On Not Going Back…Again

I mentioned in a previous post that this has been a tough week.  This was the first week of school for most schools in upstate New York.  Despite sending applications out to dozens of schools and interviewing at a healthy handful, I still don’t have a job as a school counselor.  I wrote about it last year and doubt that I could say it better than I did then.  

Many things have changed in the past year.  We’ve been living in our house for almost a full year.  Bitsy is walking, talking and being a toddler.  I had the privilege to work for a short-term maternity leave at a local high school in May and June.  Chris’ schedule has changed and he now has a semi-normal schedule.  I am now home with Bitsy full-time until I get a full-time job.  I am hopeful that something will come along.  Last year at this time, I hadn’t even had any interviews.  This year, I have had a few.  I’m hoping that the tide is turning and something will come along soon.

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Happenstance

I’ve been struggling to figure out the identity of this blog.  This is the fourth iteration of it.  I hope this one sticks.  On my drive home from work this afternoon, I was reflecting on the crazy path that had lead me to that drive…that drive home from the job I said I would never do again after I left a similar one almost 4 years ago, to the same suburban town I used to hate, to the house I didn’t think we could afford, to a husband and a 10 month old that I never could have imagined.  

When I was studying career development theory in graduate school, happenstance theory was my favorite.  I loved it because it was basically the theory that nothing is in your control.  I thought it was so crazy.  Essentially, it says that the catalyst for an individual’s career development is coincidences.  Every person’s life is a series of coincidences that lead the person to a career.  It frustrated me; as a counselor studying this theory, how was I supposed to use it help clients grow in and plan their careers?  We moved on to planned happenstance, which made me feel a little better.  At least with planned happenstance there was a concerted effort to put oneself in the right place at the right time in order to “encourage” such coincidences.  

If you asked me 4 years ago where I would be in the spring of 2014, I would not have told you this.  Slightly over four years ago I was about to give up on online dating when I stumbled upon Chris’ profile.  A chance encounter with the father of an old high school friend a few weeks later led me to graduate school to become a school counselor.  

Then Chris and I decided to get married and made a 5 year plan.  Live in an apartment, save money for a downpayment on a house, pay down student loans, get tenure, and then think about a house and a baby.  

That brilliant plan lasted for about the first 5 weeks of our marriage.  I found out I was pregnant 5 weeks to the day after we got married.  Before I became a mom, I said I would never be a SAHM.  I said I would never breastfeed once my baby got teeth.  Now I stay at home 4 days a week and just work part-time.  I plan on breastfeeding until Bitsy’s 1st birthday.  

I used to think that I could plan it all out.  If I followed a prescribed path, my life would unfold neatly in front of me.  There were certain steps and milestones that, once met, would allow me to effortlessly progress towards the end goal.  

Now I find myself in a place where I never could have imagined myself.  Doing things I never though myself capable of.  I always wanted a family and a house, I never thought I would have both of those things by the age of 26.  A series of coincidences and chance encounters combined with a whole lot of perseverance and faith have led me here.  Time and chance have shown me that even though my life might not be folding out in front of me the way I planned, it is a pretty darn good life.