a while, know what I mean?

P.S. Was talking with the librarians at NT about how AWESOME Get Well Soon is; they were very excited to hear that a follow-up is soon to come. :)


Brian James said...

May you always be happy with your choice...I know I would have done the same.

Ronni said...

Best of luck in your new journey! :)

Julie H said...

Thanks, Wendy. And I try not to regret anything, so I know I made the right choice. Mindi, I like that hanging this hat in my closet for a while. Nice! And thank you to both Brian and Ronni!