August 8, 2011

Book Club Review: In Stitches

Are you passionate about your job? Have you found your calling? Maybe you always knew you wanted to be a teacher or firefighter or songwriter. Or maybe you realized it later in life, after trying other things that just didn't feel right. Perhaps you were pushed into it, maybe even fought becoming an artist or poet because it wasn't practical, or didn't want to follow your dream to go to law school because you were afraid to fail. But then you found it, that role you were always meant to play. And it felt right.

Before I had children, I worked as a product manager for technology companies. I fell into it, working my way up from my first job in customer service and tech support. I had a great time and I was good at it. I met very smart people and even found a niche in user interface and interaction design. But I never considered it a calling, like I was meant to work on consumer electronics products. I miss working quite a bit, but it wasn't difficult for me to take a break from my particular line of work.

That's not to say I think being a stay at home mom was my calling. I love my children deeply, but never imagined that I'd be a stay at home parent for this long. I am grateful that I have been able to be here for Moe, be intensely involved in his therapies and get daily updates from his teachers. But I'm not ashamed to admit I want more.

But more of what, exactly? I honestly don't know. I think about all the specific knowledge I've learned as Moe's mom, and consider putting that knowledge to good use. But I don't want my entire life to be about autism. I am looking for something to do that uses another part of my brain. I want to solve different kinds of problems. But the specifics elude me.

It is a privileged problem to have. So many in our world do not have time to think about their calling. They do their jobs because they have to put food on the table and pay the mortgage. I am lucky my husband can do that for our family. Writing this blog is the closest I've come to finding something that I more than enjoy, that I feel compelled to do. I miss it when I don't write most every day. Too bad I'm not getting paid to do it.

This post was inspired by Anthony Youn's memoir, In Stitches, which gives readers a look into the training of a medical doctor who discovers his passion is plastic surgery. As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. You can read other members posts inspired by the book on book club day, August 9, at From Left to Write.


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