I have vivid memories from the period of my life when I was supposed to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up.
It was time to go to college and live independently. For many, this is very exciting. But, for me, it was quite the contrary. There was suddenly all of this pressure to pick a path on which I would spend the next four years which was supposed to prepare me for an even greater lifetime commitment. It never felt right or comfortable for me.
I often joked that I majored in soccer. I guess at that point in time it was the obvious choice because I was good at it and it filled my bucket. I was as obsessed with the sport as Bill Gates was with computers. The only difference was my career in sports ended when most people’s careers are about to begin.
The fact was, I had no idea who I was. How was I supposed to know what I was going to do with the rest of my life?
I spent the next 20 years working alongside my dad getting the best education in business even better than money could buy. The first decade of my tenure was full of excitement and I was eager to learn and take home a paycheck. When I was young (and sans kids) my heart and mind were in it for the most part, but I would be lying if I said I felt whole and completely at peace with my place in the world and in my career.
I went on to have a couple of kids, (two at once!) which was a high point in my life and, to be honest, up until that point, motherhood might have been the only thing I ever really knew I wanted for sure. But life is funny and has a tendency to get in the way.
Even the happiest of times can be overshadowed when the shit hits the fan.
It was at this time that my parents ended their 37-year marriage and, shortly thereafter, my mom started to display some behaviors that would end up being an FTD diagnosis. (We lost our mom in April of this year.)
The next several years were arduous and painful and they undoubtedly left me with a new perspective on life. Suddenly, the most cliche overused phrase in the book, “life is too short” became my mantra. The more I thought and reflected on my life up to this point, the more I realized some pretty hefty personal changes need to be made in order for me to feel whole, fulfilled and at peace.
From the moment my kids took their first breath, I shared my newfound joy of becoming a mom with a sense of angst and sadness that never seemed far from my mind and often weighed heavy on my heart.
At least Ryan got me for a few years before the kids came, but even we struggled when I was forced to balance being a working mom of twins with caring for my own mom all while managing my own emotions along the way. I was forever changed the day I said goodbye to my mom.
At the time of my mom’s passing The Sister Project was nearing its 5th birthday. At that point, we had rebranded, honed our voice and our niche and like anything you stick with, the blog started to grow in a way that had me believing we could carve out a space of our own online and make a living while we are at it. I thought, “everyone else is, why can’t I?”
Suddenly, I found myself fantasizing about what my life might look like if I decided to walk away from the comfort and stability of a career in which I had already invested 20 years of my life. Not to mention the strings attached because my boss also happened to be my dad. It sounds scary to some, I know, but not nearly as scary as it would have been had I stayed. Every day I prolonged my tenure, I grew more angry, resentful and hopeless.
Yeah, that wasn’t going to work for me.
It is official. I am walking away from comfort, stability and the only career I have ever known.
I plan to make up for lost time with my twins, give them my full and undivided attention as they grow into young people and while I get a second chance at this whole working mom thing, Lauren and I are going to pursue this creative entrepreneurship in a way we never have before.
Until now, The Sister Project has only been a creative outlet and a passion project for Lauren and me. I am in awe of what we have been able to accomplish with this platform thus far considering the great time restraints and challenges we had been faced with. I know that you stuck by us because we were consistent. I’ll let you in on a little secret, there were a lot of late nights and early mornings because the one thing we never had was time. That’s what passion looks like.
This blog entry feels like one big giant cliche, but I really do believe everything happens for a reason. Had I not traveled the road that I did with my own career and the path that I took, I would have never felt the great void that I did and in turn, never heard the whisper and felt the universe’s pull to do something with my sister.
I am not afraid of the future because now I am in control of it. The last year has been a year with the passing of our mom, but life is a cycle and I am okay with that.
I just want to be certain I get to live my life on my terms and pursue the thing that truly feeds my soul. We get one shot. Might as well make it count.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my husband, Ryan, in all of this. I have made some blunders in my day, but choosing him to be my ride or die is not one of them. I am overflowing with appreciation and love for this guy. He fights for us and loves me and, at the end of the day, he supports me because he believes in me and truly wants me to be happy.
What is the lesson in all of this? Well, it is never too late. If you are unhappy or in a spot, gather some strength and begin to make a change. If you feel hopeless or would do anything to change the trajectory of your own life, just know you can do it. You can start by saying it out loud. That is the first step in progress.
Chip away each day and never give up. You can do and be whatever you want. It is YOUR LIFE.