Falling in Love

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…

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2 Responses to Falling in Love

  1. Teri says:

    Jillian, this is an amazing post – I am blessed to have you in my life. And your strengths far outweigh any weaknesses you may have. I look forward to continuing to grow because of how you challenge me to be better!

    • You’re sweet, Teri…but I honestly don’t know if you and the rest of the “crew” will ever be able to understand how much you’ve helped me. I’m better because I’m surrounded by people like you! ❤

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