PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Are You There Universe? It's Me, Jay.

Oprah once said, “The universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers.” She said that the more we ignore it, the louder it gets. When I first heard this quote, I thought to myself, “If only that were actually true.” I wouldn’t say the universe ignores me or that I necessarily ignore it. I would describe our relationship more like the one you have with a distant aunt. You know you’re related, you say hi and smile at each other at the occasional family function but for the most part, you just assume they are mostly busy with other people.

In the last couple of months though, I have come to believe a bit more in this quote. I say “a bit” simply because I’ll always be a snarky pessimist at heart. Hey - I am what I am.

If you’ve been reading my blog for quite some time, you would know that in addition to my years of stand-up comedy and my freelance writing, I have a job that I’ve always described here as simply a “day job”. It’s not my career or my passion. Its primary function has mainly been to pay the bills, get insurance and steal free pens when I need them. Oh, Uniball Signo 207… you bring out the thief in me!

I have been at my current “day job” for awhile now. It’s a very stable job (read: slightly boring) and with the exception of its many benefits, the greatest asset truly has been the people I work with. In terms of co-workers, I’ve sincerely been overwhelmingly blessed. They make the fact that I don’t really care for what I’m doing bearable.

Regular readers of my blog also know that a few years back, since I told my boss about my infertility issues, things haven’t been ideal. I was hoping including him in on my struggle would make him more understanding of my occasional doctor appointments but instead, he heard the word ‘ovary’ and much like a woodland creature, he panicked and ran away. OK, not literally ran away but at the very least, he used the wheels on his chair and rolled away from me slowly.

Even during my pregnancy, he wrote in my review that I had been late time to time. He neglected to mention that the reason I was late was to see my OB/GYN. Then, a week before I was to return from maternity leave, he emailed me that he was giving some of my work to a co-worker. His explanation was that he wanted to make sure he had as much coverage as possible and now that I had lost my flexibility (read: something came out of my uterus), he wanted to have extra back up in place.

In my last post, I had mentioned that having something so positive in your life tends to shine a spotlight on the things that kind of suck. After the years of trying to get pregnant and especially the moments where there were no answers and it seemed hopeless, the fact that we did manage to kick infertility’s ass and have an adorable son is a great accomplishment. You may think this is overdramatic but there are times when I even feel like, “I went through extensive fertility treatments and not only did I have a baby, but I held on to my sanity too.” To me, it isn’t just that I had a baby, which of course means the world to me, but it really is that I didn’t become a total crazy person who stands on a street corner somewhere screaming about the government.

This is one of the reasons I still talk about infertility so much. IT. IS. F*CKING. HARD. So few understand or relate and for every helpful, positive comment you get, you still receive ten stupid comments (i.e. “Have you thought about using your brother-in-law’s sperm?”) When I connect with someone who is going through an IVF cycle, or who can’t afford medication, or who has had a miscarriage, I sincerely care and want to help. Although I don’t know or relate to every scenario, I know the pain of disappointment, the feelings of failure, isolation and the fear that this is never going to end.

In the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking about all of this and asking myself, “What do I want to do with my life?” The infertility experience, the people I’ve met, this blog and my journey have all left an indelible impression on me. To continue spending eight hours a day, five days a week on something that doesn’t excite me and where my boss treats me like less like I’ve had a baby and more like I’ve had a head trauma is something I can’t ignore.

So, after much debate, a whole lot of discussion, many a conversation with my therapist, my husband and my gay best friend (everyone should have one), I have officially accepted a full-time position with Fertility Authority (http://www.fertilityauthority.com/). I hope to bring my humor, empathy and the free pens I stole from my current job to the role.

Truth be told, this is a big career change for me and I’m going to miss seeing my current co-workers on a daily basis more than I could ever possibly say. If I wanted to, I could have stayed at my current job till I retired. It’s safe and despite the weirdness with my boss, I do believe he would have either eventually gotten over it or I would have simply gotten better at ignoring him. The thing is though that when I think of Oprah’s quote, it does seem like the universe has been pushing me in this direction. Fertility Authority’s overall objective is something that I’m passionate about and it’s something I feel I could bring a lot to.

One of the things that have amazed me the most about this turn of events is I always believed that when you had children, you took fewer risks. You have people depending on you and you don’t want to screw around with your livelihood. What I didn’t expect was that my son actually has motivated me to take more risks. Of course I don’t mean bungee jumping off a crumbling bridge, eating raw eggs on a daily basis or taking your life savings and gambling it away recklessly. I’m speaking more of calculated risks that could offer rewards beyond what you have now. I want to do better because not only do I want the best life for him as possible, but I want him to have a mother who does something for a living that makes her happy. As my mom has always said, “A happy mother is a good mother.

Mind you, I don’t mean to imply that working for the Fertility Authority is a huge risk. Of the staff I have met so far, they are phenomenal, hard working, smart, motivated, caring women and this is a tremendous opportunity that offers a whole different set of benefits. Still, in this economy, switching jobs can be scary and leaving the job you know so well can be intimidating. I am excited though and I hope to not only make the team at Fertility Authority proud, but all of you proud as well.

So, hopefully, the universe is doing right by me and I’m doing right by listening to it. In the meantime, I ask you to please wish me luck and let me know if you need any pens. I have a feeling a few extra ones may fall into my purse when I leave.