I bet you are wondering where I have been? Well some days I wonder that myself. About a year ago I took a new job and it required quite a bit of travel. Now, don't get me wrong, traveling is glamorous and all... When you are traveling to exotic locations. For pleasure.
Not that travel for work is all that bad, because it actually isn't. You would be amazed at how many people travel for work and you begin to see their familiar faces over and over again as they are on the same circuit as you. Same thing for the flight crew. They begin to know you. It's kind of crazy but they become your family. The only thing about it is, well, you live out of a suitcase. Everything is rolled, unrolled, hung, rolled back up, stuffed back in your suitcase, and you get home just in time to throw it all in the dry cleaning bag and start all over again. You begin to think of your life in small increments. For example, travel sized toiletries. Your wardrobe is planned 5 days in advance at all times. There is no room for error. Heaven help you if your trip gets extended an extra day and you have only brought exactly the number of outfits you needed.
The thing about it is that I wouldn't trade it for anything right now. Well, maybe I would trade it for hitting the lottery. But other than that I wouldn't trade it for anything. And some days I have a tremendous guilt factor about this because I do have a family at home. But this is the means for providing for them and they have never once made me feel bad about it. My husband is seriously earning his place in heaven right now for keeping our entire life on track. He does EVERYTHING for me. He makes sure the bills are paid, the house is clean, the laundry is done, my dry cleaning is taken in and picked up.... He even puts gas in the car every weekend when I bring it home after a 5 day stay at the airport. I honestly could not do this without him, nor could I do it without his faith and support of me.
In 2005 I went to our corporate office and saw a tiny but powerful woman who became an inspiration for me. She was a VP and after watching her in action and knowing that she was responsible for 500 people I came home and said to my husband that someday I wanted to be the "VP of Something". I set myself a 5 year timeframe, which honestly was very ambitious. I never gave up sight of that goal even though the 5 years came and went.
I went to grad school. I wanted to give up halfway through because it seemed my life was falling apart around me. Work was crazy. They were shutting down my office and I was opening a new one for the same employer. My kids were babies. I was tired, all the time. More than tired, I was physically and mentally drained. My husband was my rock and kept me going. I can never repay him for that.
After I graduated, my company closed down permanently. I found a new home for myself and my entire team and was blessed with opportunity to join a company that gave me an opportunity to run their national operations team. I have spent the last year learning, working, growing, making some mistakes, learning some more, and, of course, traveling.
I just changed jobs this week and have finally become a "VP". It is bittersweet for me. This is what I have always dreamed of. What I have been working for. This is why I have given unconditionally of myself. But I had to leave behind an amazing group of people that I had come to love and yes, there is the ever-present demand of traveling (at least for now). I still have moments of guilt. I still sometimes think that my life is going much too quickly for me and that I am someday going to look back and wonder if I made the right choices. But the thing is, I believe that as long as you are pursuing what makes you happy at the time, you can never doubt yourself. You will never live with regret.
I used to think that I was a bad mom because I wanted to have a career and be a mother. I no longer believe that. There might be those that would disagree with me. There might be those that think I should put my children ahead of anything I do and that I should not be pursuing my career while my kids are so young. To that I would say that I am offering my children a firsthand look at what it takes to pursue your dreams. To believe in yourself. And to make every minute count.