Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Making Mama Moment: When I Grow Up... What (& Who) I Always Thought I'd Be

Since I don't have any of my food posts ready to go yet, I decided to share a little of my latest self-reflection.  Food for thought, if you will.  I've been thinking a lot about how I've gotten to where I am now, including places I never expected to be (like this blog).

When I was in grade school, I swore up and down that someday, I would be a writer.  I loved to read, journal, and write silly stories.  My fourth grade teacher used to give me picture books and ask me to write the stories to them.  Later, I used poetry as an outlet for my writing.  I always loved telling stories, and by the looks of this blog, I still do.  Ironically, now I tell a lot of my stories through pictures. Funny how things change, but stay the same.

Middle school me would have told you I wanted to be a lawyer, mostly because I loved to argue, read, and well, be right.  Though I still possess those traits, I later learned that reading law is boring excruciating and lawyers don't just sit around and argue their point until one gives up and says, "yup, you're right, you win."  (Let's be honest, smartphones settle most of those types of arguments these days anyway.)  After a day of sitting on a jury last January, I can definitely say that I have no desire to be a lawyer.

By high school, I was starting to identify my true strengths, especially in the areas of math and science.  Hence the next career on my list - accounting.  Being an accountant seemed like a good enough career choice.  All of the accountants I knew were smart, logically minded people who worked the typical 8am-4pm M-F schedule (jealous!).  But somewhere along the line, I had a chemistry/physics teacher who urged me to look into pharmacy.  In her words (as remembered about a decade later and paraphrased) were "It's a lot of memorization and chemistry, but you'll be fine.  It's a great career for women because you can always go part-time someday while raising a family."  It's funny looking back how even then, when I used to say, "Oh, I'll probably have one, maybe two kids..." that mattered to me.  I wanted to be home with them like my mom was for us.  I knew I wouldn't stay home full time, but the thought of having more time with them seemed to appeal to me, even if it was down a ways on my pro/con list, it was always a pro.  So that settled it, by age 17, I decided - I'm going to be a pharmacist.

Now, obviously I had no idea how many different areas of pharmacy existed, or what the next 10 years would hold for me.  But, I imagined myself managing a pharmacy, working like crazy, wearing pant suits and white lab coats, and carringing a brief case... because that's what important people do.  I assumed there would be a family in there somewhere, but it wasn't the center of my world then.  Funny how much our priorities can change in a decade.  Looking back, I would love to tell myself what was coming.  Not just in my professional life, but things like:

-How hard pharmacy school would be (aka, how perfectly happy I'd be getting B's)
-How absolutely perfect Butler University would suit me

-How lucky I would be to find the love of my life after only a semester
-How proud I would be of my softball career there (even if I gave it up after a couple years to focus on school and my marriage)

-How I wouldn't even meet my BFF until I was 20
-How we would have the best group of friends- even if it took them years before they stopped threatening to tie me up so they could have Michael (don't worry, it was all in love... and there was Arby's involved)

-How much I would love to cook after 2 years of dorm food, and how this would later change my definition of self (I definitely didn't define myself as domestic at age 17)
-How it would feel to see PharmD after my name for the first time

-How much I would love being pregnant
-How spectacular it would feel to hold my little Annalyn for the first time

-How I would settle on a new title that would mean more to me than any before - Mama
-How hard it would be to juggle work, marriage, motherhood, and life

I can't imagine changing anything, yet envision for a minute how much doubt, worry, sadness, and heartbreak could be prevented if we could know how it would turn out?   If I could have known that every breakup was just part of a bigger plan to get me to Michael.  That every negative pregnancy test was just God's way of saying, "sorry, but I'm still working on her up here."   But then again, knowing would take away the surprise, the excitement, the shear joy that comes with waiting and working towards these goals.  As Shawna often reminds me, we wouldn't recognize the really good times without the really bad ones.

That being said, I still can't help but wonder how I will change in the next decade of life.  What will 37 year old me have to say?  Will I look back at me now and smile, thinking, "oh, you have no idea!"  Honestly, I kind of hope so.  I hope my life continues to change along with me as my family grows and my profession evolves.  I hope maturity brings patience and understanding for the things I can't control, and motivation and courage to change what I can control.   But for now, I'm 27, about to celebrate 7 years of marriage to a loving husband, mother of one beautiful baby girl, community pharmacist, and self-proclaimed food blogger (even if I blog about my baby as much as my food).  I'm not everywhere and everything I want to be yet, but I can live with that.  Because at least I don't have to read law books every day... (Sorry, Josh, and my other lawyer friends!)

Happy Hump Day!



  1. Love this post. It will be a great one for Annalyn to read one day.

    We had similar aspirations... At some point in my life I have also said lawyer, accountant, and maybe not writer but something in the field of childrens/YA literature. When I met Brian I wanted to be a "biotechnologist" (which he pretty much ended up doing in a roundabout way) but changed my mind my senior year of high school.

  2. Thank you :) I think it's so funny to look back at all the things we always thought we'd be. I think Chloe has the best list so far... hers range from "I want to work at Panda Express" to "paint hair like Mommy" to "be a sculptor"
    and several others. LOL