(Geek note: If you read this title and answered “I’m Jean Valjean!” or “2-4-6-0-1!”, pat yourself on the head, you little musical geek. I was thinking the same thing when I wrote it.)
Over the weekend, I was digging through my purse and found an ID card. The photo of myself and Cordy was taken just about a year ago. Something looked off in the picture, and I studied it hard, while also glancing in the mirror.
I showed it to Aaron and said, “Look at this picture, and look at me now. This picture is only a year old. I looked great when it was taken. I looked young. But now look at me! I’m so different now, and I look so much older, but it’s only been a year.“
Aaron glanced at me, and said, “You don’t look that much different, although you do look more tired and older around the eyes. That’s probably the difference. You really do too much.“
He’s right. I do look more tired now, and because of that, I look older. I’ve aged 5 years or more in just one year. How did that happen? And how can I reverse it?
I look in the mirror and I sometimes lose myself in it. Like Kristen at Motherhood Uncensored, I think I’ve lost track of who I am. I’ve changed so much over the years that I would find it hard to answer the question, “Who are you?”.
Twelve years ago, I was a teenager entering college, unsure of what I wanted to be. I chose Elementary Education. Why? I don’t know – it looked like an easy program, I liked kids, and teaching sounded cool. I quickly changed my mind, and after changing my major four times, settled on History.
Eight years ago, I was starting graduate school, confident that I was going to become a history professor, with a focus on women and social structure in Tudor Britain, while also acting in renaissance faires on the side. Grad school didn’t work out (mostly the fault of the school), and after a quarter I was moving again and looking for any job I could.
Since that point eight years ago, I’ve done the following: worked in a daycare, designed and maintained a Web site for the library a major university, designed and produced e-learning courses, went back to graduate school for Theatre History, taught at the university level, dropped out of grad school yet again, got married, had a child, worked as a student advisor for another university, started a blog, and went back to school to pursue nursing.
Yeah, you could say I’m a little indecisive.
(Side note: If you asked anyone from my high school, they would never have guessed I’d be where I am. I doubt anyone expected me to marry, and they all thought I’d go into math or science, because I was the nerd who was too damn smart, while totally lacking in social ability.)
Trying to find things I’m passionate about has been difficult. I’ve never really had career goals – I just wanted a job that paid enough so I could do what I wanted to do with my life. Of course, I never exactly specified what it is I want to do with my life. I like writing (although not forced writing – term papers are always such a pain to write), I like babies and children, I like medicine. Nursing has so far held my interest for the past year, as has blogging, and, if it isn’t obvious, I love the parenting gig, too.
But nailing down any specific plan for my life is near impossible. I can’t tell you where I want to be in 5 years, probably because I know there’s a strong chance that whatever I tell you won’t be the reality when we get to that 5 year point.
I know that I must slow down. Relax. Take more time for myself. But how? I’m already 30, I’m starting over in school, and I’m barely into my role as mommy. Plus we’re now officially trying for baby #2, which makes me extremely happy, although a little nervous as to how we will work another child into our schedule. I don’t have time to slow down!
Some good news: Aviva and Devra at Parentopia took pity on me during my last soul-searching post and have offered up some excellent tips and advice. You can check it out on their site. For those of you who did want to participate in their help session, now’s your chance. Write a post about whichever topic you picked, detailing your problem, and then let them know it’s up and they’ll offer their help.