I always thought that post-college life was like a second adolescence because, for the first time, you no longer have a ready-made social environment. For some people, the workplace becomes the primary source of new friendships, but it seems that jobs so rarely reflect a person’s passions or conscience. And since I’ve spent more than half of my career as a freelance writer, working out of the house, that hasn’t really been an option for me anyway.
After many years where I’ve taken trips to bookstore cafés during the day just to have some human contact, I thought one of the fringe benefits of having a baby would be the opportunity to meet other new moms. To some degree, that seems to be true, and it’s particularly exciting that there are now so many others in their 30s.
But then I went out to lunch with some women from a mom and baby yoga class the other day and was reminded how different mothers can be. One of the moms in the group mentioned that she had quit her job at one of those fake pregnancy crisis centers when her baby was born. It’s one thing to be pro-life, another to work in a place that purposefully deceives and emotionally manipulates young women. I sat there quietly and nodding dumbly, wondering how she might react if she knew that I started doing pro-choice work when I was about 16 years old. I even had a work-study job as a student organizer for reproductive rights in college.
Maybe I did visibly shudder at her revelation, which could be why she then explained that she was an abstinence educator. I was raised by a woman who was once the president of a Planned Parenthood chapter, so this didn’t strike me as a particularly more ethical line of work.
Did I miss an opportunity for dialogue and learning by keeping my mouth shut, or did I manage to duck a confrontation?