I finished my masters degree. It is done. It is complete. The last ten years (roughly) of my life have gone as such…
- 2011 Began my undergraduate degree – full-time, while working full-time, and trying to save a failing marriage after 12 years. My schooling was a consistent point of contention surrounding other issues going on in the household that I was expected to manage for the family. Bottom line – we got married way too young to have grown through the growing of each of us as individuals. My education was too important to me to sacrifice even if that meant the marriage.
- 2012 We got divorced and I continued my schooling. Single parenting and working full-time…while failing at a relationship with a narcissist immediately following my divorce because I was lonely and in no way knew myself well enough to be dating that soon. Bottom line, I made myself incredibly small in place of the person I used to be, or would become, because of him.
- I went to Africa with the school of social work – and it changed my trajectory. I learned that I could not separate. I could not separate my anger for the injustices in this world from my emotions and behaviors and I knew that was not appropriate for social work; you have to be able to separate and I could not. I changed my major and thought I might go to law school – enrolled in the LSAT for the following September.
- 2014 I met my husband and it was like… *boom*…everything changed. I wanted to have the life that I felt like I was meant to have with the man who loved me – the feisty political feminist who is also incredibly ADD…and had two kids to boot. As a budget manager at the time – I looked at the cost of law school and decided it was not a solid move to bring that much student loan debt (nearly $200k) coming into a new marriage that was developing relatively quickly in a marked bloated with attorneys not making enough to offset that debt; we were engaged before the end of the year.
- 2015 I graduated from Saint Louis University with a degree in Criminal Justice cum laude. The goal, for me, was to have a degree in something exciting and interesting… something that held my interest in order to help me get through the arduous process with excitement and with less time fighting my ADD. I had my pick of graduate programs at that point because of how well I performed in my undergrad.
- 2015 I did my research and I chose the graduate program, distance learning, that had the same level of accreditation as Saint Louis University and the best price so I chose Colorado State University. I chose a Master of Science in Management with a focus in Business Intelligence.
- 2016-2019 Changed jobs twice. We had a very high risk pregnancy and a baby in the NICU. Left a place I *loved* because there were so few opportunities for leadership after they offered two rounds of early retirement to mid-level management. My upward mobility was sapped and the competition was thick and I did not want to play the popularity game to show my worth.
- 2019 I move to a new job in the corporate finance industry and so far it is delivering on everything it indicated it had the potential to be for me.
Here we are. I finished my masters degree that ultimately caps off eight straight years of schooling. I became anxious and overwhelmed thinking about what I would do to fill the busy-ness and self-imposed stress… I honestly did not know what to do with myself. I had lost all of my hobbies and interests in eight years. I was an avid, consistent, runner and the high risk pregnancy really (really) screwed that up for me after being forced to be down for 9 solid months. I am still trying to re-learn hobbies and interests and relaxation; relaxation is the most difficult – I virtually don’t remember much about how to do that effectively. I find myself mindlessly scrolling Pinterest (which I keep thinking will identify a hobby I might be interested in) and social media, reading articles, because I have lost my drive and excitement for hobbies. I want them – I just don’t know how to rediscover them. I still exercise regularly, go out for a lot of social outings, travel, etc – but like… the day-to-day (or weekend) hobbies you seek out.
What did you do to rediscover hobbies after a hiatus or a season of busy-ness that took you away from your hobbies? What processes did you go through to figure that out?
How did you feel after accomplishing a HUGE goal? Was it relief? Excitement? A deflating feeling that now left you feeling like you lack purpose and direction….? (I’m not projecting you are!!!!)