10 Years Ago

10 Years Ago 1

Alicia asked, "10 years ago, what were your plans and goals for the future?"

In 2001, I was engaged and in my final year of undergraduate school. I graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English one semester later. If you would have asked me to envision my future then, I would have said that I planned to get both my Masters and my PhD - probably in Counseling or Family Studies. I wanted to speak at conferences, to travel the world, to write books, to do research (nerd that I am), and to teach at the university level. Oh, and I wanted to have kids.

It was kind of an afterthought, exactly like that. I knew I wanted to have kids...but I didn't realize that becoming a mother would overshadow everything else. (But not in a bad way). Motherhood didn't steal away my dreams. Nor did it really change them. And yet...it changed everything. I'm the same, but I'm different. I'm better (for sure).

Parenthood is a paradox. Indescribable...but wonderful.

My life is richer now, my dreams are more vivid. It's like I was living in black & white...and then...poof...I landed in a world of color. Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

What were YOUR plans + goals for the future ten years ago?

***Thanks so much for your birthday wishes. (If you still have a question, go back and add yours - I will answer).

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27 comments on “10 Years Ago”

  1. 10 years ago i was getting engaged and only knew I was excited to start down the path of life with Scott. We knew he was starting grad school but we weren't sure yet where. So, my plan was to follow him :)

  2. 10 years ago, I was working at ESPN, wondering if the man of my dreams existed, and debating accepting a the offer of a spot in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Emerson College but hoping my wait list spot at the Johns Hopkings MFA in Creative Writing program would get called up first.

    In the end, I went to neither, and opted to get my MA in Teaching... I honestly always said I would never be a teacher, but some side jobs teaching adult ed creative writing changed my mind - It was so fun and exciting! So... here I am 10 years later, with 7 years of teaching behind me, and I DID meet the man of my dreams and now we have a baby! :)
    Phew - so much for plans! haha

  3. Ten years ago, I was entering my senior year in high school. I would have never thought that I would become a mother either. Certainly not at the young age of 23. Like you, I thought that I would go to college, grad school, and then get married, write books, and teach at a university. (We truly are kindred souls). But here I am about to finish grad school, and a mother, and single. But I'll take this any day because as you said, I am better for sure.

  4. 10 year ago... it's so hard to think about who I was back then even! I was actually just about ready to leave for a semester abroad... I had 2 years of college left after that to get my undergrad degree. I think the world was my oyster!

    I knew I wanted to get married, but had yet to have a serious boyfriend or even be kissed (yes, that's right, I was over 21 before I was ever kissed!) and yet I wanted to get married before my parents did at 25 because I thought that was too old! (I did get married at 25, but had my kids a lot earlier than my parents were able to)

    I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but hadn't yet discovered that I had taken exactly all the wrong classes at my community college to get an education degree. So I would have to attend grad school. But this also actually allowed me to take awesome classes in Spanish, Chemistry, and Christian Ministries that I otherwise wouldn't have.

    And I had no idea how hard and how life changing the coming semester abroad would be! :)

  5. Motherhood is such a paradox! Dreams change with the ebb and flow of life. Some dreams are lost, some dreams remain and some shift. I'm okay with that. Ten years ago I had just gotten married and was thinking about whether or not to have kids! I was also thinking about trying to write - a lifelong dream.

  6. me too! I was a family counselor- always very career minded.... and now I love seeing how those things of college play themselves out in other ways- I love being a "full-time" mom and wouldn't have it any other way but it has been a transition to how I started out. BEAUTIFUL post!

  7. Ten years ago I was just starting college, with the idea that I would be a Mathematics major. I wanted to use that major to become a math tutor, specifically working with homeschoolers. Plus, I had the hope of getting married and having kids, and wanted to have a career path that worked well with being a SAHM.

    And now? I am a SAHM with 3 kids under 4 yrs old, have my degree in Mathematics, and have been tutoring for the past 9 years. :D Sounds like maybe I plan things out a little too much?

    Okay, so my life in the past 10 years hasn't been *completely* the way I thought it would be. I always figured I would marry someone from my church, same denomination, same theological viewpoints. But I ended up marrying a Catholic (I'm Reformed Protestant) who is my best friend. We challenge each other all the time with regards to our Faith, and I love it.

    Life is good.

  8. 10 years ago I was 24 and had just finished grad. school, started my first teaching job and was preparing to get married in June. My life today really looks a lot like I envisioned, except that I'm a SAHM. I always thought I would continue to teach after I had kids, but one look at my son and I knew that wasn't happening! Now that I've had my kids I kind of feel like I'm 20 again, trying to figure out to do with my life once they start school.

