To say I was immediately infuriated was an understatement.My voice went from normal to "Get the demon out of her!" in a matter of seconds. Seriously, my husband said he was waiting for my head to start spinning on my shoulders.
Wait a frigging minute!
I'm not knocking anyone for their careers or lack thereof, but in my humble opinion, a career does NOT define us. I don't care if you're the most gifted neurosurgeon on the planet, you can still be an a$$hole, and that isn't something to be proud of.
Truth is, I used to have a career. I self taught myself to tattoo and worked in not just one, but TWO shops in busy cities. I was in a tv commercial (it was so embarrassing,) and constantly booked. I also made DAMN good money! Then I became pregnant. I was high risk and immediately put on bed rest.
Bye bye career!
I didn't care. The miracle inside of me was more important than a career. Fast forward a few years. When Liam was just five, and getting ready to start school, I decided I needed to find myself and start tattooing again. The guy took one look at my portfolio and hired me on the spot. Just days before I was to start working, Liam was diagnosed as Autistic.
With a heavy heart, I contacted the gentleman and declined the job offer. Our world was spinning, much like our little boy. I started veraciously reading every book on Autism that I could get my hands on. I became a Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania Peer Mentor, to support and walk other parents through the diagnosis process. Eventually, I started a blog to educate others who were in the same boat as us.
That flourished into a Facebook page. From there, a local support group. I organized the first ever autism walk in our town, got our local theaters to host sensory friendly movies, did Christmas parties with sensory santas, decorated the town for Autism, had a party to educate neighbor kids about autism, (our local news station actually came to it and did a story on Liam,) and so much more.
I've grown into a better writer. I've been featured in Autism Parenting Magazine. I was published on Yahoo Parenting, (which was such an honor.) I have been featured several times on The Mighty, Sandwiches and Psych Meds, BlogHer, and more. Liam and I made the cover of Parenting Special Needs magazine. And Liam did two campaigns with Paper Clouds Apparel, to raise money for Autism charities.
So no, as this person stated to my mother, I don't have a career per say. But guess what? In five short years I've educated and helped more people than I can even count. More people than she could ever fathom.
You know what, I'm proud of that!
I'm lucky to be able to stay home and care for my miracle child. To be able to home school him, help him with therapy, be there for other families that walk a similar journey, and juggle a few writing jobs here and there. I'm also proud that unlike that person, I'm not an a$$hole. I'm also not perfect, nor special, but I try damn hard to help anyone that may need a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to listen.
I have made some amazing friends thanks to this journey. Friends that I CHOOSE as my family. I don't need people like her in my life, and I don't need a "title" to have a purpose. My purpose is here, and I'm okay with that.