There comes a time (or at least a dozen times, more like it) when you have to recognize you're headed down the wrong path and gently but firmly turn yourself around to face the other way. This has happened to me quite a few times in my life, I'm not afraid to admit, as I am certain I'm nowhere near alone.
There was the time I realized I was really unhappy at the first college I chose to go to and (thanks to my Mom) transferred in the middle of my sophomore year. Then a couple of years later, I found myself yet again, incredibly unhappy in school and decided (again, thanks to my Mom) to take a semester off. Right before the last semester of my senior year, as I was about to start an intensive one-on-one class with my acting teacher in order to prepare for a future as an actress, I came to the realization that BACKSTAGE was were I felt most at home, and took my first Stage Management class instead. Right after I (finally-phew!) finished college, I found myself in a mismatched relationship and ended it 3 days before we were supposed to move in together, even though doing so caused a lot of pain and cost me two friendships. Shortly after that, Nathan and I were trying to make the "weekend, long distance" relationship work, when I decided to find my two cats a nice home and move to New York City..a place I had always loathed and feared because I knew the relationship was something special. Then there was the time Nathan was on tour with Jesus Christ Superstar and I decided to quit my job and go on the road with him...not working, just living out of our car and seeing the country. While on tour, finding myself completely bored, I elbowed my way into a few of the theatres in some of the random cities we were in and worked the show as a dresser, rediscovering my love for working wardrobe. Upon our return to the city, instead of finding another desk job, I decided to focus my energy into finding work as a stage manager or a dresser and started pounding the pavement. I got lucky when someone announced their vacation at The Phantom of the Opera RIGHT before I walked in their door to give them my resume and I was working for them that very night. I worked there as a sub for a month, and had a hard time admitting I didn't like the vibe. After all, I'd MADE IT TO BROADWAY. What the HELL was I complaining about? Something was telling me there was something better out there though, and so I kept pounding that pavement..this time, with a Broadway credit on my resume. That's when The Lion King called. I subbed for a couple of weeks and was instantly hooked. I subbed there and nowhere else until one of the dressers decided to leave their permanent job and I was next in line to take over. There I stayed, more than happily for about 4 more years....then, Nathan and I had Zoe and life in the city became much more complicated and exhausting so Nathan decided to go back to school and I encouraged and supported him the entire way. He got accepted to CU and we took possibly the biggest leap of faith we had ever taken together (including marriage) and moved to Boulder. THEN, after being positive we were only going to have one child, it suddenly became clear to me that our little family needed one more addition before it was complete. It didn't take long to convince Nathan and about a month later, I was pregnant with Owen.
Now I find myself the mother of two beautiful, loving, smart, silly, fun children. I have my dream job and feel so grateful every day for being lucky enough to have had my dream realized. I not only have these two kids, but I'm able to stay at home with them while they are young, since I have a work-from-home job through the university....this is what I've always wanted!!!
That being said, this "dream job" of mine is REALLY REALLY HARD. I go through ups and downs, just like everyone else but sometimes those downs can get pretty low when you don't get many chances to "recharge". Lately I've been sort of treading water down there, searching for something to pull me back up and out. With a mixture of melancholy (a result of missing my family after our fantastic vacation together) and pain (wisdom tooth extraction) I've been dreaming my days away with a permanent frown on my face. Venting and moping to family and friends helped a bit, but there came a moment when I realized that the rest is up to me. All the support I receive from the people I care about is wasted if I can't ultimately take responsibility for my own happiness. So, finding myself going down that path where all I could see was a future in resentment and wallowing I once again, have decided to turn myself right around and go the other way....I'm reminding myself that I have the power to live a happy life I just have to be brave, resolute and creative. I found myself in a new yoga class the other day (one of the tools I've chosen to aid me in moving in this new direction) and while holding a particularly challenging pose, the teacher told us to just smile through it. I'm taking this on as my mantra for this particular challenge: "Smile Through It".