Friday, June 29, 2012

Of Cheerleaders and Velociraptors

When I used to teach, I say that like it's eons ago and not just two weeks ago, I used the book and the video "The Last Lecture" each year in class.  We would start off the school year and I would make my students talk about their hopes and their dreams.  I would question them about what they wanted to be when they were younger.  As is to be expected from sophomores in high school, who were trying to remember what they wanted to be when they were 5 years old, I got answers such as a baseball player, a doctor, a garbage man and, of course, the occasional velociraptor.  As the year would continue on we'd talk about how their hopes and dreams change and evolve and become something far more tangible than what they were at 5 years old.  And we also discuss how every single choice they make each and every day impacts how close they get to or how far away they get from those hopes and dreams.

I sit here now, having walked away from a job and a paycheck that, at one point, I loved, and I have no idea where I might be going.  I don't know what I want to be when I grow up and, as I told my students who informed that they really didn't have any hopes or dreams, that makes me so very sad.

As a child, I wanted silly things.  I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, now I just want the Cowboys to go down in defeat on a regular basis.  I wanted to be a lady that worked in a bar, now I look back at the 7 years of working in a liquor store and can pretty much say I'm good on working in the liquor industry.  As I grew older, my aspirations changed. I found myself drawn to law and politics and my desire to work in the political arena took off.  I looked for opportunities to spend time at events where women in politics were involved.  My mother and my aunt even took me to Washington D.C. for a women in politics event that proved to be interesting but overwhelming.  The trip itself was an experience like no other and the very best way to describe it would be to say that I saw A LOT of Dupont Circle that weekend.

When high school ended I entered college with the idea that I was going to into working with young people as a youth minister of sorts.  I majored, briefly, in psychology and I did all that I could to avoid the field of education at all costs.  My major soon changed to sociology and I grabbed a psych and Theology minor along with a concentration in secondary education.  I had no direction or idea where I was going but I would have my degree and that would at least be something.  There was no overwhelming desire or dream to chase after anything extraordinary, I was going wherever the road led me and as long as I had some type of job I'd be ok.

I dabbled in retail, again, briefly and was then offered a position in marketing.  I enjoyed it until I didn't anymore and then it was time to pursue what I thought was my dream- counseling.  Until it wasn't and I realized that maybe sitting in an office all day long taking in people's problems wasn't what I really wanted.  During that time I began teaching and deep down inside I really felt like I had found this career that was going to nurture me and hold me and keep me safe at night.  It maybe wasn't going to pay me all that well and maybe, just maybe, I was working for an organization that was going to end up screwing me in the end but I really thought I had found my calling.  My hopes and dreams.

I had avoided education like the plague but it seemed like it was the one place I belonged.

Until I didn't.

I walked away from education for a variety of reasons.  There was the low pay and the overwhelming workload at a job that I really wasn't happy in anymore.  There were the working conditions that were less than favorable or comfortable.  There was the difference in what I wanted to teach and what I was allowed to teach.  And there was the fact that I was not giving 110% of myself as I had in the past.  And that's how I knew it was time to go.

I walked away because I wanted to be able to say to my children one day, especially my daughters, that I always gave all that I could and did my very best at everything. I walked away because I never wanted to look my kids in their occasionally sweet and angelic faces and think that I had overlooked them and their needs for a job that treated me like garbage and that I was unhappy at.  I walked away because I didn't want to have any regrets about the paths I chose and where I ended up in the end of everything.  I walked away because it was time and it was what was right.

But now I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

I want to be the heroine like Nora Ephron said.  I want to show my children, my girls most importantly, that women can do anything they set their minds to and that taking risks- while unbelievably scary- is an extraordinary thing.  I want to show them that living a life in service to others while taking care of yourself if completely possible and healthy.  I want be something that I love. I want to look in the mirror each day as I ready myself for the day and be able to say that I really do love my work and I believe I'm making a difference and I want my kids to know that, too.

So, I sit here and I think about all of the things that lay ahead of me and what is possible and what is not and I recognize that I am lost in a lot of ways but at the same time I am just finding what is mine.  I have achieved so many hopes and dreams and I've discounted them as nothing more than mundane- and they are FAR from mundane.  I have a beautifully healthy and loving family. I am surrounded by people who are supportive and kind and funny and giving.  I am awake each day trying to actually live the life that I have been blessed with.  And I am holding on to the hope that somewhere within living those hopes and dreams I will figure it out. I will discover the next step and see what it is that I want to be when I grow up because as it is, I don't think the Cowboys want some 32 year old mother of 4 Giants fan on their cheerleading squad.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Miracle of Summer

So, the hottest day of Summer so far has come and gone and I decided- with seeing it approaching- that I would spend it on the top level of a double decker bus cruising the streets of New York City with tons of women in bathing suits!

