A Trophy Wife

Today at the Doctor’s office the nurse asked me my occupation.

“Uh, good question.”

The nurse didn’t laugh.

“Um, I’m a writer. I guess. Freelance.”

I’m pretty sure she checked off “Unemployed.” But only because there is no “Trophy wife” box.

For the past year, I’ve been working up to this point. We’ve been planning and saving and not buying pants, just so that when the moment came, I could quit my regular consulting jobs and write. It’s a dream come true. We paid off my last Sallie Mae loan and all we have is one small government loan that we will pay off by the end of the month. We did it. We’re there. We’re high fiving Dave Ramsey and all the angels.

So, naturally, Monday night, when it came time to quit. I curled up into the fetal position and sobbed. Dave poked my shoulder, like I was a dead bird on the sidewalk. “Are you okay? You, uh, don’t have to quit.”

“No, I want to. I just don’t want to be a trophy wife.”

That’s when he offered me ice cream. And I cried harder, because I obviously just wanted some Cheetos. Men.

I’ve been juggling an array of jobs since college–copywriter, proofreader, editor for a martial arts magazine, community manager, social media consultant, writer, blogger, marketer, test reader, tutor, teacher. I love working. I love how work defines who I am and gives me an outlet to explore my passions like Bigfoot and the difference between North and South Korean taekwondo. But like so many people, I want to just write. I know. So original. I’ll spare you the stories of how I read early and wrote books at a young age. You know them. They are your stories too. And they are all the same. Little girl loves books so much that she wants to become part of them. She grows up and struggles to make that dream happen.

So, Monday night, on the cusp of taking a leap further into that dream. I panicked. Giving up some of my permalance jobs (although I do hope to say “yes” to more freelance work from time to time) feels like giving up part of who I am.  And now, with my babysitter gone on her maternity leave. I am not just a full time writer. I am a full time mom. And when people ask me what I do, and I tell them I write, they are going to hear, “Trophy wife.”

I shouldn’t care. We all have our own paths. And I love my daughter. I’m so excited that I can share this part of her life with her, before she goes off to school and unfriends me on Facebook for dancing Gangam style on the internet. And I have writing jobs. I’ll still make money. And women should have choices. We are free. Independent. Strong. We should all be so lucky. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I am scared.

Scared of failing. Scared of losing myself. Scared of waking up in a Mickey Mouse shirt and Lee jeans, driving a minivan and regretting all that writing that I was going to do.

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