Choosing the Right Path:
As I charge ahead into Mommy-hood, I can’t help imagining all the ways my life is about to change. The thought of growing a tiny human who will greet me with loving arms and fully depend on me to teach him everything is magically overwhelming. I’ve always known that I would be a great mom if or when that opportunity came, but there was a time in my life when I wasn’t sure I wanted that.
I don’t know what it is about me that allows me to find peace and contentment from a variety of lifestyles. I’m just as content running around staying busy as I am spending three days in pajamas. I used to get very excited at the prospect of working in science and continuing my academics through a doctoral degree, while I just as easily could have tossed it all for a creative career.
Maybe being a woman predisposes us to having many faces to our personality. @the_luxicon
Women do it all. We juggle several hats and do it with grace. From the time I was a child, I would dream of my life turning out a million different ways and being equally excited about each one. This willingness to suspend judgement and allow myself happiness with a number of different outcomes made it incredibly difficult to choose a path and stick to it.
The Many Lives I Almost Chose:
My first serious career choice came to me at the age of six. I was obsessed with dinosaurs. For years I thought I could be a paleontologist. I could wear a khaki ensemble with a handkerchief around my neck every day and dig in the dirt discovering new species all the time. Finding dinosaur bones as big as myself would be a regular occurrence. I held on to this dream for at least four years with the first and only seed of doubt placed by my younger gay friend from up the street (we didn’t know it then, but he was the best girlfriend for combing hair and playing dress up). One day he looked at me with consternation and said, “Gurl, I would worry about you being in the hot sun all day… And all that dirt! Do you really want to do this?” At ten years old, I wasn’t sure what to do with this information, but the world as I knew it was expanding, and maybe my options as well.
With the advent of reality tv, including shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent and America’s Next Top Model during my impressionable high school years, I was sure I could be an actress. I took acting lessons because no amount of singing lessons could help my voice. I could move to LA, live in a shoebox with a roommate who was also a starving artist. We’d be best friends, the super annoying kind that my adult self instantly wants to punch in the face, and we’d go to casting calls all day together before heading to work at one of Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant. Sounds about right for 16 year-old life goals. Ok, I wasn’t 16 when Vanderpump Rules aired on television, but I did have The Real World, after which to model my future apartment life.
Then reality hit and it was time to choose something a bit more practical.
Writing has always come easily. So, when I couldn’t rely on DJ’ing weddings and my Mystery Dinner Theatre gig and I didn’t have the guts to move to LA, journalism seemed like a more reliable career. J-school fit naturally into my life. Inspired by my freshman history class, I changed my major to Journalism with a minor in Political Science. I could move to DC and be a powerful pundit to whom people would not only listen, but rely upon for accurate information. I would give it to the people straight and be the voice for which they had waited. I would pull late nights at the office, trash full of coffee cups, and yell things like, “REWRITE!” I’d have no children, but my staff would think of me as a surrogate mother with a fowl mouth and a mind for the best advice. Every night would end with a pour of bourbon and on occasion the station manager and I would have a cigar together and argue politics, each getting in pointedly timed jabs, but I mine get the best of him.
I took a few design classes as electives and thought of changing to interior design or interior architectural engineering. My teachers all said I had a unique eye. One professor shared with me that he carried my work around his house and even found himself staring at it in the bathroom trying to decide if he liked it or not. He decided on an A after his bathroom reverie. To this day, I’m not sure how to take that. I could have been the next big thing to hit the design world. People would ask for my opinion and nothing would be cool unless I said it was. I could make even the weirdest of quarks suddenly become trends the way socks with sandals is a thing. Mostly my trends would be clumsy accidents like showing up to the office with my sweater on inside out and backwards with a sock stuck to it and everyone would follow suit. I’d walk the streets of Paris drinking Champs and smoking French cigarettes, taking inspiration, but no one would dare call me cliché.
Suddenly, I found myself with loads of medical bills as a sophomore in college. What if I was a staff writer/waitress forever? And now that I had a bummed shoulder and couldn’t draw, what kind of option would design be? I didn’t foresee guaranteed medical insurance in my future with either option.
Meh, guess I could be a nurse. It’s an easy four semester program and I’d have insurance. Working three days a week would allow me to pursue other interests. I liked life guarding in high school and I’ve always had an aptitude for biological sciences. So that’s how that happened. I wish I had a better story for my patients, but it was just a practical decision made at a critical time in my life. I didn’t have any wild dreams about my future as a nurse, but I did finish a degree in Communications even though I switched to nursing. I didn’t have all the credits for Journalism, but I did for Communications.
My interest in science became insatiable. Nursing school was the most exposure I had to medicine yet. I can remember at age 5 coming home from dance lessons on Tuesdays and watching Rescue 911 until it was time to go to bed. Medicine had always fascinated me. Though it’s difficult to admit, I didn’t think of myself as capable of completing a doctorate until others took note of my strengths. Armed with the encouragement of some influential doctors I knew from working in the hospital as a nursing tech, I decided that after nursing school, I would continue through medical school. Medical school wouldn’t be easy, by any stretch, but I was going into it having aced nursing school and with a few years of ICU training under my belt. I would be the weird older student other students hated for being a nurse and for being smart, but only for the first three tests, until they realized they needed to be in my study group. I would also be 35 years old when I finished my training.
At 24 years old, I met my, now, husband. We were together through almost my entire pre-med years. He was there when I would cry over Chemistry tests only to find that I had the second highest grade in the class and aced it with the curve. When we moved for Hub’s fellowship, I took a year off school and reacquainted myself with my sewing machine. I realized how much I had missed creating things during those lost pre-med years. I also recognized that the test anxiety and drive to successfully learn everything about every topic had made me an anxious person. I got in touch with a part of myself that I had lost.
I used to just “make” clothes from store-bought patterns. I didn’t design them. After moving to Scottsdale and growing more comfortably into my adult self, I began to evaluate my sense of style. I decided to create the clothes I wanted to wear. I, yet again, enrolled in courses for pattern design and clothing construction.
One day, after a few semesters of fashion design, I was thumbing through a fashion magazine, thinking about my future and I found an article on bloggers. I thought, “I could write about fashion. I’m passionate about the clothes I make.” And The Luxicon was born. I still do nursing, but now I have the most stylish scrubs.
I don’t know what the future holds, but in this future, I see myself, my actual self. I see my husband by my side cheering me along every step of the way (like he does). I see our future babies (not so distant future for the first one). Best of all, I feel proud to be a part of this reality. A reality I never saw coming. Now I get to obsess over what type of mom I’ll be: cool mom, rules mom, all natural food mom, twinkies and fend for yourself mom? I think I’ll shoot for balance, but time will tell.
Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.
What is the craziest move you ever considered? Comment Below.