Before having kids, I knew what I was going to do with my life. I worked full time and attended school full time (yes, I was crazy, and yes, it was a TON of work), working first on my bachelor's degree and then on my master's. I finished my bachelor's (BS in Healthcare Management) in 2007, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0. I finished my master's (Masters of Business in Healthcare Administration) in 2009, graduating with honors with a 3.75. I was on track to be a high level manager in healthcare and I worked really, really hard to develop the skill sets I needed. I worked for an awesome clinic and they were willing to train me on new aspects of management I hadn't done before, so I gained a ton of skills from things they were willing to let me take and run with.
Pregnancy didn't change that despite HG. I loved my job, I loved what I did, and I was good at it. Then I had my first baby and while I won't go into details here, it was a very traumatic birth that culminated in an emergency c-section. I don't know what the ultimate cause was, but for the first time in a long time I didn't think I could balance everything. I worked until my daughter was a year old and when my husband landed his first attorney position after graduating from law school, I resigned from my employer. I kept up a relationship with them (and still do, to this day) and continued to work for them as they needed, doing projects and even filling in when my boss went on maternity leave, but I was very focused on creating a healthy environment for kids to grow up in. I had just been thinking about going back to work when I unexpectedly became pregnant with my son.
2 1/2 years after having my son I almost feel like I'm waking up. I was never totally happy with what I did - happy with my kids, yes, happy with my family, yes. I can't say I regret the time I gave them and I think it benefited them greatly; you can't regret the lives you didn't leave or it will paralyze you. I have memories, and gave them memories, that are irreplaceable. But other than running, I realized I haven't done anything for me since I had kids. I mean, I lost weight and got healthier. But me, not just my body. I have always been ambitious but it's like I forgot who I was for a few years. I like achieving things. I like finishing things and doing a good job. None of that really happens as a stay at home parent and to be honest, I have not felt fulfilled as a person in a long time. Running filled the achievement gap for a while but I have missed using my intelligence and solving issues that affect more than just my little microcosm. My family loves me, but no one notices if I keep the house up well - they only notice it if I don't.
I'm ready to be me again. I'm ready to impact that world more directly. I'm ready for a bigger worldview. I'm ready to do more. And though I'm extremely nervous, I'm ready to do what I need to do to make that happen. Starting this fall, I'm going back to school - this time, to work on my doctorate.
I'm ready to take this on.