Guest Post-Will you let me be your servant?

I am so humbled to be featured on my friend Meg’s blog today.  As she says, we met when I was singing in the Liturgy Arts Group at Boston College and she was one of the directors.  Her writing and her voice are stunning.  I am truly grateful that she gave me the opportunity to do a guest post on her blog!

Click here to check it out: Will you let me be your servant?

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One Tired Mama

oof. I am one tired Mama.

In the past month, Bitsy has officially become a toddler.  She is only 14 months old, but she has been on strike from naps and has become quite opinionated! My high school job ended at the end of June, and I haven’t found anything else yet.  So, I am home with Miss Bitsy full time now.  I give so much credit to full time stay at home moms.  It is exhausting!  

Since I am currently without a job (and therefore without an income), Chris has been taking so much overtime.  Each week, he has at least 9 hours of overtime.  9 hours might not sound like too much, but the shifts usually start at 3am.  I am so grateful that Chris is willing to do the overtime for our family.  I am also grateful that he has the opportunity to do it and that any OT he does is very well compensated!  

I am physically exhausted.  But, also pretty emotionally exhausted.  I’ve been really defeated about my job situation.  Unfortunately, getting a job in a school is very political.  Even more unfortunately, people in power are not always ethical in their decision making processes.  

I have some new-found confidence today.  At long last, I have an interview for a PERMANENT position. Not a maternity leave, but a full-time leads to tenure permanent job.  I am so grateful for the temporary jobs that I’ve had, I am ready for this though.  I’ve spent the past few days creating an online version of my portfolio (jillianlaurenzo.weebly.com for those who are interested) and tweaking the materials that are coming with me to the interview.  

All weekend, I’ve been receiving messages of support from family, friends and former colleagues.  Today, Chris is working overtime, so Bitsy and I have been jamming to some Mandisa (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emgv-VRtMEU) to get me ready for this afternoon. 

This job might not be “the one,” but, the support I have gotten has helped so much.  I am confident, and ready to own this interview.  Fingers and toes are crossed, prayers are ascending.  Let’s do this! 

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.