At a recent Middle School Job Fair, I posed the question to the students, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They blinked and stared. So I broke the ice with, “It’s OK, I don’t know what I want to be either”. Their big eyes widened as they pulsed from my face to the table I stood before covered with Marketing materials and magazines I designed showcasing my career of Graphic Designer at said fair.
My youngest just graduated preschool and is headed to the Big K this July. So, I have been agonizing over that age old question, what do I want to be when I grow up? Who can relate?
I love my job and I love the career I chose many moons ago. And I have spent the last two years building my network back up after taking time away to raise my boys. These last two years have been relentless with following leads, cultivating relationships and doing low cost or even free work to re-prove my worth. I’m not ready to give that up. But, my goals as a (almost) 37-year old mom are quite different than they were when I chose this path in college. Re-careering is more common than I realized.
I said I would never go back to school. I had no desire to go back. Nope.
So, I went back to school.
Yup, that just happened.
I am 5 weeks into a 9 week course for my Personal Trainer Certification. What was I thinking? I was answering that question. I was reevaluating my priorities and my desires for those precious hours I will be gaining with both boys happily engaged in their daily education. With a love of fitness and a love of marketing, I am learning who I am right now. I am not just one definition. I am not just one title. I can have more than one passion. Well, because I do!
Being in school now isn’t quite the same as it was then. At times I am not sure what I was thinking and that light certainly isn’t anywhere near the end of this tunnel. My preschooler still isn’t actually in K yet and I still have those marketing and publishing gigs. My kids need tending to, our stomachs need filled, our races need trained for and I need to at some point check in with the state of my house and the ratio of clean to dirty underwear.
I needed to get busy. I set up my calendar and communicated my study schedule to the entire family. I take my books on the road to read and study during carpool, waiting at pick up and pool side during Summer Swim Team. I was honest and upfront with my friends of my lessened social time and kissed Netflix goodbye. I dug deep into my memory bank to pull out all the study tricks that worked all those years ago…my desk is a pile of post-it notes covered in mnemonic devices. Remember those? Yup, I use them.
I know that if I want to make something happen, it will take time, organization and patience. I transformed my body and my lifestyle. This here is research. My clients will need to juggle it all just like me. If I tell them to do it, then I have to too. And, well, I’m a mom, adjusting to change is our middle name!
Re-careering in our 30’s or 40’s? Heck yeah. I told those Middle School students they can be anything they want to be. And, well, I feel lucky to want to be more than one thing.
But no one said it would be easy. Life isn’t easy. If I want this, I need to work for it. I am a Spartan racer after all. And this is just one obstacle.