I Was a Career Woman Until Suddenly I Wasn't, And I'm Completely Content With That

I Was a Career Woman Until Suddenly I Wasn't, And I'm Completely Content With That

I thought I knew what I wanted but I was nowhere near close.

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I'll be the first one to tell you I never imagined any of this- I never thought I would be in my late twenties, rocking two babies on the side porch of our home in the country. I never thought I would lie on my back on a blanket by a trellis of muscadine vines while my daughter played on the handmade wooden swing behind me and my son nibbled on fallen grapes.

You see, I was supposed to be the career girl.

I graduated top of my college class in only three years. I took every AP course there was available to me in high school. I stayed up late on Friday nights not because I was out partying, but because I desperately wanted to make an A+ on my Monday morning exams. Since I discovered my ability to write at an early age, I had done nothing but dream of becoming a famous author. I filled blue notebook after blue notebook with short stories, creating enough to fill up an entire cardboard box by the time I finished elementary school.

After college, I took a job as a technical writer back in my hometown. It was fulfilling and paid well enough, but it wasn't my dream job. That concept was always in the back of my mind: the "dream job." I would come home from work utterly exhausted and suffering from carpal tunnel but immediately after dinner, I would be pounding the keyboard again, working away tirelessly at the next great American novel. I was convinced that if I could just create characters that were interesting enough, charming enough and special enough, I could create a best-seller. Then, that best-seller would be turned into a cinematic treasure. Then, I would win a Pulitzer and an Oscar. It was the dream, I tell you.

I never got too far into that novel, though. Our daughter was born when I was 28 and our son came 23 months later. Suddenly, that mental urge I had to win the rat race was replaced with a maternal urge to nest and nurture my children as much as possible. I decided to stay home with them as soon as I delivered my firstborn in the hospital. I called my bosses and through tears, told them I had decided to step down. My projects, the ones I had planned on completing as soon as my maternity leave was up, would need to be given to someone else. I would be back in the office in a few weeks to pack up my desk, the one I had painted cherry red early one morning before work.

At first, I ran myself ragged: I tried to stay up and write after the kids went to sleep, I asked my parents, siblings, spouse and every friend I had to help me watch them so I could sneak away to a coffee shop a few times a week and knock out a few more pages.

The catch? I missed them like crazy when I was away.

I called constantly to check in, found myself browsing Pinterest for baby ideas more than I was actually working, and glanced at my phone every ten seconds to see if anyone had called. I even researched the legalities of installing a camera in our home to monitor my brood remotely when I was away, like we had done when we boarded our pup. It was all becoming too much and I was becoming a bit of a crazy person.

In short, I was dually consumed. I wanted to be the best writer I could possibly be, but I also wanted to be the best mother. I wasn't quite 30 and I was feeling the strain of a lifetime of commitments. I woke up one morning, however, with clarity.

At least for the time being, these are my characters. This is my story. No, the tale will never leave the confines of my heart and no one will ever read about us at the local bookstore. We won't go down in history for flying a kite in the backfield at two in the afternoon, while the pecan tree blows in the breeze and clothes dry on the line. No one will settle in with a cup of coffee and delve into the story about how we went to the library every Thursday, the same barbecue restaurant for chicken and dumplings every Tuesday, and the playground almost every evening in the summer of 2017.

But as the writer and the teller of these moments, I can't help but be so richly rewarded by them.

I may have given up my career temporarily, but the fact is that the keyboard will always be there, waiting for when I'm ready to pick it back up again. I have no doubt that the day will come when I am, indeed, ready. For now, though? I'm content to move from narrator to observer for the time being. I'll observe how the morning sunlight streams in through his hair when he's just stirring in his crib. I'll notice how her dimples show up when she's laughing with her head thrown back, hanging onto the monkey bars.

As my favorite song goes: "My only excuse for not doing enough? I was too busy being in love."

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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A Prayer For The Christians, After Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation

I lift up our Nation during a time when we need God the most.

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Dear God, we are a divided nation as ever. In recent events, the devil has been ever so present, dividing your children apart.

We, your children, your followers, your disciples, trust in you, however, today is a time where we are lost within ourselves. It has been shown that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ support a man that falls so far beneath you that it is unnerving.

A man who has lied. A man accused of mistreating a woman. A man who has turned most of your children against a woman who only tried to serve the greater good.

We know that you are a just God. However, in times like these, our faith falters.

We can't understand how a man like Brett Kavanaugh is to now hold the title of the Supreme Court Justice.

A man who was accused of sexually assaulting a young woman in his earlier years. A man who showed his true colors during the interview process when questioned about the accusations that were made against him. Lord, this is a man who, after he had won, did not even apologize to Dr. Ford for all she had endured.

Oh, Dear Lord, you see as to why it weighs so heavily on our hearts? A man who falls so far away from you now holds the most powerful title in the judicial branch in our government.

Lord, are we to be like the Israelites who had to wander through the desert because they allowed corrupt power to overtake them? Are we to be like your fallen followers who allowed Satan to slither his way into their lives? Will we be living our own book of Lamentations soon enough?

How much more will we have to endure for our brothers and sisters to see that the devil is alive and well within our government?

Oh, God, I pray that you wrap your comforting arms around the survivors of sexual harassment and assault. I pray that you remind them that your love is unending and the outcome of this Supreme Court decision will not waver that.

I pray you give them strength and bravery to face those who believe that the word of a woman is less than meaningless.

I pray that you surround the women who mourned this loss as I did with people who believe them and love them as you love us.

Lord, I pray that your presence in Capitol Hill becomes ever so evident because, without you, we are nothing.

I lift up Brett Kavanaugh. I pray that you open up his heart and allow him to see a Christ-like life to live and serve — a life you allowed your own son to live.

I pray for his forgiveness because like we all are, he is a sinner. I pray, Lord, that you make yourself known to him.

Lastly, God, I pray for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This is a trying time for any believer. I pray they find truth in you and you alone.

As it says in the book of Psalms, "Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!"

In Your Name, I Pray, Amen.

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