I know it's not New Year's or anything...but who says you can't make a resolution any time of the year?
You're probably thinking I'm a crazy person for blogging at 11:36 on a Saturday night when I could be snuggling in bed with my snoring husband, but I just couldn't contain myself any longer.
There's been this aching, nagging, obnoxious hole lingering in my brain since my junior year of high school, about that time when you have to decide what you're going to do with the rest. of. your. LIFE. While everyone pondered what they were good at, what career would make them the most money, and where the best place to earn such-and-such degree would be, I was so sure of myself. I was sure that I was going to be a Music Education major and teach elementary school choir, Pre-K through 5th grade.
I found the school, I spoke to advisers, I applied and was even accepted.
And then I changed my mind.
My senior year I decided that interior design was more up my alley. Yes, I loved choir and I loved working with kids, but I wasn't positive I wanted to do it for the rest of my life, and most certainly, not as my work. But interior design was exactly what would make me happy. After all, it'd been a ginormous hobby of mine since I was a little girl cutting up Ikea and Pottery Barn catalogs, diagramming my future home...when I was 10...so why not spruce up other people's style-less homes for a very modest living? So I applied, was accepted, moved into my cousin's house near the campus, and attended a semester's worth of very, very, VERY expensive art school courses.
And then I dropped out.
And then I took a semester's worth of very, very, very CHEAP general education courses at the community college right across the street from the art school I was so deeply in love with just months before.
While attending this community college, I decided, "You know what? Becoming a dental assistant would be super quick and would get me into the field right away." But I couldn't afford living out on my own, so I moved back to Illinois to live with my parents and attended community college there.
Unfortunately, my classes from the other schools didn't transfer because "the curriculum didn't match up" so I had to re-take ALL. Of. My. Classes. I was miffed. But I re-took them and enjoyed them twice as much the second time around. I'm sure it was because of the professors. I'd never had anyone challenge me and motivate me as much as they did.
Anywho, I was only there for 2 semesters and only going part-time so that I could also work. Then Josh and I got married, I moved to Virginia, and started my full-time gig as a nanny for the sweetest babies on the planet. And I could not be happier.
Who says you have to follow the "4 year plan" when it comes to college? Who says you have to decide on one major and stick with it, whether you know it's right for you or not? Who says you can't take time off from school "just because" and then come back to it when you've got a clearer vision of your passions?
I say screw them.
I've been graduated from high school since May of 2009, only completed 4 semesters of college, changed my major at least 5 times, and have taken a year off to work, spend time with my husband, and enjoy my life as a non-student for the first time EVER. And I'm loving every second of it.
While my break from the educational norm has a lot of people's heads spinning ("How could she not finish college? She must have no plan for her life. No motivation."), I strongly feel that the time I spent taking miscellaneous classes and now, this time I've spent out of the classroom experiencing the "real world" of adulthood, has really shaped my vision for my life.
Now for the good stuff.
As I've talked about before, I've never known much "work" outside of child care. Since I was 11 years old I've babysat, volunteered in the nursery at church, worked 4 1/2 years at daycares, and worked 5 years as a nanny. I've never known a life outside of teaching children and watching in awe as they grow. I've never experienced more joy than when I'm discovering the world all over again through their eyes.
And that's how I came to the conclusion that I can never do anything else. I've tried other things and nothing brings me more satisfaction. I've thought about other things, attempted other things, hated other things, and failed at other things. Teaching and taking care of children...JUST WORKS for me.
I've realized that I needed all this time to figure that out. Trial and error, right? I've been working my way through college by taking care of kids, instead of GOING to college to strengthen my knowledge of caring for them. And after all of this "rebellion" and fighting with myself, I've given in. I've finally surrendered to my heart, instead of my mind. I'm finally stepping onto the path that I was supposed to be on all along, and I could not be more confident, but I'm glad for the time it took because I learned so much about myself in this process.
My resolution? Do what you love. Do what works for you.
All of this to say, while Josh is going to college, wherever that may be (crossing our fingers for U of I!), I will also be going to college. The plan is to take two 9 month certificate programs, one in Child Development and the other in CDA Prep/Family Life Care. After I complete these programs I'll be qualified to work at a preschool or early childhood development center (anything under the age of 6 is my favorite). And once Josh is finished with college we'll purchase a home, start our family, and I'll be a stay-at-home-mommy. From there, I'll start my own in-home daycare. That way I'll be able to be home with my baby and see all of his or her firsts, while enjoying teaching other kids as well. It seems like a long way off, but I'm sure all of these things will happen in the blink of an eye.
That's my life. That's my plan. Chaos and all. And nothing makes me happier. :)