Beyond the Quarter Life: Now what?

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Written by guest blogger, my wife!  Check out her blog: Finding Nikki

Go to college, get a degree, find a job, get married, buy a house, have a baby. These were goals I set for myself as a young adult. When I was 18, these life events were all a big mystery– I didn’t know what I was going to major in, where I would work, who I would marry…but I knew this is what I wanted for my life, and I looked forward to the future with excitement as these goals took shape.

Fast forward 10 years. Now I’m nearly 28. I have a degree from the University of Minnesota. I found a job with career potential right out of college. I met my husband and we married in 2009. We bought a house in the suburbs. I had a baby in 2012, at the age of 25. Fantastic! All my life goals are complete. Now what?

That’s the scary part. I have no idea. I think I’ve been a little too distracted the last couple years, and I never paid much attention to the future. You can only do so much when you are battling severe postpartum depression, an anxiety-inducing and demanding full time job, and taking care of a baby that was sick all the time with ear infections, pneumonia, and has some developmental delays.

Things have improved immensely with my depression and anxiety (a whole other story to share a different time!). My daughter’s illnesses have been reduced thanks to a new treatment plan that included ear tubes, daily nebulizer treatment, and she also sees an early childhood special education teacher to work on her developmental skills.

The last hurdle was my job. I felt trapped– I had many reasons to stay (good benefits, good co-workers, a semi-interesting career path), but only one reason to leave: a hostile work environment created by my boss. In the last 2 years, I have done everything in my power to make it bearable to work with her. It worked for a while, but it was taking a toll on me and my family.

A couple weeks ago I did what I thought was impossible– I quit my job! After working there for almost 6 years, I went into work, gave my notice, and didn’t come back the next day. If you know me, then you might be a little shocked. I’m supposed to be the dedicated, stable, enthusiastic employee. I had no job lined up, knew I would be giving up my family’s health insurance, and my only plan was to use some of my 401k money that I would now have access to upon leaving. This is very un-Me behavior!

So this is where I stand currently: I’m taking a break from all things career-related. I’m not ready to start looking for jobs yet. Mostly I have no idea where I want to begin my next career path. But I’m fine with that. I will be using this time to be at home with my daughter and my husband, who is working from home in his new business venture. I want to make up some of my lost mother-daughter time from having postpartum depression and working full time in her first 2 years. I want to reflect on the crazy whirlwind that has been my life in the past few years, and through this I hope to learn more about myself and have a better idea of what I want for my future.

Oh, and we were able to get a new health insurance policy on the private insurance market, and its actually affordable (thanks, Obama!).

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2 thoughts on “Beyond the Quarter Life: Now what?

  1. It takes courage to step up for yourself. Congratulations for trusting your heart and stepping into your life. Wishing you many blessings as you reclaim yourself and lead your life, powerfully. All of those whom you love will benefit from your courage!

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