A couple of years ago, I had a revelation. I knew what I wanted with my life for the first time ever – to be a mom and to own my own business. This is a pattern for me – I’ll feel completely lost and then suddenly one day THE answer reveals itself to me. When I figure out the dream, I usually take off running and never look back. I knew which schools I wanted to go to and, despite the cost, I went the high school and college I chose. I knew the man I wanted to marry and I was confident it would happen someday (and it did!). I wanted to travel around the world, we saved and eventually visited 13 countries in 11 months. It wasn’t until last year, around this time, that I realized that as much as I truly wanted the dream I wrote about, I had to make a choice. For once, that dream wasn’t a singular thing.
Laurel: bringing joy and happiness since 2015
I made a choice. And she’s the best choice I’ve ever made. We’ve ever made. Back in my early 20s when my parents were getting a divorce, I briefly went through a period where I didn’t know whether or not I wanted kids. It was reactionary and eventually faded. Of course I wanted kids. I knew it in my gut. Meeting Shawn just sealed the deal – creating a life with him was what I felt meant to do. Despite all the drama (and trauma) we endured in the early days of Laurel’s life – the purpose she’s brought to my life, the renewed energy and happiness, is worth every tear I shed and night I worried. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and it’s only the beginning.
This wasn’t what I envisioned for our first picture together, but I’m still happy to have her
What does this mean for my career goals? It’s hard to say at this point. I’m in a career right now that gives me some flexibility. As I wrote last year when I revealed my pregnancy, I know I could have done both – gone back to school and had a baby. I’m sure plenty of people have done it and I know I have the drive to do it, too. My goals have changed as I’ve changed. As the wise Ron Swanson would say, “Don’t half ass two things, whole ass one thing.”
I have my dream – I’m a mom now. It’s the best job in the world. I have a paying job that makes me money to give her the things she needs in life. As hard as it is for me to put my career dreams on hold, I want to be fully present for my daughter as she grows into her own person. I made a choice and I’m not looking back. If all I ever do in life is be a good mom, it will have been a life well lived.