Most people identify who they are with what they do. For mothers, this is especially true, as mommyhood can be an all-consuming job. I thought recently about the things that I am:
– Daughter of God
– Grammar police
– Etiquette advocate
– Copy Editor
This last one was a long time in the making.
As a kid, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. My sister always wanted to be a lawyer, from as young as nine years old (and she is one now). In sixth grade my father wanted me to be a pharmacist. I once said I wanted to be famous. But for what?
I knew the areas I had no interest in pursuing: medicine, law and business. I was not good at science. History bored me. I liked math and languages, but how do you choose a career based on a love of calculus and French? Even at
, I waited until the last possible moment to declare my major (Communications). I had a dream of being an entertainment broadcaster. However, working to pay my way through college did not allow me the opportunity to take unpaid internships at various media outlets, which was the only way to get your foot in the door. I guess I wasn’t passionate enough about it to really pursue it, or I would have found a way. Boston College
During my senior year in college I took a job as office manager at a weekly newspaper. That led to writing and, sometimes, editing for them. I realized that I really enjoyed writing – especially about faith, music, fashion and family. OK, so I was narrowing in on my “future.” I continued to write (freelance) while working my day jobs, and built a portfolio.
And then I got married and my beautiful boys came along, shifting my focus just a bit. I love being a mommy – it’s easily the most challenging yet heart-filling job I’ve ever held. But time becomes an issue, and when combing your hair each day is an achievement, it leaves little time for writing or anything else of a secondary or tertiary nature.
What I discovered, however, was that copy editing (or proofreading) was a much less time-consuming task for me. I am able to do it after the boys go to sleep, and it gives me much-needed mental stimulation. Playing Chutes & Ladders and making mac & cheese can only take you so far intellectually. I realized, quite recently, that this was my “AHA” moment.
And so, at the age of almost-37, I have finally decided what I want to be when I grow up – a copy editor. Four years of college (at a grand total of $70,000 + books), many electives (that wasted a chance at a double major), and 15 years later, I know what I want to do with my life – aside from mommyhood, of course.
For those of you in college (or out of college) who still don’t know what you’re doing with your lives, please don’t despair. But don’t just sit around, either. Get a job, stay busy, pursue your interests, and pray for God’s direction.
It’ll come to you eventually. It did for me.
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.