Reluctant to leave college at 22 years old, begrudgingly, I dragged my feet as I left Austin with a Sociology degree and a Women’s Studies minor. I had no idea what “I wanted to be” and definitely felt overwhelmed by the fact that I was hardly a grown up ready to face the world and deal with health insurance. Subconsciously, I think I knew that there were many lessons left unlearned and I felt a bit lost while armored up in my pretend bravery.
I considered going to law school and worked for a year as a paralegal researching the commitment…pure misery. I had no idea at the time that I would berate myself repeatedly over the next two decades for not immediately pursuing a graduate degree. In hindsight, a graduate degree in Social Work could have been a great fit for me but I never even considered it. I was not strong enough for the likely ridicule I would have received from my well meaning and highly financially motivated dad so this would not be an avenue I would explore.
My undergraduate studies didn’t seem to tangibly prepare me for any career I could define at the time and there were many jokes in my family letting me know it. I studied those subjects because frankly, they just interested me. I loved learning about people and their patterns of behavior and have always been passionate about female empowerment.
Over the next few years, I had a string of jobs to pay the bills in various sales and management positions. Needless to say, I was quite unfulfilled and remember frequently thinking, ” this really doesn’t matter in the bigger picture” but afraid to admit any uncertainty or vulnerability, (Brene Brown hadn’t even written her books yet), I had no clue what that “big picture” was for me and what I was truly interested in doing in the world.
Soooo I decided to get married and start a family. I know that sounds no different from going to college and graduating with an M.R.S. degree but it was not intentional like it sounds. I didn’t set out on a path looking for a husband. He was meant for me in a way that magical things happen that make you believe in God or the universe or whatever your particular term is for a higher power. He was my summer camp best friend’s older brother and we were living in the same city for the first time.
His sister, Carol(yn) and I were best friends living in different cities when we were growing up that reunited each summer at camp. She and I were a pair with that type of bond where everyone knows you’re a package deal – it felt like she was my family from a very young age. Carol’s brother, Scott, never went to our camp and I barely knew him. When I moved to Houston, the chemistry was obvious and couldn’t be denied between us and we became friends. He was meant to be my family just as I had felt with his sister years ago at camp. I knew I had met THE guy that I was head over heals in love with and felt his love for me was limitless, the way every girl dreams that someone will be in love with her one day. That was one thing I finally knew for sure – so the decision was an easy one.
Now I can look back and see how fortunate and probably lucky we were to begin a family from a deep place of love and knowing that we were meant to be family. My family embraced him and loves him today as much as they love me; some may even like him more than me I think. His sister has always been my sister or at least it feels that way. There is a lot of acceptance in our relationship – life is messy and so am I, literally. I am a bit disorganized, terrible with details and collect piles of clutter and crap. He hangs his dirty clothes and takes them to the dry cleaner on hangers – type A neat freak. I am a glass is half full. He is half empty. We are Yin/Yang on almost everything. It works well for us.
I spent most of my 30’s focused on our marriage and raising our children and it definitely felt purposeful and important. In the process, I was an avid reader on any topic that would support my ultimate goal – creating a connected and loving family and giving our kids a healthy foundation. I had my eye on that prize with clarity and consistency and never waffled about the importance of raising really good people that grow up to be loving and able to receive love. I had an inner knowing or belief, (before I was even aware of it on a conscious level), that my role as mother would serve as the nucleus for our kid’s experience during their childhoods. Their relationship with their dad is important and at the risk of receiving hate mail from all the amazing dads I know in the world and there are a lot of you, I still believe that the mama/child bond is like nothing else in the early years of a child’s life. My end game has been for our kids to feel loved, safe, enjoyed and that they really matter in this world. As a result, we enjoy and really like them in addition to the love every parent feels for their children. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when we want to strangle them but they are far fewer than the delicious ones.
Over the years, I have studied so many areas of interest on this path – more books and programs than I could even begin to name on child development, neuroscience, the Conscious Discipline Program, COUNTLESS self help books and now Martha Beck Life Coach Training. It feels as if I have been in the most interesting graduate studies program for more than a decade. When I reflect back on my prior feelings of disappointment in myself for untapped potential or direction after college, they have faded. I now realize that my intended career wasn’t accessible to me years ago when I graduated from college. I needed to experience having a loving marriage and raising a connected family to prepare for my next endeavor. This path of life and parent coaching that was meant for me has involved independent study, self-discovery and a hands on approach, in my field of interest, family.
I have tremendous gratitude for the loving and supportive partner that has joined me on this journey. As our children have grown and the older two reached the teenage years, my journey and passion has truly unfolded for me. I threw my heart and soul into family and now realize that I have achieved exactly what my college courses emphasized… women in leadership positions making a difference and ultimately changing the world. My passion is to create a tribe of “World Change Agent Mamas” – changing the world beginning by creating the family of their dreams. I am ready to take my knowledge and passion to the streets and get started on my next chapter, the birth of my new project ….. Apparent Coaching