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.