Dec 28, 2012

How are you doing, Marlooz?

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I’m fine, thank you. I mean, I’m a little sleepy and I should probably go to bed, seeing as I am actually answering your question, Facebook. But I did have fun tonight, hanging out here, re-connecting with my virtual friends and revisiting my social media addiction. Can’t believe how easily I get sucked back in. Come to think of it, Facebook, I’m glad you asked me how I am doing. To really understand how I am doing I will have to go back a while. 

When I decided to switch careers in September 2011, I had been posting an average of 82 tweets a day, I had 4500 followers on Twitter and my Klout score was through the roof. I hung out with the biggest influencers, most powerful V.C.’s, CEO’s, CTO’S, CFO’s, ninjas, baddest geeks and nerdiest freaks.  I had filmed for TechCrunch, The Next Web, Vodafone, spoke at conferences like 140conf and SxSW. Oh SxSW, where I got to spend QT with my cool dad, where I met all my wonderful friends from all over the world, where I got in at every party as a VIP, thanks to those wonderful friends, where I saw the most awesome artists perform, where I was featured in the beautiful documentary, Twittamentary. Awesome Austin, the place where I made some of my wildest and fondest memories. 

My life was pretty amazing. But things always look amazing when you just see Wall posts and Instagrams… Even though all those wonderful things really happened, backstage the economy collapsed and all the jobs I could get were low-budget or no- budget. Money was really tight, and normally when I was in between jobs I would do some temp work, but I started to notice that I was losing the passion I used to have for my work. Do you know that feeling, Facebook? It’s weird when your passion starts feeling like work… My job had never felt like work. 

So one day I started thinking, what was it that I really wanted to do in life? People who know me well, know that I’ve always felt like it was my destiny and ambition to become the matriarch of a family, I always wanted to become my mom. It just isn’t a career, you can’t study to become a wife and a mother, you just have to be lucky enough to find the right person to co-sign your future. Therefore I had let go of that ambition a while back, but I couldn’t get that urge to nurture out of my system. 

I talked to my friend who is a youth worker, about my passion for kids and she said I should look into working at a daycare. I found this amazing daycare in Amsterdam that was hiring people who had no previous child care education. If hired, they would provide a two year, part-time study, while working there at the same time. 

Well two weeks later my life would never be the same again… 

I was hired by CompaNanny, school would start the next week and so would my first day at the job. 

Even though my boyfriend and I split up and I moved out, even though I now work for a boss and I have to save up vacation days (I won’t be going to SxSW next year), even though I’ve never been a morning person and the early shift starts at 7:25, even though I now make in a month what I used to make in a day, even though I’m not allowed to have my phone with me, even though I am practically off the grid, even though I have never been more tired at the end of the day, I have also never, ever, ever been more fulfilled or happier in my whole life. 

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So for the past year I’ve been working my butt off and going to school. I’ll be finished with school in July.

Every morning I am happy to go to work, with a co-worker I take care of 12 kids, ages 1,5 to 4 years old. No matter how hectic or stressful the day gets, no matter how many poopy diapers and snotty noses I have to clean, no matter how messy and sticky I am at the end of my shift, seeing them grow up, develop and learn from us, the many hugs and kisses and love they give me, makes it all worth while.

As a videographer, I was always insecure, I taught myself everything I could about filming and editing, but, I never felt good enough. Now the first time, I am confident, and I am actually sure that I am good at my job. I’m still learning, but I have what it takes, and I love what I do.

A few people said to me, why do you want to work at a daycare, you are way too intelligent and creative to work at a job like that, the sentence that kept coming at me, but you can do so much more… was pissing me off.

Okay, maybe it is not the most glamorous job, maybe it is not ambitious enough for some people, but it is one of most important jobs there is. And what could be smarter than choosing happiness?

So to answer your question truthfully, Facebook, I am doing really, really well.

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Marlooz Veldhuizen: videographer, social media addict turned child care giver. Subscribe via RSS.