I find myself approaching a crossroads this summer. I keep seeing glimpses of it as we go over the hills of life. I see it in the distance. My kids are getting older, more independent and JK, my youngest, is going to start preschool in the fall. She is a little young, but with her speech delay the social interaction and the exposure to other adults will help her. Its also been a long time since I worked outside the home. Over 7 years actually. Soon it will be time to figure out what my next step is, what path will I take? For the kids its easy, they are off to school. But for me the question becomes again “what will I be when I grow up?” In some ways I feel I never did answer that the first time around. I studied child development at the University of Delaware. After finishing that degree and realizing that classroom teaching was not my first love I decided I needed a slight change in career paths. I was short a few classes (ok a whole lot) to apply to the graduate program in Genetic Counseling at U of Maryland. I decided to take classes at UMBC. I learned a lot of things while I was there. A few of them are 1) I was not cut out to be in a sorority 2) I am no good at chemistry and 3) I like to hide behind a keyboard. I think I knew that last one going into UMBC. But after realizing that I was not going to make it though the required chemistry classes to get me into genetic counseling I decided I could hide behind a keyboard for a career. Eventually I met my husband and we got married. I left UMBC with some classes under my belt but no further degree beyond that MRS degree he likes to say I earned. (haha isn’t he funny?)
I went on from UMBC to work for a sorority sister of mine. She was running a daycare center at the time. This center was located with in a drug and alcohol rehab program for women. It’s an amazing program that is a year-long and lets women bring a child with them. We took care of those children during the day while the women worked on their recovery. It was a good time in my life, but when we decided to buy a home the commute became too long for the money I was making. I also hoped to get back into the computer field. No such luck. The economy started to tank during this time and the job market was getting tricky. So we decided it was a good time to start a family. I was out of work anyway, I thought I could do the stay at home mom thing (good thing too when you look at all the hijinks the kids have put me though!) and so we went for it. Here we are all these years later with3 kids and me still wondering what to do with my life. So much has changed, and yet so little.
There was a graduation speech in the news recently. You Are Not Special. In the speech he talks about going on to do something you love. It has really been gnawing at me. I see the point of his speech as a parent. But it also speaks to me as someone who is poised at the beginning of something. I have spent time thinking about what I wanted to to with my life when I was younger, what I would like to do now. I have thought about what ideas excite and interest me and I have thought about what paths are within reason for me, both because of time and because of where my talents lay. I haven’t really formed any answers yet and I find it a little distressing to yet again be visiting this topic in my mid 30’s when many people have their whole life path mapped out by their mid 20’s. But at the same time I have a lot of options. If I wanted or needed to I have the time to go back to school now. Or I could just go back into child care. I could also spend more time thinking about this and just spend a year volunteering at TD’s school and getting myself together.
I remember my mom telling me once that when she was in her mid 30’s she got tired of waiting to be a grown up and realized she already was one and it was time to start acting like it. I think about that often, and try to make sure I remember that I am a grown up. Though some days its harder to remember than others.