Who the hell do I think I am?

"Who do you think you are?!?" If I only had a penny for every time I've heard that! But seriously, who am I to dole out my commentary and opinions? Well, besides being a pretty bossy broad, I have a pretty unique background as a career gypsy, and not many people can say that! I am a Cuban-Colombian American who was raised in a very traditional Hispanic household, was a full fledges administrative assistant by age 12, had my first job outside of the home a few years later and in addition to being a marketer, I have:
- Been a retail buyer: Try not to pay full price for anything!
- Modeled: Looks are very deceiving!
- Worked as a wardrobe stylist: Just because it's in your size does not mean you should put it on!
- Worked in the travel industry as a Product manager for a tour operator, and a hotelier: Travel people, it makes you appreciate your home more.
- A mother who's an estheticienne and thanks to her teachings and genes, so far so good!

So there. Read on. Use what you like. Laugh when you want. Think what you want, but come back because the next post may be what you needed to hear!

With much tough love,
me

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How I ended up here

The first time I tried to write this post, it ended up a rant, so I stepped away, breathed deeply and thought...three things I should do more often. Here's what I wanted to say...

After working full-time since I was 14, sometimes holding more than one job, I found myself laid-off and 9 months pregnant! Thankfully my husband is gainfully employed, but it took us a while to understand the financial impact my lack of work would have on us. Even worse, no one imagined the emotional toll it would take on me.

9 months pregnant, laid-off with a two year old was the scariest place a person who at age 12 imagined her adult life as a powerful business woman with a meditation room and a sparse, but chic loft, and after snapping out of my fugue, I found myself surrounded by piles of laundry, unpaid bills and cobwebs (both literally and figuratively). No one had noticed that I was just going through the motions.

I remember very clearly that one day I got up and said enough. Despite my endless job search and fruitless first and second interviews, I was still in my jammies, and I couldn't take it anymore. I had to get out of my house. So, I decided that even a part-time job would do. Thanks to Craigslist, I contacted everyone that had posted a job I could do and thankfully, I got a part time job that day. So what if it wasn't at the pale scale I was accustomed to, and it wasn't a full time job with all the mental challenges I so adored...it was forward momentum. I was a workaholic, lost in the land of diapers, dribble, dirty dishes. Although I love my children, I needed to work. Arriving to that realization was not difficult at all. The difficulty lies in how to balance my need to work, and my need to raise my children, and realizing that the reason I could not land a full-time job was that deep down, I didn't want one.

My husband, who secretly wished I would be a stay at home mom, watches me go through these changes as I try to figure out where the balance in my life lies, although balance may not be the right word since there's no formula and the key may be that certain areas of your life are imbalanced for short period of times. A balance that's even harder to find when you are culturally schizophrenic, as is the case with me. When it comes to my family, it's all about my Cuban/Colombian heritage - my kids, my rules, my home cooked meals, my home. When it comes to me, I'm all about my...male side, my time, my ambition, my results, my ego. Marrying these two sides has been challenging to say the least, but I'm learning that the key is to be flexible, forgiving and a little creative.

That's why I decided to become a marketing consultant, and the reason that I've (thankfully) been freelancing for almost two years now, because the thought of not seeing my children regularly, enjoying them, going through so many "firsts" with them really breaks my heart, I've decided to sacrifice in other areas. Gone are the days of weekly mani-pedi's, expensive haircuts and highlights, my show fetish, quarterly trips, fine dining at a whim, my daily Perrier and Starbucks habit, all the cable channels, etc., etc. I tried being the person that doesn't miss the finer things in life, living minimally, but that's just not me. I love luxury items! I love to pamper myself! But not at the cost of my family's security, so I'm learning how to live luxuriously, at a discounted rate, and how to grow my business steadily so that as my children grow, we can all move forward together.

1 comment:

Ana said...

Glad to have found your blog thanks to @modernmami!

I can completely relate to this post *sigh*

I too spent hours on end scouring the Craigslist job posts in an attempt to feel normal again and get out of the house doing lo que sea!

TV wasn´t paying at all during the recession...

Before I hit rock bottom, I discovered I could blog and scope out a new profession. Two years later, the production work is back and I´ve gained a whole new set of skills as a blogger.

The best part is I got to spend real time with my daughter during her first few years. That was the real reason I let go of everything else.

Looking forward to your posts!