When I was young I had BIG dreams. From the time I could talk I was going to be a veterinarian. I LOVE animals, I always have. When I was in middle school my grandparents started an elk ranch and my grandpa and I had even bigger plans! I was going to become not just a vet, but an exotic animal vet so I could care for all of the wonderful exotic animals out there!
Then my freshman year hit and I realized my dreams were changing. I stink at math folks. I mean I REALLY stink. I was a straight A student but not without A LOT of work. I am one of those people who can ace a test without even trying, unless it’s math. If it’s math it will literally kick me while I’m down. I know now that it’s common for people to excel in things like history and English but suffer at math and sciences and vice versa. My dad is a math brain and so is my brother, my mom and I are not. Ironically my son inherited my side of things. He’s a writer and a thinker but struggles in math. My husband excels in math but struggles in the areas we excel in. To be a veterinarian you HAVE to have strong performances in math and science. I was good in the science area, I love science, but the math just continued to elude me. Aside from struggling in math, I’m female and veterinary medicine is a very male dominated field. I was devastated when reality slapped me in the face. What would I do now?
So I switched gears. I was going to be a social worker. I am good at listening to other people. I enjoy it. I enjoy helping people. It seemed the right path. It probably would have been… It’s still something I consider doing, when my kids are both in school, I definitely think about going back to school to get my degree in social work.
Then I got to college. I LOATHED college. I don’t know if it was my choice of schools or if I was just burnt out but I really, really hated it. The professors would literally stand there and read to you from your text. I was paying good money (well my parents were) to sit in a lecture hall and listen to people read to me! I could read to myself! I lasted a semester before I decided that school was NOT for me and I came home.
At that point I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I thought journalism looked like a good major. I love to write. I’m not great at it. In highschool I had a teacher who swore I was! She was my favorite teacher of all time, I loved her! She encouraged me and tested me in SO many ways and I did blossom in her classes. Now I look back and think I am really not a great writer. Heck I’m not even a GOOD writer! My blog is a testament to that fact! However I knew I could be a journalist and it seemed like fun! I read our local paper now and KNOW I could have written for them. The articles are HORRIBLE. I actually make a game out of finding the spelling and grammatical errors in our newspaper. It’s really bad.
Then things changed again and I would begin to find my true path. I married very young, he was older than me and had 4 children. I am mature enough now to realize I didn’t love him. I don’t think I even liked him; but MAN I loved those kids!! I tried for almost 3 years to make it work. I stuck an extra year for the kids. Then it became clear they were not gaining anything from my misery if anything they were suffering as well. It was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it had to end. That’s an entirely different post for another time!
Shortly before my divorce was final I met Joe and a few months later I found out I was pregnant with Joey. I went to work for my dad. At the time he was wholesaling cars for other dealers in town, but before Joey was born we opened our own small used car dealership. I’d finally found my niche or so I thought. I loved the store and ironically my favorite part was finance and insurance. Pretty funny for someone who struggles in math!! I would work for my dad off and on for several years to come. I was good at it and I enjoyed it but I still felt unsettled. Joey was sick constantly from being in daycare. He landed in the hospital multiple times over the years and on top of that I missed all of his firsts.
I quit for the last time about 3 1/2 years ago, I decided to stay home. Joey was in school during the day but I felt I needed to be there when he got home and during the Summer. Shortly after that Joe was offered a job overseas, he’d work 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off and I knew I’d made the right decision, one of us needed to be there for Joey at all times. About 3 weeks later we’d find out Elizabeth was coming and I knew there was a reason I’d left my job.
I didn’t miss any of her firsts, I enjoyed every moment of her from her earliest days onward. It was bittersweet for me because I realized just how much I had missed with Joey by being at work. My family was more settled and I was a lot more patient as a parent and as a wife.
I now realize all of the false starts were leading me right here. I was meant to be home with my kids. We make sacrifices so I can stay home. We don’t have the material things we could have if we both had incomes, but that’s OK. We are happy, we are content. I am happy! I won’t say there aren’t days I miss my job. There are. I even tried to go back to work after the fire to get me out of my funk, but I missed my kids and Elizabeth was sick from day one, she caught everything that went through the daycare. I worked long hours and by the time I got home it was dinner and baths and bed. I was miserable and so were Joe and the kids. It just really made me realize I’d made the right decision 3 years ago.
It’s amazing now, I look back and I realize all of my big dreams weren’t really what I was meant for. So my advice to all of you, dream big always, but be open to it when those dreams don’t come true because you may just find your unrealized dreams are leading you down a path you’re meant to follow.