Monday, August 11, 2008

Today was the first day of my last week at work.
What a weird feeling. It really has been such a journey.
For anyone who doesn't know; I've worked for Starbucks for over 11 years. I started as a barista in college and before I knew it I had a career, I'd worked my way up to being a District Manager. I've always been very passionate about what I do and Starbucks was my life. I never imagined wanting to change anything but I'm sure you can all see what happens next.
My daughter was born and all of sudden work didn't seem so crucial. Spending 70 hours a week worrying about coffee just didn't have the importance it used to. (Okay, my job is a little more than that and I do love the people I work with and for is work)
That's actually where the real journey began. I've spent the last eight months rather tortured about 'throwing away' all I'd worked so hard to acheive vs. how important I felt it was to not miss seeing and nuturing my daughter as she grows up.
Don't get me wrong...the last three months that she's been in daycare have been awesome. To come home and actually have an hour or even 20 minutes to get something accomplished before we pick her up is a Godsend, look back a year from now and know I missed out on so much was more than I could bear.
As usual God managed to find an unexpected way to answer my prayer. We've been living in NYC where my husband is a student and we were all set to stay here for him to do one more year of graduate school. Then a church in Philadelphia came along and offered him the job we weren't looking for. Problem is, it seems like the perfect job for our family and means I can work part time and be at home almost full time with my daughter.
So now I'm at the beginning of the end of so much...
*my career
*life in the big city
*my identity as a 'working mother'
*my identity as a 'career woman'
It's been really eye opening to realize how tied I am to these identities, and trust me I think this is just the beginning.
I sometimes feel almost embarrassed to tell people I'm stepping down (way down) to work part time in a store and raise my daughter. I often feel sure they think I just couldn't cut it and am looking for an excuse for leaving my job.
Those are the moments I have to remind myself of the magnet on my refrigerator I bought just after my daughter was born "remember what's important".
And in the course of spending time on what's important there is so much new
*becoming a priest's wife
*being a full time mom
*focusing on how to contribute to and invite people into community
*figuring out who I am when my identity is not defined by my job
I know this last one is a little tricky now that my identity is "Esme's mom". I'm sure that will work itself out like most things do, at least it's a good sign I'm thinking about having my own identity.
So this is where we're at. The beginning of the next part.
I have these dreams of cooking (please don't laugh), gardening, taking long walks with Esme and the dogs, getting a bike and one of those baby seats that go between the handle bars and riding to the Farmer's Market, making soup every week for the soup kitchen, meeting other moms, having friends, taking swimming lessons with Esme, finding a baby gymboree sort of class for her, working toward my ultimate dream of opening a baby store.
Perhaps we'll do these one thing at a time.
But first the packing and the settling, I think I need a new magnet for this stage.
"This to shall pass!"


  1. if it helps any, i think you're the most amazing and accomplished woman i know. and i know that your stepping "down" is SO not because you couldn't handle the pressure, but because you're really stepping UP to a way bigger challenge and a way more fulfilling job. hooray! and tons and tons of good luck to you as you move, settle in and start to realize that list of wonderful dreams.

  2. Good luck with your move and settling and all the new goals and dreams you have for this upcoming phase in your life. They all sound wonderful.