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Challenge: WHO Are You?

Climbing Toward Your Calling

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I had no idea what I was going to be when I grew up.

Every diary entry and school aptitude test pointed in a different direction. Teacher, veterinarian, writer, flight attendant, accountant, zookeeper, nurse ... there wasn't a clear winner that convinced my heart I was meant to pursue that occupation.

My parents joked I had a "major of the month" in college. While they chuckled every time it came up, they were probably panicking inside! I actually only changed majors twice, but I was constantly wondering what other choices I had, and if I was making the wrong decision.

I knew I wanted to do something different. I wanted to be successful, to feel good and secure in whatever I was doing, and I wanted to feel like it was my calling.

And, on top of all that, I wanted to be a mommy. I knew I wanted lots of babies, so wherever my career took me, there had to be room for a houseful of little ones.

I graduated with a degree in speech pathology and audiology. The field interested me immensely, but I went in another direction (surprise!) after graduation. I took a job at an amazing preschool and contemplated going back to school for nursing while I was teaching. Again, I was pulled in so many directions and just didn't know what to do.

For some reason, I didn't feel the tug on my heart to apply for nursing school, but I decided to leave the preschool to teach high school language arts.

I loved the high school curriculum and I loved the students. I didn't love the endless paperwork, the unsupportive administration, the fights that cleared my desk, and the parents whose only way to "deal with" their children was by beating them. While I so wanted to be Michelle Pfeiffer in "Dangerous Minds," I knew this was not where I was supposed to be.

Owning my own business had always been a dream floating around in my mind, so I took this "what's next?" moment and did it. I opened a sweet maternity boutique and named it Miracles. It was an amazing experience, and while the stress of running a brick-and-mortar store was sometimes overwhelming, it was a beautiful time in our lives. We welcomed two babies during that time, and they came to work with me until they were old enough for preschool. While pregnant with baby #3, we decided to sell the business. Eleven days after he was born, the sale was final. Such a bittersweet moment...

But, then a new pull, a new interest. I had started writing for a friend's parenting magazine while I had my shop. I'd always loved writing and now, after three babies, I had plenty of parenting topics to write about! I continued writing and eventually became the copy editor of the magazine. At this point it became clear I should have been a journalism major, but my 18-year-old college self had no idea I'd love editing and writing so much.

We added one more baby to our family and nine months later I became the managing editor at the magazine. I thought I'd be so happy in this incredible career. And I was for several years.

But, then, more decisions, more pulls in a different direction, more questions from my heart.

While on a long bed rest during my surrogacy, I decided I couldn't return to the long hours and high stress of my job. It was taking me away (physically and mentally) from my boys. And being a mama was my most important job. The one job I'd never wished I could change.

And that's what put me here. I'm writing, editing, blogging, and mommying. And I'm pretty sure I've hit my peak. I've found that "something" that feels good in my heart, and makes me feel like all the climbing and striving and working to find my calling drove me to this place.

So, if you're still climbing, keep going.

If you're still questioning what's next, go find out.

If you're still making your way to your peak, keep moving forward.

I've learned it's OK to change your mind, your major, your direction.

Just. keep. going. You'll find your way.

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