Thank you for reading my first official blog entry, “Who’s That Girl”? For years I’ve nurtured the thought of starting my own blog and putting down on paper some of the random ponderings that creep into my thoughts on the daily. On multiple occasions, I’ve voiced to my husband that I think it could be fun and something I might actually be kind of good at. I’ve always enjoyed writing. It never occurred to me growing up that it could be a career, or at the very least a hobby. I’ve always been pretty oblivious to the things I’m naturally good at or what would suit me well to pursue. Instead, I’ve spent years believing that I’m either not that good at anything, or simply that I could never think of anything that truly interests me enough to make a living at.
After years of aimless post-high school academics, and thousands in tuition dollars, I was no closer to figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. I wound up with an A.A.S. and a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology. I know, it’s okay to laugh. Having a sense of humor about it somehow makes it easier to cope with the fact that I earned a completely useless degree. Why was this so hard for me? It seemed so easy for other people. Pick a career, go to school, get a job, and live happily ever after. It wasn’t a hard concept to grasp.
Who’s That Girl? – Trying my Hand at Something New
The few years after college were spent bouncing from one meaningless job to another. After a long over-do breakup, I found myself back in my hometown with a chance for a fresh start. I began walking dogs and pet sitting for extra cash. Soon after, I found a job at a local animal hospital down the street. I loved it! Not only did I get to play with animals all day, but it gave me a sense of purpose and made me feel good knowing I was making a difference. It was at this time that I met my husband on Plenty Of Fish. Within 3 months our relationship blossomed and he moved to Washington state to be with me. Things were looking up.
My entire life people have told me I have a “way” with animals. I’ve always felt a connection to them, and feel a sense of peace when I’m around them. Why hadn’t I thought of this earlier? Could my innate love for animals turn into something more than just gawking at passing dogs on the street, or winning over cats at company Christmas parties?
At 28, I decided to go back to school and pursue a career in Veterinary Technology. What’s a few thousand more in tuition if it means finding my true calling? Finally, something I could see myself actually doing! I finished school, got my license and quickly worked my way up. Without sounding too arrogant, I was pretty damn good at my job. My husband found a great job too. We moved around for a few years and settled for a while in California.
Veterinary technicians are nurses, radiographers, dental hygienists, anesthetists, pharmacy techs, surgery assistants and so much more. Even with all we do, we only make a few dollars more than a McDonald’s worker, and thousands less than human nurses who wear considerably fewer hats. This, however, is a topic for an entirely different blog post. Being a vet tech made me happy. It might have made me happy forever had it not been for industry politics, low wages, underappreciation, and lack of decent benefits.
Who’s That Girl? – Back to the Old Drawing Board
I know you’re probably thinking, “that’s something you probably should have researched”. But, it wasn’t all about the money at first. I truly loved what I did. It’s a shame that it had all been for naught in the end. After over a decade in the field, I had pretty much exceeded the wage cap and started to burn out, as many technicians do over time. The job is very physical and extremely emotionally draining. Women occupy most of the positions. The day to day cattiness (no pun intended) and backbiting began getting under my skin. The early morning pep talks and positive thinking videos on the commute to work became part of my daily routine. I thought to myself, “there has got to be more than this! Perhaps there is no such thing as a true calling?”
“I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” –Michael Scott-The Office
It was around this time I really began to reflect on my life. My husband and I had been together for almost 8 years and had a really long honeymoon phase. We traveled, adventured, lived in different places, and had a lot of fun together. As fun as it was, we couldn’t help thinking there was something missing from our lives. I personally felt like I had nothing to show for years of working and soul searching. It was time to consider having a family.
Who’s That Girl? – Taking a Giant Leap
After letting the idea sink in for a bit, we decided to move back to Washington to be closer to my family, and buy a house where it was a bit more affordable. My husband was in a great place in his career and I felt the need for a change of pace. Shortly after moving into our new place (literally 3 weeks), I found myself pregnant with our first. Whether I had fully come to terms or not, I was doing this, WE were doing this.
Who’s That Girl? – Adulting
As we settled into our new house and life, I found a job at another veterinary hospital. After a few months though, I fell into the same unhappy routine. Being pregnant was really starting to wear on me. My husband and I agreed that I would stay at home and I would try my hand at “momming” full-time. I welcomed the early leave with open arms. I was going to be a new mom and I wanted to nest as new moms do.
In the months to come, I painted the nursery and prepared our house for our little bundle. Thankfully, my husband has a great job and has been able to provide for us on his income alone. It’s not like I was ever backstroking through stacks of gold with my income anyway. A few short months later we welcomed our sweet boy Jameson Leo into the world. Life as we knew it would never be the same.
Who’s That Girl? – And Then There Were Three
Everybody always says there’s no love like a mother’s love. Three years ago I probably would have rolled my eyes in contempt. The three-years-ago-me could never have expected to love anything more than my dog. I really thought I loved my dog! What the same people failed to say is that the love for my baby would be so strong it would physically hurt just imagining him hurting. They never said I would lose sleep at night worrying about the unavoidable cuts and scrapes, rejections and heartbreaks the future would inevitably bring him.
Perhaps stronger than the love I feel would be the stinging pain that comes when his eyes well up with tears, or when my sick mind musters up some horrible scenario where we lose him. I never would have expected to feel the overwhelming joy deep in my heart when he utters something as simple as “momma I’m happy”.
It’s these feelings that let me know I’ve finally done something right. THIS is the true calling I’ve always been searching for. It came in the form of a life that my three-years-ago-mind could have never conjured up. Everything else, past failures and uncertainties seem completely insignificant now. It’s the kind of love that even after having a traumatic birth experience, I can sweep it all under the rug and do it again.
Who’s That Girl? – And Then There Were Four
So here I am, two babies later and almost three years being a stay-at-home mom. We welcomed our second baby Charlee Grace 6 months ago, completing our family. My days are spent entertaining kids, cleaning, preparing meals, driving to and from preschool, committees, washing bottles, doctor visits, laundry, and pumping milk. As monotonous as this may seem, I love it. I often still find myself searching for something more though. That brings us full circle back to this blogging thing.
I’m not a bona fide blogger. So, I may be overstepping by thinking anyone might be interested in reading what I have to say. My intentions here are simply to share my experiences as a mom in hopes that we might find some common ground. After all, life is more interesting when we can relate to each other. I’m optimistic this platform will provide me the creative outlet I desire, and you the reader, some sort of amusement. Please feel free to leave a comment about “Who’s That Girl?” or suggest a future topic. I’ll do my best to entertain! If you enjoyed what you read and would like to be notified when I post something new, please subscribe here!
Related to “Who’s That Girl?”
Why I Wish I Could Go Back To Life Before Kids, Knowing What I Know Now
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