Introducing Emily Patterson

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My roots…EP1

I spent the first half of my childhood in South Louisiana, where I was born, and the second half on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which I call home. I have one sibling who is older in age by four years and younger in soul by twenty. I went to Catholic school most of my life, which explains my penchant for following rules.

 

My quirks…

I am in introvert, but no one believes me. Not even my husband.

I’m a list-maker, an organizer, a planner, a perfectionist, and a control freak.

I am an early bird. I love mornings and I don’t even drink coffee! Honest!

I am a busy body. Downtime makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

 

My loves…
I love Pinterest. I have 64 unique boards and over 4,000 pins, and no lie, I still have lots to pin!

EP2I love wine…heavy, deep, red wine that stains your lips and warms your soul.

I love to read, especially library books. Knowing a book has been shared with others makes me feel connected.

I love to play tennis. It is the one thing I do for me and only me. I’m not good. I don’t hit hard. But I don’t care.

I love to shop and I’m not picky what for: groceries, clothes, home décor, school supplies…I suspect that for me, this is more about checking an item off of a list than procuring something new.

 

My story…

EP4My husband and I met our Junior year in college and knew within hours that we were going to get married. We got engaged after graduation, married right after grad school, and moved to Memphis with no jobs and few prospects. After a long search, I took a job at a nonprofit organization that paid less per year than my grad school had cost, but was intrinsically rewarding.  I spent seven years learning the ins and outs of the organization, first granting money to worthy groups, and then raising money on its behalf.  For an introvert, this should have been painful, but my passion for the cause made me a natural. I loved my job and couldn’t imagine doing anything more worthwhile with my time.

My enthusiasm and commitment remained unfazed throughout my first pregnancy, but began to fizzle after I returned from maternity leave.  I found myself watching the clock and worrying about my son in daycare.  I ate my lunch at my desk so I could leave early in the afternoons and spent no time socializing with my coworkers. When I came home, I was too stressed to enjoy playing with my son whom I had missed all day. I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to have a meaningful conversation with my husband after we put the baby to bed. Secretly, I wanted to quit and stay home with my son, but I couldn’t bring myself to admit that I was failing at being a working mom.

EP5I learned I was pregnant again just after my son’s first birthday and was a complete mess for the first trimester. If I hadn’t been able to successfully balance work and being a mom with one, how would I ever with two? I had no family to lean on, my husband traveled for work, and my job involved regular night and weekend events. Having “it all” felt like a charade I could no longer keep up, yet I couldn’t fathom giving up the only job I’d had since college. Leaving felt like a betrayal of my boss, the organizations we funded, and my parents who had spent so much on my education.  In the end, my shift in priorities became too clear to ignore and a difficult decision was made. I didn’t know how we’d make it on one salary, but I knew any sacrifices I would have to make would be less than the one I’d been making with my kids and my sanity.

EP6We moved to the suburbs, enrolled the kids in public school, and have never looked back. When the kids were home, we spent our days at museums, parks and playdates.  Now that they’re in school, I volunteer for the PTA, shuffle kids between activities, and if I’m lucky, squeeze in a tennis match.  I work part-time planning events from home and feel fulfilled, challenged, and most importantly, balanced.  I thank God, every day, for the strength to do what is in my heart and not just what is on “the list”. This is me. Life is good. I am blessed.

 

 

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Emily was born in Louisiana and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She met her husband in college and moved to Memphis in 2002 right after they got married. They first lived downtown and then in East Memphis, before settling further east in Germantown in 2011. They had their son, Gray, in October 2007 and their daughter, Hayes, only 20 months later in July 2009. Emily's kids are only one grade apart and are often mistaken for twins. Emily loves red wine, peanut butter, all things homemade and DIY, hot baths, and laughing so hard you cry.