Isn't that how you'd spend the hottest day of Summer? (so far).

In all seriousness, though, I spent last Thursday with Miraclesuit and Momtrends on a bus in NYC for a blogging event to let everyone know all about the fabulousness that are Miraclesuits.  And let me tell you, they are pretty fabulous!!

Fifty women bloggers were invited to spend the day in the city learning about and getting people excited for Miraclesuits and Summer.  And judging by what could be seen from my sunny seat on the top deck, people were VERY excited!

About 30 of the women were chosen to model the swimsuits and they did so perfectly!  I don't care what size you are, getting into a bathing suit and riding around NYC for everyone to see you in said bathing suit is beyond brave!  The "models" for the day did a great job getting people on the bus and on the street super excited for a summer spent in Miraclesuits.

In case you don't know, Miraclesuits are the bathing suits that are guaranteed to make you look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds and while I was not (thankfully) chosen to wear a suit, the women who were wearing them easily attested to the company's claim!  The suits, as they put it, "Sucked them in at all the right places while still feeling comfortable and looking great."  These suits were NOT your grandma's bathing suit, nor were they the typical "Mom" suit.

As part of the event, the bloggers on the bus- both in the suits and out- were given Miraclesuits.  I haven't received mine yet but I am super excited to get it and try it on.  As a mom who, less than a year ago, gave birth to two babies at once, a Miraclesuit is a great asset.  I'm not a big fan of bathing suits because, like a lot of women, I'm not completely happy with my post-babies body, but knowing that Miraclesuits promise 10lbs light and they deliver is exciting to me!

Hopefully, in a week or two I'll have my own experiences to share with you of my own Miraclesuit and it's wonderful sucking in and slimming down.  For now, though, I encourage you to check out their website and take a look at the photos from the hot, but fun day, in the sun of NYC!!

*I was compensated for this post with a Miraclesuit but my thoughts and opinions are all my own!*

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Blog Takes Off 10 pounds

One of the great things about never really having established myself as anything other than a blogger who talks about being a mom or a teacher or a wife or anything, actually, is that I can write about just anything I want!

Today I'm heading into NYC for a blogger event coupling with and Miraclesuit . Tomorrow I'll be telling you all about my day and my bus trip tour with the bathing suit that makes you look 10lbs lighter in 10 seconds!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


There is so much going on right now.  It's really unreal how much is changing and how nerve wracking that can be and how exciting.

I quit my job.  Which I'm pretty sure I put out there awhile ago.  But now it's really done.  I'll still get paid until early August but then that's it.  I will be unemployed.

And that is scary.  But exciting.

There was so much surrounding my leaving my job and I don't feel like much of it was positive.  The last few weeks were torturous there and I really could not wait for it all to end.  And when the last day finally came I found myself angrily leaving my job because, once again, they had made it seem like I was incompetent and under skilled in every which way.

I didn't leave my job because I couldn't handle having 4 kids and a full time job.

I didn't leave my job because I didn't like very many of the people there.

I didn't leave my job because I was burnt out.

I left my job because it was time for me to move forward past an organization that was constantly holding me back and asking me to compromise who I am and what I thought.  For a not so awesome paycheck.

But it was still a paycheck.  And I'm still going to miss my students, and a few of my co-workers.

So, now I move forward.

As I try to figure out where we go from here I look for signs in everything. Sometimes too much.  I'm a big believer in signs.

And I do believe I'm finding them.

I was having a particularly difficult evening last week because of work and I happened to turn on "The Daily Show" and Colin Powell was on.  Now, I could take or leave him really but I decided to watch the interview and it was all about his new book.  He focused on being positive and optimistic.  And recognizing the good in order to gain success.

And in that moment I decided that's what I needed to do.  And, really, it's made a difference.

The past week or so, I've found things to be happening in a good way- slowly- but positively.  And I can only hope they continue.

As I readied myself for my last few days I did begin to doubt my decision.  Maybe walking away from my paycheck, as crappy as it was, wasn't the best idea with 4 kids and bills.  Maybe I just needed to suck it up and deal.  Stop being a baby and be an adult.

And then my husband asked me when my official last day was.

"Monday." I said.

"So, after Monday that means we'll get to see you smile and laugh again, right?"

And in that moment I realized that I wasn't doing what I should be doing.  And walking away from my job was the right decision.  And taking the risk of going after something more and something better was far more important for me and my family than taking in a crappy paycheck and being miserable.

So, now I look for the signs- whether they are on TV, in person, in my dreams or driving down the street- and I move forward with the risk and the hope that something new and better is right over the horizon.

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