When I was a teenager (and even early in my time at Michigan State) I had this vision of what I wanted out of life. Or rather, what direction I wanted my life to take.
It went, specifically, in this order:
- Graduate from college.
- Get a job.
- Work for a while.
- Get married.
- Work for a while.
- Have a family.
I wanted to establish myself in my career -- at that time I was headed on the track to teach agriculture/life sciences at the High School level -- before I got married and started my family. With going through the teacher certification program at Michigan State it meant I'd teach somewhere in Michigan. Close to home? Perhaps. Certainly within a couple hour drive of family. It would completely depend on where I could find a job.
When I went away to Michigan State I wasn't interested in sorority life. I knew I'd have to work; I knew I'd have to study and I knew I wanted to do a study abroad somewhere.
My trip to Nepal turned out to be so much more than a study abroad. It opened my eyes to a vastly different way of life and a vastly different mentality. My meticulously dreamt-out plans were unraveling at the very seams and I was learning to revel in the unexpected. My life went completely off the path I had hoped it take.
I got married first. Meandered my way across the country with my husband, following a desire to find a job and a way of life that matched our personalities. After a total of 3 universities I graduated with my degrees in fields that had little to do with teaching, albeit still agriculture/life sciences. I went to work. I worked some more. Trying to start a family was a challenge I never expected; a challenge I'd never wish upon anyone.
I never expected to end up in Idaho. I never expected to only be 6 years out of college and make the decision to not go back to work in my field for a while. It all works for us, though. We feel like all of the decisions we've made to get us where we are today have been the right decisions for us.
There are aspects that make me sad. It's hard being so far from family. It's hard being removed from family events, birthday parties, Sunday dinners, holiday festivities. It's hard knowing our families miss out on so much of our lives and so much of the girls growing up.
Through it all, even the sadness, I've never regretted the choices I made. I know that not everyone has agreed with my/our choices, nor has liked them. But they were chances I had to take.