Saturday, January 19, 2008

When I grow up

So back in December when I was working on Operation Man Cave for Hank's surprise Christmas present, I stumbled upon a few boxes of my own sentimental items. Namely this letter that I wrote to myself back in fourth grade. You see, I was at a slumber party for then friend Laurie and her mom had us write down what we thought we'd do when we graduated high school. Amazingly, she kept all of our letters and sent them to us upon graduation. I had since moved from Valparaiso, Indiana to Pittsburgh and didn't really keep in touch with many of my friends from childhood, so it was a great surprise to see the letter. Even more surprising were its contents! Click photo for all the details!

Me? In a band? I'm not sure if I meant rock band or some type of marching band. Being a pretty obvious geek tells me marching band, but I didn't have any musical talent at the time nor do I remember lusting after any instrument. I also didn't really know the world of pop music too much aside from my friend's Madonna tapes. We used to listen to Madonna while sorting wheat kernels for her 4H project. Hey, we lived in farm country Indiana, what else was I supposed to do?! I can't imagine that I was saying I wanted to be like Madonna either. Regardless, I love that I gave myself a practical goal if the music thing didn't work out...I wanted to go to college to learn to be a secretary! Wow, life paved a different path for me in alcohol research, but there were moments I acted as an administrative assistant (ahem, secretary is sooooooooo 1985).

I've always been the type of person that has been a little averse to change. I like familiar people, places, routine, and structure. I like plans, the longer term, the better. This is probably a function of being shy until I get to know people. I like people who know me at the job. I was a loyal employee. It worked for me. So when I left my job in research to stay home with my daughter, never in a million years did I think that this would be opening the door to another career outside the home. Sure I've been doing some consulting and voice over recordings here and there, but not something all consuming. I have always been the one to shudder thinking about starting something new at age 31. I didn't think I'd be the type who had the energy to start over.

It turns out that as I prepared to care for my new baby, I delved deep in the art of breastfeeding. I had been interested in the topic as a health care researcher and as a student in epidemiology. I had done my research, I read ad nauseam, I had a friend who was a La Leche League leader. My plan was solid. Yet here came this baby who had a mind of her own and things did not go according to The Plan. It was not the romanticized reality that had played out in my head for 9 months. Let's face it. I had problems. About 24 hours after we were home from the hospital, things unfolded that were not supposed to happen to The Prepared! After getting over my embarrassment that I needed help, an awesome lactation consultant named Judy Gutowski entered my life. Judy was my guide to success. Judy saw me and my daughter more than family or friends the first four months! In fact, Judy saw us so much that we were asked to be in the Breastfeeding Center's brochure! I was inspired. I knew in my gut this was what I wanted to do. I haven't been able to kick the feeling that this is the next path.

So, I've done my homework and know what I need to do. It's actually going to be a long journey of education and work, but one I'm confident I can pursue while raising my baby(ies?). I think it will be great to have another career waiting for me as they go off to school and leave me for their best friends. Because seriously, how much in love was I with my friends in that letter above?

I'm just guessing that this path will probably be a little more fulfilling than that of a rock star. We shall see!


Beth Sprague said...

OMG - how cute are you, you dreamer! (And congrats on the blog!! I found it on Anna's...) But you can't claim the whole liking to be prepared / plan / structure thing on being shy - I was never shy and am the exact same way!
I think you are going to do GREAT in your new career. Things happen for a reason (like you NOT being in a band.... ha ha) so have faith and we'll be cheering you on!!

Melissa & Jon said...

Maybe we should start a band? We could practice while the kids play ;-)