I was just combing through my Facebook page, and found my 'Notes' section. Most are relatively humorous questionnaires, but I found this one that I had written on December 31, 2009. It is hard to believe that it was almost 3 1/2 years ago. I thought I'd post it here, because it seems like it was my first real blog...Enjoy!
When I was a child, I figured out how old I would be when it turned the year 2000. I would have just turned 24 years old. I would be married and have kids and I would never have fun anymore.
When the new millenium arrived, I indeed had just turned 24. I had just finished PT school with my Master's Degree. Unfortunately, there were no PT jobs to be found. I was living with my parents, working for my mother in her office and shuttling my grandmother to doctor's apppointments, as she had just been in a car accident and diagnosed with cancer. I was studying for my boards as well. There was no man in sight, let alone a husband. Although I was ready to move on from the college lifestyle, I was sad at having left my "independent" life and my dear friends. I was without a plan and without a direction.
Fast forward a decade. For those who can do math, I am now 34. My life is virtually unrecognizable from a decade age. I have been blessed in infinite ways, and had a lot of dumb luck too. While home after leaving school, I reconnected with a childhood friend. When the poor job market for physical therapy cost her her job, she followed her sister to Ohio, and I followed my friend. I immediately met a man who intrigued me and apparently I intrigued him as well. We were married less than 18 months after meeting.
I began working with severely disabled children, first in schools, then in a care facility. I got my first job by showing up for a second interview that was not scheduled (apparently, I mixed up what county I was going to and no-showed for someone else's interview). I loved the job, but was very unsure of myself. I put on a false bravado and "fake it 'til you make it" was my motto. Unfortunately the job was in Cincinnati and my true love was in Columbus, so that job only lasted for one school year.
After Patrick and I were married, we lived a carefree life. We traveled a little, but not enough. We honeymooned in Paris, went to South Dakota, Florida and took weekend trips to Boston, Cleveland and Chicago. Patrick finished his degree and we found ourselves expecting our first child. Our wonderful downtown townhouse was not suitable for a baby, so we decided to move east. Although the plan was to end up in the Boston area, we decided to stay in New York for a "little while." We bought our first home together and set about refurbishing and getting ready for baby. I was again working in a school for severely disabled children and was sure that I could leave my baby at day care every morning.
Jacob Philip was born on February 21, 2004 after a very long and tenuous labor and delivery. The next day, Patrick was hired by Tokoyo Electron and found out he would be working in Arizona for the next few months. It was a hard start, and I knew that I could not leave Jake in daycare. I left that job and again had no plan. The very next day, I received a call from a local hospital who wanted me to work evenings. Although I never wanted to work in outpatient ("I am not treating 40 year-olds with low back pain!"), the hours fit the lifestyle, so off I went.
I went back to school and received my doctorate as I was mothering an infant and working part-time. We soon realized that our house would not be big enough if we wanted to continue expanding our family and we set about on a massive renovation process. It was a very difficult year that necessitated us moving out of our house and a lot of heartbreak, stress, tears and yelling. I still don't know if I can say that the end result was worth it, but we do love our house and are trying to focus on the positives of the situation.
In the midst of the renovation process, we found ourselves about to become parents again. On August 12, 2007, Sophia Dorothy entered our family. Upon holding her and Jake, I had a sense that our family was complete. I continued working in the outpatient clinic and began working with kids again on the side. It was very hectic and I was stressed all the time.
As Jake entered Kindegarten, I felt that I needed to manage my time better so that I could be a better mother and wife. I returned to the schools so that I could be on the same schedule as my son. I made the decision to send my daughter to a babysitter's for short periods of time, and this time I was ok with it.
My life is about structure and routine. I work because I love what I do. I feel that I make a difference in people's lives, and that is important to me. I still dance because it makes me happy. I have a beautiful home that is often messy, but its where my children play and grow. My husband does not say a lot, but he is my backbone and we support each other. There are times when I yearn for more or wish for a different lifestyle, but a hug and kiss from my children snaps me back to reality and I am happy where I am. I have old friends and new friends and friends who I have found again. There have been many tears in the last decade, but the peals of giggles from my little ones wipes them away. There is some amount of heartbreak and worry, especially for my son, that will forever weigh my heart down. Yet, somehow, the added weight helps me to stand taller.
The decade did not start out how I planned. I cannot say that it ended how I planned, either, because I have stopped having daydreams about how things should be. What I can say is that I have been blessed beyond belief. I can only wish that others feel the sense of peace and contentment and pure bliss that I feel when I am with my family and look at the wonderful life Patrick and I have created together. That, and I wish for a mini-van.
(5/13/13: I got the mini-van almost 2 years ago, just incase anyone was wondering. I realize that it makes me super un-cool, but I can't pass up how functional it is, and I'm all for anything that makes my life easier. But sometimes, I pretend that it's a Porsche Cayenne.)