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A Brief Recap of My Floundering Adulthood

I’ve worn many half made hats, but don’t own any perfectly constructed ones.  I’m a jill of all trades, master of none.  I’ve dabbled in dozens of things, but specialize in nothing.  I’ve explored a million careers, but still don’t have one.

SO, in an effort to validate (or perhaps further confuse) myself, I’ve decided to write down how life has transpired since I graduated from college in 2005.

1) Lived and traveled through Mexico with friends for 5 months.

2) Worked as an Americorps VISTA volunteer in St. Croix for 6 months.

3) Worked as a junior paralegal while applying for law school, for 1.5 years.

4) Traveled through southeast Asia for a couple of months.

5) Was accepted into first choice law school (Vermont Law – a small, private, environmentally focused law school) but chose to defer and help my sister in law realize her dream of creating a line of cosmetics.

6) Accidentally got pregnant (with baby of committed partner).

7) Started said law school and took a leave of absence after 2 months (single mama with a 6 month old – decided to support career of baby’s daddy, who was on the other coast, instead).

8) Let leave of absence expire (timing still wasn’t right for career of baby’s daddy, a family decision).  Then reapplied.

9) Got pregnant, again.  Planned this time (still wanted to go back to law school, so we kinda rushed in to number two so it would be at least 9 months before school started).

10) When it came time to make the final decision to attend law school, baby’s daddy’s career was cooking and I still couldn’t justify mine for his.

11) Determined that law school in Vermont was the ONLY school I wanted to attend, and relocating wasn’t going to happen, so I allowed other interests to take over.

12) Took an Anatomy class (and loved it) because I wanted to become a midwife, or a pediatric nurse practitioner, or a naturopathic doctor.  In all honesty, what I REALLY want to do when I grow up is to be an pediatrician who specializes in integrative medicine (I even started college as a microbiology major)… BUT, with kids, at age 29 going on 30, I’m almost 100% sure that ship sailed long ago.

13) Was trained as a Doula and volunteered at a local hospital as one.

14) After a few births and realizing how difficult becoming a midwife in San Francisco was going to be, again, I let other interests creep their way in.

15) Decided that I’d go to business school instead (something I had pondered way back between #’s 1 and 2).

16) Started an MBA program in Sustainable Enterprise, but left after a semester to again, pursue baby’s daddy’s career (who is now the husband).

17) Moved to southern China and now spend my days hanging with the babies and writing and dreaming of new pursuits.

WOAH.  That list just kept growing.  Even in college, my thoughts on my career changed every month.  I wanted to be a doctor.  Then, I wanted to be a zoologist.  Then an anthropologist.  Then I wanted to quite altogether and go to fashion design school.  Then an attorney working in International Environmental Law.  Then a trapeze artist in the circus.

Sometimes, I wish that I had been born 50 years ago when my options would have been a) a secretary, b) a teacher, or c) a nurse.  The OPTIONS are what kills me.  WHY MUST I HAVE SO MANY INTERESTS?  Combine that with being, oh, I don’t know, the MOST indecisive person who ever lived… and well folks, what you get is a 29 year old mother of two who is still floundering trying to find her career self.  AND, as dreary as it might sound, it’s ALL good, really.  It’s all part of my journey and I accept that there is meaning behind the floundering.  Sure, it would feel great to not have to wake up regularly wanting to research new programs, and schools, and possibilities, BUT, I trust that I’ll get there… wherever there is.

I will finish with 3 things that I would like to accomplish in the next year:

1) Take trapeze classes and become a BADASS trapeze girl.

2) Learn Mandarin as well as my VERY American accent will allow me.

3) Make some stuff and sell it.

What new things do you want to accomplish this year???



sharon kilwein

Wow Lauren, you really have had quite the life & I am glad you are “hanging” with your children as they will never be young again!! I love your aspirations!


So true, so true, good advice from a wise woman ;).


Hmmm, maybe instead of trusting you’ll GET there, trust that you ARE there. What you’ve done, better than most, is show up in your life. Which means you’ve responded to change with flexibility and openness. Be honest, wouldn’t you have HATED only having three choices? Would’ve felt like a strait jacket to you. You’re an explorer, a scanner. The “perfectly constructed hat” is the one you happen to be wearing at any given moment. I, for one, love that about you.


You’re the best, Evie. As always, sage like advice. And yes, you know you’re right, a straight jacket indeed. I’ll try to remember to love that about me, too ;).


Right there with you sister. Well, almost there with you. Those dreams arrive, then depart in my mind, before my body enrolls or pursues. (Your way is better, at least it shows commitment!) Our indecisive selves will find a way eventually. Love you and your CONSTANT determination to better yourself, for your family, for you. Here’s to taking an organic chemistry class this summer, or not, and playing with my kids at the river. :)
Either way, it will be fantastic.


I’d hardly call finishing EVERY pre-nursing pre-req (other than O chem), in the middle of your baby making years, not committing! And I know, right… playing at the river is a hard one to give up ;).


I really like your goal #3: Make some stuff and sell it. I can’t wait to see what you make – I will probably buy it, whatever it is. :) I would like to make a “swim dress”. In my mind it’s a flirty and sexy one-piece suit that doesn’t look like a dowdy Mom suit. It’s more like a saucy little dress I’d like to wear all the time, but a smidge shorter and you can wear it in the water comfortably. If I actually get down and do it I will send you a pic of the final result. Love ya Lo!


Do it, I can imagine you in it right now! I think I may need one as well, because dowdy mom suits and I don’t go very well together. XO.


ALL OF THESE THINGS MAKE YOU WHO YOU ARE! It’s about the journey, not the destination. Thank you for sharing your journey for all those that love you. Your flexibility, passion, intelligence, humor, compassion, and selflessness have been mastered.


This I know in my heart… though my brain is constantly chasing it’s tail ;).

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