Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Having it All

I see and post quotes on Pinterest about following your dreams, doing what makes you happiest and taking chances. For most of my life, I like to say that I've done exactly that. I've had a little bit of both worlds- being a parent and following my career aspirations. I went to graduate school, had a baby and started my journey in doing clinical work. I loved it. I loved hearing about people's stories and eventually watched as they overcame battles they never thought they would. Now, my main role in my current position is a coach and cheerleader and I enjoy it. I can't complain one bit about how my career has transpired to this point.

Love this quote!

For the past year though, I've had a small part of me that is questioning my career. A part that is just small enough to be able to push faaar back into the recesses of my mind. I laughed and said, "That's just a hobby; something you do for fun." A small part that wonders what I REALLY want to be when I grow up. What I'm SUPPOSED to be doing with my life.

This is easy. It makes sense. I have benefits. A 401K. A steady paycheck. I work 8-4 and come home with little stress and get to be present and engaged for my kids. I'm a working mom of two with a sensible career and have seemed to relatively find balance between work, play and family. We lead your typical, average American family life.


I can't help but wonder what else is out there. That all that stuff I mentioned before sounds wonderful and it comes presented to me all wrapped up in a box with pretty gift wrap and a bow on top. I can't help but begin to feel suffocated with being stuck in that box. For the past year, I've felt restless, unsure of where my career was going. And I realize now, it wasn't about my boss or the organization I work for, or even the work that I do, (which I do love), it's me. I can't help but want to break free from that box. I now know what the feeling was- it was me striving for something more. More than working 8-4 and just being content. I don't want to be content anymore. I want to feel excited and challenged. I want to take risks. So, that leads me to question, can I have it all? Can I take risks? Can I still be the mom I want to be- present and engaged- all the while risking everything? The stark reality is that we have bills, a mortgage and a family to support. Am I living in la la land, thinking I can go traipsing after my dreams? Can a woman living in this day and age REALLY HAVE IT ALL? At some point, something has to give; you have to begin to make sacrifices in one area or another.

I know things might look a little different if I didn't have family obligations. Could I, or would I, quit my job and pursue a potential career that quite frankly, I might fall flat on my face at even the attempt? Or go back to school and get a degree in a completely different field? Because from where I stand, that simply scares the daylights out of me. What would it be like to take a chance, on well, me? To throw away 2 1/2 years of education and a state license for a completely different, new path? Or is there a middle ground somewhere?

Just writing this post gives me goose bumps and feelings of uncertainty, doubt and fear. It's like I need someone to reach into the computer screen and give me a reality check slap in the face. "You idiot! You have children, a family! You have a JOB! Your life makes sense!"

But, but, but...

Do I have the courage to shake things up? Do I have the courage to turn my neat, packaged life completely upside down?  I don't know. But what I am sure of is that the small part is slowly getting bigger and it's becoming harder to shove it into a dark corner in the back of my mind.