Ten years ago, I was months away from graduating high school and so excited to head off to college. I had my life planned out–go to college to be a high school choir director, get married after college and start a family shortly after that. Sounds perfect, right?
Fast forward to 2011 and here I am–working in higher education, finished with my Master’s degree, not married and the happiest Super Aunt ever. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better life ten years out of high school, yet it is so drastically different than I imagined. So what happened?
To start with, 9th grade boys helped me decide I didn’t have what it took to be a high school choir director and I fell in love with college so much that I decided I never wanted to leave. After a long-term relationship in college, I made a conscious decision after graduating from Gustavus that I wanted to take some time for me. I moved to the far-off land of Morris, where I lived for three years while working at a local college. Life was simple and I was establishing myself as a young professional. It was during my last year in Morris that I started realizing how unhappy I was.
Instead of working to live, I was living to work. I was stressed out, making unhealthy lifestyle choices and feeling pretty low. I loved the people I worked with, but was unhappy with who I was.
So I made a change.
I moved to St. Cloud in June of 2008 for a new job and I can honestly say the last three years of my life have been transformative. I have found a job I absolutely love working with people who value my strengths and challenge me to improve on my weaknesses. For the first time in my short-lived professional life, I have found a healthy work/life balance that has allowed me to reconnect with who I am.
I’ve totally fallen in love with me.
I’m opening my heart up in new ways and allowing others to love me in return. I am surrounding myself with people who make me laugh but also make me think. I’m living more in the moment and less in the “coulda-shoulda-woulda” world, and I’ve never been happier. I don’t know where I’ll be ten years from now, but I know there are plenty of beautiful tomorrows to get me there…