Answer: This may be one of my most personal responses yet, as I have never really talked about work-related things in the past. But I love the question so here goes nothing!
I will preface it by saying I am all for women feeling free to work outside the home just as I cheer on women who want to be SAHM. Both, are REALLY hard jobs and I applaud women (and men!) in both life situations.
Now, on to me.
All my life I have worked office related jobs. All my life I was never passionate about any of them. (The one exception would be an awesome receptionist job I had in college at a production company, which was a total playground for a creative! I even got to sing on some of their commercial jingles. It was a blast.) Being behind a desk and computer is something I kind of fell into after my very first office job at the age of 14. On and on it went from there.
When I moved back to Oklahoma I landed a job at an Oil & Gas company where many people in my home state desired to work. On paper it had good pay, opportunity and benefits. It should've been perfect right? It wasn't. It was corporate. It was people backstabbing you to get another ring higher on the ladder. It was mind-games, lies and manipulation, constantly.
I don't play those types of games; I like to be able to look in the mirror at night with a clear conscience. Kind of a "what good is to it gain the whole world but lose your soul?" type of situation happening.
So, for literally the entire 8 years my personal experience was I was dying on the vine. I was constantly looking for a way to get out but the "benefits" kept me chained there in fear, terrified to make a move. This was supposed to be a dream job, so why did it feel anything but dreamy?
When Joel died it changed everything. Finally I went from "Why am I doing this?" to "I will do everything in my power to no longer do this". He had always encouraged me to make a move, now my path was clear. I would no longer stay in a situation that was sucking the life out of me daily. I would go anywhere or do anything else but this. I just had to figure out how.
When Ellis got sick it made the decision for me. Everything shifted and suddenly quitting my job was the only choice to be made. She needed so much help in these first few years I knew I had to be with her. No question. There was no other option.
It just so happens that on top of what I was walking through with Ellis opportunities started to fall in my lap for me to be able to do what I was always passionate about-writing. Looking back, one of the hardest situations I've ever had to endure ended up propelling me to where I always wanted to be. Life is kind of crazy in that way.
I never hold too firmly to plans because I know they can change in an instant. But my current plan is to continue to support my family through writing and also add speaking into the mix on top of that. It's taken years of writing to finally get to this point, where I could even dream of making it into my career. Book #1 will be released next fall and I'm actually beginning work on Book #2 next month.
All that being said, even if my dreams and what I'm pursuing were to not fully work out, I would of course be willing to work outside the home but never would I return to a corporate job. I will never again do something that is life-draining instead of life-giving. Life is just too short for it. While I don't ever fully know where this path of life will lead me I know I will continue to live it deeply, fully and most importantly authentically. There's been a radical shift in my heart in those areas and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Hopefully this answer encourages someone that might be going through the same thing.
Thank you for your question Jennifer!