Starting Over Where I left Off

My reason for change

When I first decided I wanted to start a blog, I thought it could become the creative outlet that I had been missing lately. I had always loved to write, I used to write my own type of poetry, I loved writing short stories and reading novels and biographies. I used to paint for fun, and enjoyed going to watch live plays. I loved watching documentaries and Indy films. I liked finding new musical artists to listen to especially acoustic artists, and I’d make playlists for all of my friends on CDs. Long outdoor runs were my go to when I wanted to clear my head, listen to music and just be outside. Baking and cake decorating were a fun creative outlet for me, I liked trying out new recipes from different cook books.

While all of these activities brought me joy, I know that I’m not at expert at any of them, more of a “jack of all trades, master of none.” These were just some fun hobbies for me at a time in my life when I had time for hobbies. When I was researching blogs, I noticed a lot were “how to” type of writings, apply makeup, lose weight, cook, photography, organize, decorate your home, be a better mom, you name it there is a blog for it. I wanted to go in a different direction with my writing. I wanted to take an honest look at my life and document where it’s at currently and where I would like it to be and how I plan on getting there. Less of a “how to” blog more of a “learn from my mistakes” blog and creating a new path for yourself at any age or stage of your life.

I think a lot of us think about a lot of things we would love to be doing or things we miss doing, but don’t ever end up doing them because we’re so caught up in just staying afloat in our daily lives. Waking up, getting our kids up, going to work, taking care of our homes, homework, cooking, after school activities for our kids, we can barely take a breath let alone think about adding more things to our daily grind even if it is something that we absolutely would love to do. I’m trying to make a conscious effort this year to start doing those things again that I miss doing, setting goals for myself to achieve, especially career oriented goals. Even though I’m not in my twenties anymore, and I have three kids, a husband and a job, I can still go after the life I always wanted, but put on hold when my family came along. I hope to inspire moms and women who decide to read this to do the same.

When I was younger I truly believed I was going to be an actress. When I graduated high school I didn’t want to go to college, if I’m being totally honest, I wanted to move the 2 hours down south to Los Angeles and start auditioning for my dream job. My parents weren’t having it, and financially right out of high school I needed them. They wanted me to go to college for practical reasons, which I completely understand now as a parent. But I have to say, there are certain things that I did because I knew my parents wanted me to do them, not because it was something that I actually wanted, therefore not putting a lot of effort into those things because it wasn’t something that I really cared about, something to think about when you are trying to give you teens guidance. I remember when I was in high school I really wanted to take French as my language requirement, my parents told me no, you need to take Spanish, we live in California you will use Spanish. I had zero interest in learning Spanish at the time, I’m kicking myself now obviously for not taking it more seriously, I wanted to take French and go on the school trip to France. Reluctantly I took Spanish and squeaked by with C’s, sometimes I wonder if my teenage brain would have put more effort into the subject if it had been something that I really cared about and was interested in rather than being forced to take.

If I had to go to College I wanted to go away to a college, I did not want to stay in my home town and go to school. Again my parents, my mom in particular, didn’t really want me to leave. I had been playing volleyball and club volleyball since the 6th grade, my parents thought I should play volleyball for the local junior college, and take theater classes if acting was really what I was interested in. They had put so much time and money into me playing club volleyball for so many years I think they were really hoping I’d get a scholarship somewhere to help pay for my schooling. I had one school reach out to me and make me an offer to come play for them, after their coach saw me playing in the annual week long volleyball tournament in Sacramento California the summer after I graduated high school, it was for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott Arizona. When hearing it was in Arizona I was out, no way could I be an actress while living in Arizona I thought. Teenagers can not see the big picture, at least this teenager couldn’t. All the schools I would have wanted to play for were in Southern California and realistically I just wasn’t good enough to play for them. I wasn’t tall enough, I couldn’t jump high enough, I worked really hard, but I couldn’t compete with girls who were 6 feet when I was barely 5’7”.

