Digging In The Dirt

When I was six, I wanted to be either a belly dancer or a go-go dancer. For Christmas that year, I wanted and received white go-go boots. For obvious reasons, this career choice didn’t pan out.

When I was eight, I decided I wanted to be an archaeologist or a paleontologist. I really liked to dig in the dirt. I looked everywhere for fossils and bones. I dug underneath the barn and in the woods. I collected jack rocks, arrowheads, and rocks while the other girls my age played with dolls. My discovery of the arrowheads sparked the desire to search my grandparents property for more artifacts. (Their land had once been occupied by the Monacan Indians.) I often scoured the creek banks. I did uncover stone utility implements and stone bowls. While I was captivated with my treasures, I really wanted to go to Egypt to study pyramids and mummy tombs or some other foreign place to search for dinosaur bones. I anticipated the arrival of National Geographic each month. I read them and reread them with tremendous fascination. I held onto many copies of interest until I was well past my teenage years.

As a teenager, my mother sat me down and told me that I had to get serious about a career path. That I needed to make a choice. That I could either be a secretary or a hairdresser. What the heck happened to the other fifty million freakin’ occupations? I was a bright student, graduated number ten in my class. It didn’t look like college was going to be an option due to finances. I definitely didn’t want to be a secretary, so I picked the cosmetology route. My aunt was a hairdresser, and I thought she was really cool.

I was a hairdresser for many years. I was no longer writing and was not yet quilting, so this was a perfect creative and social outlet for me. I absolutely loved it. And I was quite good at it. I had established a large clientele and was in a management position at a distinguished salon. The job required me to work nights and Saturdays which took important family time away from me. I wanted to be able to attend school and sport functions for my children, so I gave up my career.

I later became a dental office manager. This was I position I loved as well. I enjoyed the patient interaction. I learned a lot about oral health and even took an x-ray certification course.

Past the flicker of career aspirations was a much stronger yearning. Full-time motherhood was calling me. I up and quit the dental field after ten years. Of all the things I have done, motherhood has been the most rewarding. From the core of my soul, motherhood was what I truly wanted most in life. To the best of my ability and to the comfort of my soul, I did it!

I have now opened a daycare. I get to play everyday. I still get to dig in the dirt. I can dance all funny (And my dancing is funny because I have no rhythm!) and sing silly songs (My singing is worse than my dancing!). And regardless, the little angels love me. I have a great life.

If I decided to give that up, I’d probably do something equally fun like work in a fabric shop. The problem would be my spending my paychecks to increase my already overabundant fabric stash.

Other than not obtaining a college education, I have no regrets about the career choices I have made. Each one was the correct decision at pivotal times in my life. Each change eventually led to something better. And I met many wonderful and interesting people along the way.

12 thoughts on “Digging In The Dirt

  1. do you know i used to want to be an archeologist/paleontologist, too? rock and bones, baby! so glad you’ve found an outlet for your writing and you’re right . . . you have a great life!

  2. Pingback: … in a Bottle » Blog Archive » Recap of 10th Living Out Loud project: When I grow up

  3. I love how many careers you’ve had. I sometimes worry that I have flitted around too much – and I use that word “flitted,” which completely takes away from my accomplishments. One of the goals in life is to be flexible, open ourselves up to new paths, and try not to have too many regrets. Sounds like you are doing a great job.

    • I was really surprised to see you read this one. It is a really old post. Did it just pop up on my page? I just changed my theme and don’t don’t if things are bouncing around or not!

  4. I had white go-go boots when I was 6 too! They were fabulous. I think that working with kids is one of the best things a person can do – and playing in the dirt keeps you young!

    • Oh, Gretchen, thank you. It definitely wasn’t planned, just kind of happened. Did this page pop up or did something direct you to it. I only ask because it is an old entry, and I just changed my theme and didn’t know if things are out of whack on here!

  5. I just wrote a post on how you can be different things at different times in your life, and you have proved it with your different careers that met different needs. Although I did go to college right out of high school, I didn’t really see a career for myself and dropped out, restarted a year later, dropped again. I didn’t get a degree till I was 39. I do regret opportunities I missed, but I also had some great opportunities I would have missed out on had I set out to have a professional career. Life’s a river that twists and turns!

  6. I think a well-rounded person tries on a lot of different hats in their lifetime. I don’t think there is one career tat suits someone to a tee. I think there are many things we can do. if we are lucky we can discover a few of those in our lives. I like you have found motherhood to be the crowning glory of career choices..although i do love my dental practice as you know. But there are so many other things i would like to try. I would like to be either a psychologist or interior designer. Alas, I don’t think either will happen for me…but at least I can sort of do a little psych in my practice and as far as decorating…well my home is one big experiment.

    You did not need to go to college to become a writer…we all know this by your amazing words and poetry.

  7. I always wanted to play in the dirt too. I have been begging hubby to take me to Utah and Nevada for some digs.

    It is so great that you have had the oppurtunity to have jobs that you really liked and had the option to be a stay at home mom.

  8. All those kids are so fortunate to have such a creative caregiver for 8+ hours a day! To this day I have cravings to play in the dirt too. It’s called “gardening” now!

  9. Funny, I’ve been mulling around a blog post about motherhood all morning – I’m with you – being a mother has been the hardest job, but also the most rewarding. I may not earn cash from it, but I get the biggest emotional paycheck of my life. 🙂

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