My earliest memory of a career was when I was 4 or 5ish and my father retired from the Air Force. I remember being at what I assume was a retirement party and seeing a lady in her Air Force uniform and thinking nothing was more glamorous then this woman in her dress blues. Looking back I still think really? small children can be weird. But it is true I remember being fascinated.
I also remember for years playing house, and being a working mom with twins. I remember still doing this when I was probably far to old to still be playing house.
In middle school I was determined to go into psychology. I did countless projects for school on psychology or on famous psychologists. At some point in high school I gave up psychology for the dream of law. The main reason I thought I was studying PolSci was because I wanted to go to Law School, looking back I realize I was always more fascinated with politics then law. (I now thank my stars I didn't go to Law School, although I often wish I was doing something more with my polsci degree.)
As a teenager I babysat a LOT, often 2-3 times a week. I assume I was a good babysitter because I was sought after, I was paid well, and often had the opportunity to turn down jobs since I was so busy, All this being said, I kind of hated the job, I remember thinking, I never want to get married, because the last thing I want is children. Why anyone would want to be a mom and do this every day is beyond me.
But then I grew up, and apparently for Brent I was ready to become a mom. If I think about it, I think I gave up a lot to become a mom, but I'm ok with that. It was my decision. It was also my decision, to be a stay at home mom and to not work full time, part time or somewhere in between. Never once did I feel my husband push me to be where I am. He appreciates the luxury of a solely stay at home spouse but he would be glad for another pay check if I choose that instead.
In fact one of the reasons I choose to have a third kid, is I did not feel ready to move on to a new stage of life. I've always assumed once my children were in school I would do something, whether get a job or get more schooling. Not to mention I have ALWAYS known I would get another degree or two... I was not ready to move on to that spot in life. So I convinced my husband we wanted another child. He was quite reluctant to have a third, and yet now we have four! I was not ready to have a career even though I spent my ENTIRE childhood dreaming of such things. One of the reasons is because I no longer knew what I wanted to do.
For at least four years I have been ignoring my future because I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do anymore. I was always a girl with a plan. Before I even stepped into college as a freshman I had a VERY strict 7 year plan. Which all went out the window when I decided to marry Brent. But never because he asked me to, only because I choose to throw it all out of the window. One of the reasons I was reluctant to date Brent was he didn't seem to have much of a plan. Ironically enough he is now the one with the plans, and I float along saying lets just enjoy this stage. We have totally flipped sides.
Fast forward to current time.
A few weeks ago we were at a free two hour marriage seminar at church and the first hour I kept thinking yup, yup, yup. Then she said, once your needs are met on that these levels, you have your hopes and dreams, things you want to do, things you want to accomplished. Right then, I wanted to start crying. I had no idea what my dreams were anymore, and I was ignoring this from my life. I gave them up years ago to be a mom. I know I could have done both but I hate multi-tasking. I didn't want to miss something when they were little so I choose not to pursue my old dreams. Then therapist said, the interesting thing is the more productive a person is, the less they set dreams. Ok, at least maybe that meant I was productive. She then talked about how when people lose their dreams that is when they just up and walk out after 15 years because they have completely lost all their self-identity.
A day later, I had a huge melt down about an inconsequential piece of medical paperwork. Probably the biggest one I've had in years. My kids were playing in a different part of the house and Brent looked at me like I was a stranger. He calmly asked what was wrong with me. I literally didn't know. As the days past I realized it was the stress of 4 or so years, trying to ignore that I had no idea my dreams were. Which is sort of a big deal for me because I always had plans when I was a kid.
Brent and I have since talked about it, in much more rational terms. They are still very hazy but at least there is something in the distance that are my dreams.
I've realized travel isn't just Brent dream/goal, that was one of the reasons we had common ground when we were friends.
I'm not sure I'll ever get a paying career. Ten years later, I'm not sure that's actually what I want, because when I decided to be a mom, I decided I cared more about being a mom more than a job that is easily forgotten. I'm an all or nothing girl. The world is my oyster in about 5 years. Its kind of scary. Not quite as thrilling as dreaming of college while in high school.
I do know a few things I don't want to do:
- Go to law school
- Be PTA president
- Go into Nursing
- Go into cosmetology, even though I cut all my boys' hair, I hate doing it. I only do it for thriftiness. I don't really enjoy doing my hair, I don't enjoy doing makeup, etc etc
- Elementary Para-educator
- Run an etsy shop
I think those are great careers and know multiple great women in those careers and often thought of that is a great job you have, but it turns out I never want to do them. I guess PTA president isn't a career, I use to think I wanted to be involved turns out I don't. I don't have any interest in throwing fundraisers or school parties. I hate doing everything they try to get me involved it. Turns out what I always knew, I don't like working with small children