Living Without a Dream

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Living without a dream.

This is something that is not easy for me to write, something I would only talk about during those late night cry sessions with my husband, or mid day calls while the kids were at school to my besties. When I sat down to write this, my intention was to write about being unmotivated at work and how to see past it and get through it, but when I sat down and wrote the title, for some reason my fingers typed "Living without a dream". Even typing it seems sad, let alone saying it outloud. Sadly, this is how I sometimes find myself feeling. Going through the motions, day after day, week after week. Wearing the same hats, "Mom", "Wife"....and? "Starbucks Shift Supervisor". Not that it's a bad thing.

I love being "Mom", I love being "Wife"; but "Starbucks Shift Supervisor" wore out it's welcome years ago. This is my SIXTH year. Whenever I would bring this up to my husband, family or friends, they always say, "Well why not try something new?". I would always have the same answer; "It's a great company, and the flexible hours give me the ability to work around my husband and my kiddos schedules. Childcare is avoided and it is my time to get out of the house, while still feeling like I am contributing". All of these things are still true. I was Ok with this; because I knew it isn't my career. It wasn't my passion, it worked (and still works) best for my family. I think I always told myself it was temporary.

Well, here I am 7 years later. All of a sudden I'm 30 years old, working with mostly "20 somethings", and YOUNGER. I felt inadequate all of a sudden. Like my working part time and "mommin' it" just wasn't cutting it anymore. I voiced this concern to my husband one day before heading in to work. Being the most supportive person I know, he tells me, "Kaci, just quit. Do whatever else you want to do. I will support you 100% in whatever job or dream you chose". Heartthrob, right? I know I am pretty lucky.

I went to work that night pondering my options. I browsed the job listings on my lunch break; nothing desirable there. I thought about what I used to want to do, before I left college; Event Coordinator. Then I thought about my recent healthy meal prep adventure. Two things I felt passionate about. That night, I came home from work, and started researching how to write a business plan. I ended up writing two; one for Event Coordinator, and one for the healthy meal prep business. After writing them, I felt accomplished, but not compelled to follow either path.

I live in a small town. I felt I was limited. I was scared I wouldn't be able to make enough, all while having to spend pretty much every waking moment working; away from my children, away from my husband. Would it be worth the trouble? The mom guilt set in. The fear of failing set in. The fear of putting my family in a bad situation financially, as I would need to take out a loan in order to start either of these businesses. I could never. The passion I had tried to "rekindle" for a career in events, or in meal prep, quickly faded.

 I spent some time thinking about going back to school, and trying to figure out what  I would go for, but nothing stuck out. I felt like I was back in high school. Maybe you know the feeling. You know the one where everyone is asking you what college your going to go to and what you want to be when you grow up? Except I was the one putting the pressure on myself, and I couldn't come up with an answer.

Then, one night, laying in bed. It just came to me, like a slap in the face. It was like someone just said to to me, "Kaci, you don't have a dream". BOOM. Talk about a crappy feeling. I sobbed to my poor husband. Explaining to him that even if I had the chance to do whatever I wanted, I had absolutely no clue what that would even be. There was nothing he could do to make me feel better. I cried myself to sleep that night, wallowing in my own little pity party.

After coming to this conclusion, a multitude of emotions went running through me. Initially I felt sad, then I felt angry. Then, a few days later,  the envy set in, and it didn't leave for quite a while, (As if it was his fault..) My husband had recently received a promotion at work, and was really excelling in his new role. I was so proud of him, I really was (and still am). Not only that, he had also recently lost around 50 pounds. He had a new dress code for his new job, so he went out and bought a whole new snazzy wardrobe. His new favorite store was "Jos. A. Bank". He looked good. He felt good. He was just killing it at life. I feel like you might be able to see where this is going. It was during all of his success, that I (selfishly) started to think about my own. He left for his dream job every day, looking amazing and feeling great; while I went to mine, in my same regular work clothes, doing the same regular job I had been doing for what seemed like eternity. Cue the violins people. I truly felt so sorry for myself. I felt jealous. I felt insecure. Why would someone like him want to stay with someone like me? I labeled myself; fat, ugly, unsuccessful, jealous, uninspired, lazy...the list went on. I told myself daily that he would soon grow tired of being around someone like me. I told myself I was bringing him down, and I believed it. I was really in a funk.

Guess what? I am none of those things, but I started to become those things. I was so down on myself that I spoke those words out loud and in my head daily. I started up old, bad habits. Those ones I thought I had left far behind me. Eating badly, procrastinating, showing up late for things, not exercising...the list goes on. It sucked. Not only did it suck for me, but it sucked for my husband. Finally, after this went on for a while, I realized enough was enough. Time to put my big girl panties on, as they say, and get this figured out.

 The thing about happiness is, that it looks very different for each individual. Seems obvious right? What makes my husband happy, is not necessarily what will make me happy. My husband has worked for this "dream job" of his, his whole entire adult life. He joined the Air Force to learn the job, even. He knows this is what he wants to do, and he has super awesome, fulfilling goals he wants to accomplish within that career path. 

I started reading some "personal development" books, and listening to some uplifting podcasts. I learned quite a bit and I felt my mindset start to shift. I did some inventory on the things I follow on social media, and in real life, & said bye bye to all the negativity. I started to see all the positive things I had in my life, and realized what truly makes me happy. I am happiest when I am with my family. My job did not define my happiness. This life we have created together was definitely not what I had planned. It looks nothing like I ever imagined it would.

It looks better.

 I have two beautiful, healthy children and a husband who loves me. He loves us enough, to put in the work to become the very best version of himself for us every day. I see my daughter and my son every morning when they wake up, and watch them fall asleep almost every night before I go to bed. I get to spend the majority of my day in our home, playing with my children, and teaching them things. I get to help mold them into their best selves, and help them follow their dreams. I get to plan adventures and trips for our family, and I get to go on them too, instead of being stuck working days on end. I get to spend time with my husband. The best part of all these things, is that they all make me happy. Like fill my heart up type of happy. It has taken me a long time to realize that it is OK for me to be happy with simply being the best mom I can be for my children. My career isn't where my happiness is found (currently), it is at home. 

Yes, I sometimes wish I would have moved to San Diego and became a super cool, fancy pants event planner. But I have a whole lot of other things that make me happy; none of which I would trade for a career, not in a million years, because that is not my path. Not if it meant not having my sweet family, exactly the way it is. Maybe one day I will find happiness in a "dream" career, when my kids are in school, or when they are out of school and out of the house; or maybe I'll find it next week, maybe I won't. But for now, I feel thankful I have found my happiness somewhere else. Somewhere unexpected, and unplanned, maybe, but found, nonetheless. Found in the little moments, in between those day to day things, that I sometimes tire of. 

I am living without a dream, because I am living in a place of happiness I had never dreamt was possible.



  1. Wow, I love this....and needed this. Being 50, I'v found myself feeling this way. Thank you!!

    1. So glad you enjoyed reading! You are so welcome.


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