When I was in college, I had a plan:
– I was going to graduate with my degree in Economics and find some high-paying ‘Economic-y’ type job.
– I was going to get married, and have a fabulous wedding.
– I was going to buy a fancy house in the suburbs with my husband (with the income from my high-paying ‘economic-y’ job, natch).
– I was going to have three kids; two girls and a boy.
– I was going to live happily ever after.
But life had a different plan for me.
I graduated with my degree and quickly realized that there really aren’t a lot of high paying ‘economic-y’ type jobs out there, so I settled for an entry-level position at a great company. That as luck would have it, I loved. But, it didn’t pay shit. I did get married to a wonderful man (and we had a fabulous, kick-ass wedding). Who, also had dreams of his own and a degree that was hard to find work in… and therefore a job that didn’t pay shit. But, we were happy and as time went on we moved, built better-paying careers in a new city, bought the house (although not the fancy house in the suburbs – but something much more befitting of us, I heart our house), and had two kids. Two beautiful little girls.
Moments that I count among the happiest in my lifetime:
5. Childhood summers at the lake (I realize that this is a collection of moments vs. one particular moment but go with me here).
4. Graduating from Texas A&M University with my whole family including my grandfather, the original Aggie of the family, in attendance and beaming with pride.
3. One drunken night in Dallas with my BFF. She knows which night I’m talking about – damn that was fun. I am also pretty sure it led to the worst hangover I’ve ever had. (Second favorite drunken night with my BFF; in college, when we decided to pay one of her old friends a visit.) (Third favorite drunken night, my bachelorette party.) (Fourth favorite, her bachelorette party.) Sorry – I digress… We went to college together and were roommates. That equals lots of drunken nights*.
2. Marrying my wonderful husband, the absolute love of my life.
1. Becoming a parent (Sophia). And then becoming a parent again (Stella). Not only has becoming a parent been the two happiest moments in my life, they have also been the most terrifying. All of a sudden, you have this tiny little person 100% dependent upon you and in the moment of holding them for the first time you realize that you have never felt a love as strong, or a desire to provide for and protect anything like you feel at that moment for your child. It’s absolutely life altering. Which brings me back to the plan…
Prior to parenthood, I would say I had a desire to succeed – mostly because I’m responsible and have always been pretty competitive. After becoming a parent however, I was driven to succeed. To make more money to provide for my family. To provide for my children. And, I formed new plans that were solely centered around the advancement of my career. However, as smart as I like to think I am, in all my planning I forgot to look up and realize that I was missing out on my life and precious moments with the ones I so desperately feel the need to provide for. I have a friend who likes to quote John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” You know that it took me like four times hearing him quote Lennon before it hit me square in the face that I was missing out? Four times.
Forgive me if this post is all over the place. Since making a certain decision I’ve had those nagging feelings and the thoughts of my old self creeping back in and to be honest, it’s been wigging me out – self-doubt is one hell of a vicious bitch.
So what I keep repeating to myself is this… At the end of the day, my leaving my employer is going to result in what? A tiny, little, insignificant blip on their radar. The work will continue, and someone else will fill my shoes. But if I stay, I may continue to miss out on life with my husband and kids. And that’s a big, fucking blip. A blip I don’t intend to let happen. I do, after all, still hope to live happily ever after.
PS – This post is dedicated to Dan the Man. Who is a way better friend than he gives himself credit for, and who also happens to have posted the most comments in this post, which also makes him the winner. Congratulations, Dan. And, thank you.
*One should always drink responsibly.