I stayed in town, I went to the junior college, I played volleyball and I took theater classes and auditioned for plays, which I absolutely loved! Performing in those plays made me want to act even more than I had before. I also ended up having a great experience playing for the volleyball team. I had a wonderful coach, she had been one of my club coaches when I was younger and I loved her and my assistant coach so much. The head coaches name was Colleen Richter, she had gone to college at UCLA and played volleyball for the school. I completely admired her. I had a great experience at the junior college, acting, playing volleyball, and taking classes, I was even earning good grades. It was satisfying to take classes that I was able to choose subjects that sparked my interest. I also had a couple of part time jobs, one as a waitress and as a substitute teachers aid for children with disabilities. I had always loved kids, and had decided if I wasn’t going to be an actress I was going to work in a profession that involved kids. When it was time to transfer colleges, I wanted to go somewhere in Southern California, I was still set on acting. I ended up choosing California State University Fullerton. I liked the campus and they had a good psychology program, I’d decided that if I couldn’t make it as an actress I would be a school psychologist and help kids, because everyone needs a plan B right?

Here’s the thing, I liked all of the psychology classes that I was taking. I was learning a lot, but I was really set on becoming an actress, I would miss class to drive up to L.A. from Orange County for a crummy little audition or meet with some creepy agent, I would take time away from school for these acting opportunities that weren’t really worth my while. But I would always tell myself “you have to start somewhere”. And if I would get a somewhat decent audition I wouldn’t be fully prepared because I had to focus some time on school as well. On top of all this juggling I was also working at Disneyland, and partying probably a little too much. My point of all this is that I was doing a bunch of things “half ass” instead of focusing on one thing (school or acting) and making it great.

C.S. Lewis has famously said, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start from where you are and change the ending.” I know we all wish we could go back and change some of the things in our lives, it’s human nature to have regrets, trust me I’ve done a lot of dumb stuff in my life that I wish I never had, and then there are things that I’ve done that have made me the person I am today and I’m good with that.

Throughout 2019 I was feeling more and more depressed about my current job situation. It’s a thankless job, that brings me no joy and even less money. I started thinking about what I used to care about and all of these ideas came flooding back into my head. I was praying even more, asking God to show me what to do. I always hear people say, God spoke to them, I hadn’t felt that, but wanted him to. I needed him to tell me what to do with my life, especially my career. I know that God knew I had a heart for children, my own are obviously my world, but I love all kids that I’m around. I actually started to feel God tugging at my heart, telling me I needed to be doing something that involved children. I decided I wanted to go back to school and finish what I needed to finish to become the school psychologist that I always thought I would be if plan A hadn’t worked out. It bummed me out to think that I wasn’t fulfilling my Plan A or my Plan B. Then I would feel selfish or ungrateful since I had this beautiful family and 3 healthy kids, why wasn’t that enough for me? Why was I so adamant that I also have my own career that I was passionate about? Well there are so many reasons, financial, self fulfillment, independence, just to name a few and I will get into all of that at a later time. I started to become resentful towards my current job that I was missing out on time with my kids that I can never get back, while spending so much time at a place that I disliked so much. But my family needed my job, if you read my first post you know why, so if I must have a career why not make it the career that I truly want? I know a lot of people settle, that’s what I feel like I have been doing the past 5 years, treading water, settling, just getting by, but we don’t have to! And I’m going to prove it, I’ve decided I’m not settling anymore and you don’t have to either.

I’ve realized you just have to jump into what you want, stop thinking about it and just start doing it. I’m using this blog to help hold myself accountable. In 2020 I’m hoping to complete some of the classes that I need to work towards my goal of becoming a school psychologist. I remember I used to want to write children’s books, maybe that will also be in my future. I’ve always wanted to raise my kids at the beach, maybe that could happen if I try instead of just wishing. I would like to act again even if it’s just a hobby for me. My love for running has me planning to run another half marathon, I’m planning on running one in May in one of my favorite places, Newport Beach/Costa Mesa. And this is a big one that I’m putting out into the universe to make it more real, I want to leave my current job and focus on my future goals, how? I’m still working on that, my mind is always brainstorming. Maybe you’ll have some ideas for me, or maybe you just want to follow along on my journey, as I chase my dreams. Believe me I have a lot of them, and I don’t plan to waste anymore time wondering what could have been. I want my kids to know that whatever you want your life to be it is attainable, at all stages of your life.

Published by Amber Hoover

I'm a wife and a mom, who's working on remembering who I was before I became a wife and a mom, holding on to who I truly am.

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