    1. I remember feeling the same way pre-baby. I thought I'd go back to work part-time after kids, but...then I had my firstborn...and realized that I didn't want that, after all.

  9. Ten years ago I was in grad school studying to be a librarian. I was living in a house full of friends in Boston and had just taken some time off from my long term boyfriend and was dating up a storm. I had no thoughts about children but did know that I wanted them. Ten years later I have two little girls and married to that boyfriend. I wouldn't change the path that got me from there to here.

  10. I love the Wizard of Oz analogy to motherhood!

    Ten years ago I was just getting ready to graduate summa cum laude with a BBA in Finance. I was dead-set against doing any kind of graduate school work (but I did get my MBA 3 years later). 10 years ago, my now-husband and I had been dating for 3 years but we were not yet engaged. I was getting ready to start my career as a financial analyst at a Fortune 500 company (that "career" lasted 6 months until I figured out that banking was more my style). I knew I was going to be a mother but I knew that it would be better for me to wait until I had some money in the bank.

  11. 10 years ago, I had just graduated high school. I wanted to travel the world, which I did...but most of all, I wanted to get a good education which at the time I could not get because I was living in Nigeria and the University system were too shabby for me. I cried day and night that my dreams would fail me, that I would not become an engineer. I also, wanted to get a PhD which I am still hoping will happen. Motherhood for sure wasnt part of the equation then, but it did change everything. I am glad I was able to experience motherhood at an early age (22/23), it changed me completely....I became a better mother, student, career woman because of it.

    Thanks for asking :)

    1. I would still like to get my PhD as well, but I'll likely only do it if I can find a program that is flexible enough to allow me to keep my family first. I'd love to find a university that offers an online/on-campus hybrid program...so that I can spend most of my time at home.

  12. 10 yrs ago I thought I would continue to live in rural Ohio, focus on my career, and never have children. Now I am in TN, have 2 kids, and am a SAHM. Glad I went with the flow as things came to me and allowed it all to happen. :)

  13. Wow, it's interesting to think back. Ten years ago my husband and I were reconciling our marriage after a very difficult separation, I was deciding to go to grad school to change careers from mechanical engineering to teaching, my husband's sister and niece were living with us, and most of my goals were short-term. Now my marriage is healed and strong, I'm trying to decide on my next career option, I miss that niece terribly, and I'm still primarily focused on short-term goals. The one long-term goal I had back then is still in place, but I'm not sure if I'll get there. I want(ed) to have foster kids by the age of 40 and that's right around the corner! My husband is still very hesitant about fostering and I don't want to push him into it. We met a foster mom and her three foster children this weekend and I could tell that it made him think. I hope he's ready soon!

  14. Interesting...10 years ago I didn't really have a clue what I wanted with my life...I was so lost in every aspect of my life. If you would have told me ten years ago that life would be this sweet, I don't know if I would have believed it!

  15. 10 years ago... I was 21 and finishing my student teaching. I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but even more I wanted to get married and have kids.
    Now that I've done those things, I'm trying to figure out where to go from here. I am thrilled being a mommy - it's truly the best in the world. There are still some things in my life that need fine tuning though, and I'm working on it. That'll probably always be the way, though, won't it?

  16. Ten years ago I was living in Kyrgyzstan and thought I would be a long term missionary. I guess I still am a missionary, but in a very different world. I'm a business owner in Vancouver and love the people I work with every day. Definitely not what I expected, though.

    1. I remember this well. Who would have thought that you would be a renowned chef in Canada now? ;)

      It's strange and amazing how our stories unfold, isn't it?

  17. Hah! 10 years ago I was a sophomore in high school and wanted to become a doctor or possibly a lawyer. I had definite plans for college but didn't know what for yet. I changed my mind on the doctor part after some health science classes later in high school. I got my bachelors in international business and economics. I changed my mind about being a lawyer after a year of law school.

    Motherhood is the best!

    1. What a marketable degree you have! I often wish that I had pursued an MBA instead of going for my M.A. in Counseling. In fact, I might STILL like to get an MBA someday.

      Do you think you'll ever go back to school?

      1. I really enjoyed my business classes while getting my bachelors, but I'm not sure I'd ever do anything directly related to them. If I went back, I'd probably pursue a teaching certification on top of a math degree. But that would probably be pretty far down the road. I have a feeling my want to teach will be satisfied on my current child and future children.

  18. I love how you described motherhood! I'm looking forward to that so much and can't wait for the day it finally arrives. Thank you so much for answering my question!

    P.S. Nerds rock!

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