How Did I Get Here?Have you ever thought, How did I get here? I get asked this question frequently from friends, family, and people who knew me before I arrived at this place in my life. I was visiting with someone I used to work with many moons ago- before we were both married with kids. I just visited her after she had twin girls and I was dropping off her order. She asked, “How did you ever get started in all this?” I told her the quick and dirty version of the story. But later that night, I started thinking about my story. And I wondered:
Where does my story begin?
See Part 1 HERE. So here is Part 2 in my series. So after just one semester of trying my hand at fulfilling my lifelong dream of being a marine biologist, I came home with my tail tucked between my legs to figure out the rest of my life. It took me a year or so to figure out I wanted to teach. In the back of my head it was always the back up plan. After I was done swimming with the dolphins and wanted to settle down to have a family, my plan was to teach. So the long and the short of it- I started into my studies as a teacher. I save money and did my last six weeks of student teaching in New Zealand. It was a life changing experience. I got to do some pretty adventurous things (a helicopter ride, white water rafting, swimming with the dolphins, a cross country train trek, earned my motorbike license in the Cook Islands....) and met the most incredible person and teacher, Lisa. I think of her often and fondly. One day, I will visit her again. (It's in writing so it must be done!)
Soon after graduation I married my high school sweetheart and I found a teaching job not too far from where we lived. I loved the people I worked with. I worked with really great people. The kind of people you make life-long friendships with. A few years later we had our first baby. We did everything by the book. Baby shampoo, lotion, disposable diapers, etc. We did do some unconventional things- we took my daughter (and ourselves) to a chiropractor and we were introduced to essential oils when my daughter contracted hand-foot-mouth disease. My best friend's mom was our daycare provider and she used them in her home and raved about them. I was interested but skeptical. I became a believer when she sent me home with a miserable toddler and some oils. I couldn't believe how quickly she recovered. I was hooked!
While I was pregnant with my second child we bought new nursery furniture. I noticed a small sample bottle of name brand soap lying on its side on a dresser. I wiped up the small drop that leaked from the bottle and the finish came off with it. This sparked a question in my head, "What am I putting on my baby's skin?" Little did I know how much this little question would change my life. (to be continued)
How Did I Get Here?Have you ever thought, How did I get here? I get asked this question frequently from friends, family, and people who knew me before I arrived at this place in my life. I was visiting with someone I used to work with many moons ago- before we were both married with kids. I just visited her after she had twin girls and I was dropping off her order. She asked, "How did you ever get started in all this?" I told her the quick and dirty version of the story. But later that night, I started thinking about my story. And I wondered:
Where does my story begin?
So here is Part I in my series. Once upon a time, I wanted to be a marine biologist. True story. It wasn't just a wish kids have, like 'I wanna be a baseball player' or 'I'm going to grow up to be a doctor' or 'I want to be a teacher'. From the summer before fifth grade until I left for college, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I had it all planned out. It didn't matter how much money I was (or was not) going to make or where I was going to have to live (away from family). What mattered was that I wanted to swim with the dolphins and I needed to save the ocean. I knew what classes I was going to take in high school, the grades I wanted to earn and where I wanted to go to school. I felt lucky and really smart to know what my "calling" was.
I have been a total type A since I can remember; fully planning every detail of every aspect of my life. I love planning. Love it. I love planning out and setting goals and then achieving them. I have always felt very driven.
Everything went according to plan. I did great in high school, played lots of sports, did volunteer work, chaired academic clubs and applied to only three colleges. None of them in my home state of Michigan. This is where, looking back, a tiny portion of myself wishes I would have done things differently. But you can't go back, and even if I could, I wouldn't change anything. Because- and I'll probably say this a lot- I wouldn't be where I am and who I am without those choices.
I was accepted into all three colleges and went on a visit to Texas A&M in Galveston. I loved it. It was small, ocean side, and full of people who wanted to do the same thing as me. Perfect.
So as summer ended and moving out of state loomed it started to feel funny. Being only 18 and excited about being on my own and far away and living my dream....
I started to feel funny. I didn't listen to my gut, chalked it up to being nervous/terrified/excited. How could I want something for eight years and then change my mind? I felt real funny when my dad and I arrived in Galveston. I didn't listen to my gut until I was in the stairwell in my college dorm, looking out of the glass wall at my father driving away that I actually said to myself, "this doesn't feel right".
Lesson number 1: listen to your gut.
But- if I hadn't have made this stop in my journey, I wouldn't have met my suitemate Kristin. We both hated being there and commiserated together. She was from Dallas and would take me home with her. Her family is awesome and we are still great friends after 18 years. I love her dearly. And because of her, I would never take back going to TAMU-Galveston.
So after just one semester in what I now affectionately refer to as "hell", I came home with my tail tucked between my legs to figure out the rest of my life.