Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Am I Doing Here?

Post inspired by Jessica Rosenberg's Kick in the Blog, "What do you love to do?"

 Whenever asked, "what do you do?" With a heavy sigh, I say, "I'm a secretary."  Sometimes I jazz it up and say, "I'm  a legal secretary."  Sometimes I add, "I write a blog and I'm in grad school."  Though it's often added as a disclaimer.  But never do I dare, call myself a writer.  And on the rare occasion someone asks a follow up question as to what I'm going to grad school for, I say, "I want to be a writer."

Because clearly I believe that I am not one yet.

I'm a secretary because it's what I get paid to do.  And I write because it's what I love to do.  I just wished that I would or could be financially compensated for doing what I love. 

Oh I know there are a slew of blog writers who make money off their blogs.  I'm not one of them.

I'm not complaining and have no plans about quitting my day job.  In this economy, I know how lucky I am to have a job with benefits.  But that's what it is - just a job.  A place to go, to make my living, to collect a check.  And as much as I enjoy having someplace to go and the people I work with, at the end of the day, there's no reward.  No personal satisfaction or fulfillment.  No sense of pride in a job well done.  No one to tell me I've made a difference.  Not that I need that.  But isn't that a good feeling that everyone should experience?

I'm just a secretary.  I'm not saving a life one file folder at a time.  I don't work for the Board of Education or a Special Needs law firm or some other worthy institution.  I am just a body behind a desk.  Answering phones, scheduling meetings, making photo copies, avoiding office gossip.  

This morning I shared an article I wrote for the Tiki Tiki with a co-worker.  She came up to me later and asked, "What are you doing here?  You should be writing books." 

I actually do have a book that I started about ten years. One day, I'll finish. I have a few short stories that could use revising. I'll get back to them.  I have a few worthwhile blog posts that could be sent out to some special needs publications.  Someday. 

And I stay up late at night, writing this little blog and watching it slowly but surely gain momentum.  I love writing it.  I love the thought process and dedication I have to it.  I love having a place to share our story.  I love reading through the comments, even though I can't always respond quickly.  And I love reading other blogs and connecting with people that I never would have met otherwise.  

I am always so grateful whenever someone takes the time to sign in, write a comment and enter in that wacky 4-6 letter/number pass code to post.  I am always so moved when someone writes me to say that they understand or ask for advice or say that my experience has helped them.  I am always so moved when strangers care enough about me and The Boy to send me words of encouragement, advice and virtual {HUGS}.  And my day is always a little brighter when I notice I have new blog followers or "Likes" to my Facebook Fan Page. 

I put more work, more thought and more love into this blog than I've put into any job I've ever had.  (And for those that know, you all know how many jobs I've had.)

And I don't get paid for writing. But I don't care.  Here, money doesn't matter.  Because here, I feel like I am making a difference.  It's a labor of love.          

So what am I doing here?  Working 9 to 5 as a secretary? 

Passing the time, paying life's dues, making a living.  So I can do what I love.         

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.