Moving On—by Jamie Levine
When I first started writing this blog, I had recently been downsized from my decade-long career as a children’s book buyer at barnes&noble.com, my daughter, Jayda, was 26 months old, I had not yet been on even one date as a single mother by choice, and I could not fathom having a job that did not involve copywriting or being involved in the publishing industry. My life has changed a lot since then. My blog-writing habits have changed as well. For years, I wrote diligently every week, but over the last year, despite my best intentions, my entries have dwindled…until they disappeared completely six months ago. And rather than painfully force myself to find the time to write something that in that past has only brought me pleasure, I’d rather step back and walk away from this blog…at least for now. And gracefully say goodbye.
When I accepted the opportunity to write this blog many years ago, I thought I’d focus upon being a single mother by choice, and that I’d simply write about raising my daughter. But it didn’t turn out to be as simple as that. As Jayda grew up, so did I, and I’ve learned a lot about myself through my mothering of my child—and through my writing.
I’ve shared a lot here in this blog:
The trials and tribulations of being a single mother by choice to a spirited, sleep-hating, smart, sassy, beautiful, going-to-be-seven-in-two-weeks! daughter;
The insurmountable thrill (and consequent excruciating heartbreak) I experienced when I fell in love for the first time as a single mom;
Family drama—from disagreements and estrangements to dealing with ill parents and worrying myself sick over caring for them;
The stress I experienced for 18 months while taking prerequisite undergraduate classes at Queens college, during my two years of graduate school at Adelphi University (while I completed two externships, still full-time mommy-ing, and freelance copywriting to pay the bills), and, finally now, after almost nine months of a clinical fellowship providing early intervention as a speech and feeding therapist for babies and toddlers up to three years old.
Did I mention that my life has changed a lot? This June, I’ll actually be a licensed speech-language pathologist/feeding therapist! And I’m no longer a stranger to dating as a single mom; I have plenty of experience now (as well as several romantic relationships under my belt), and I’m incredibly grateful that I didn’t wind up with Library Guy (and truly believe the woman who did, deserves him and the mayhem she now has in her life). And Jayda? She’s grown up a lot. But she’s as strong-willed, clever, and sassy as ever (and I’m scared to death of her preteen years that loom ahead in the not-so-distant-future). She also still hates to sleep, and is up before six a.m. every morning. Fortunately now, she knows how to use an iPad or turn on the TV by herself so I can buy myself at least another hour of sleep on the weekend before she’s shaking me awake for something.
It’s funny—I’m a Type-A Personality, and a big planner, but my life sure hasn’t turned out how I planned it to be. However, it has turned out pretty well, all things considered. Here I am a woman who’d always planned to be married before I had a child; however, when my clock started ticking in my mid-30’s, rather than settle for the wrong guy, I opted to use a sperm donor and have a child on my own. I’m still hoping to meet the “right” guy and get married some day. And having Jayda is the best decision I’ve ever made. Careerwise, I’d always planned to be a writer and/or work in publishing—and I did. I had an incredible career for many, many years, too. But when I was downsized from my last job, and publishing seemed like a dying industry, I took a plunge and reinvented myself. Now I’m a speech-language pathologist—which is something I’d never planned to be—and I love it. It took years of hard work to achieve—but it was worth it in the end. All good things are worth time and effort, aren’t they? Writing this blog certainly was. Sharing my life with all of you was. And I’m so grateful for all the love and support I’ve received from everyone over the years. Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. I hope I’ve given you just a little bit of hope that you, too, can do anything you want to do—if you believe in yourself, and take the time and effort to make it happen.