Life takes some crazy, unexpected turns. I am not sure I know anyone who, at this point in their life, is doing what they thought they would be doing. I had my entire life mapped out. Life seldom pays attention to our plans.
When I was growing up, I was convinced I was going to be a teacher. At the end of each school year, I was the kid dragging home all the leftover dittos and any outdated text books so that I could spend my entire summer playing school. By high school, I thought I would like to be a social studies/history teacher. Toward the end of my senior year of high school, I met a guy. You can probably see where this is going. My young heart and I couldn’t bear the thought of going away to school. How could I possibly leave when I felt I was in “love”?! So I changed my plans and enrolled in the criminal justice program at a local 2 year technical college.
Fast forward a few months to me dropping the unfaithful boyfriend, but being 4 months pregnant. I still went to school, taking the summer off to have my older daughter and then going right back to school in the fall. I graduated with honors with my associate’s degree in criminal justice. Though I had no idea what I would do with it. I worked odd jobs here and there in retail and eventually worked as a loss prevention specialist. I left there to go back to school to get my bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. I felt aimless with my career and education at this point, and I knew I needed to at least have a 4 year degree to have a better idea of my life plans.
While in college for the second time, I interned at a local prison and felt I had found my second calling – I thought being a unit manager at the prison would be a great fit for me and what I was interested in accomplishing. Then…you guessed it…another curve ball in life. I had pulmonary embolisms 2 months before graduation. Turns out a genetic condition making me more likely to develop blood clots + birth control = lots of time in the hospital, being placed on blood thinners and being told it was in my best interest to not work in the prison system. If something ever got out of hand, I would be very vulnerable health-wise and my doctor recommended I work a job less dangerous.
I worked as a case manager in the mental health field following graduation. Life threw another curve ball, but this time it was a welcome one. 🙂 I met my amazing boyfriend Donny while working there – and a lot of crazy chances and circumstances led to that. Fate at work for sure. After becoming pregnant a couple of years after meeting Donny, I left the mental health field. I took time off with my younger daughter before entering the mental health field again. Due to a crazy schedule, I then worked as an office assistant.
After losing that job (they were downsizing and eliminated my part time position), I was again an at-home mom. I saw that my local public library was hiring for a children’s librarian, and I was not qualified for that position at all. I also saw that they were hiring for a temporary/seasonal library clerk, and I was definitely qualified for that so I applied. I got the job and it felt like I was right where I was supposed to be!
After working at the library for nearly one year (and being promoted to permanent part time with more hours), the children’s librarian position was coming open again in August of this year. The director, assistant director, other employees and even members of the board strongly suggested I apply for the position. They renamed the position to fit my qualifications: Teen & Children’s Program Specialist. I applied for and obtained this job and have been working in this position since 9/1/15.
Being a Teen & Children’s Program Specialist at the library is something I never would have dreamed of doing. But each day I go to work, I feel like I am where I should be. It just clicks. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life. The dad of one of my best friends through junior high and high school was the librarian and my friends and I hung out at the library every.single.day. I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to look at the library as a place where I could have a career that I love. Though I think everything happened in the way it was meant to happen.
It’s never too late to be who you might have been. This quote is so very true in my life. I feel like I am now the person I might have been. My path was bumpy and filled with a lot of struggle. But it led me to being Keira’s mother…Natalie’s mother…Donny’s girlfriend. Nothing is more precious to me than those three. I have a job that is fulfilling. I do get to be a ‘teacher’ at my job – I read to kids in story time, I make crafts and plan programs.
Even if it seems impossible, don’t give up on what you want. Your soul is forever seeking out what you want deep in your heart of hearts. It’s never too late.
I’d love to know…does your life path look like mine? Full of crazy detours you had no intention of taking, but you ended up right where you belonged? Do you have some of those ‘might have beens’ floating around in your head? Are you where you thought you would be in life?