Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Isn’t it interesting how life takes on a whole new meaning when something profound happens?  I was on what seemed to be a stable path when all of a sudden it took a sharp turn.  Everything shifted through no doing of mine.  The loss of control is very hard to accept.
It got me to thinking about the career path I never took and how it came to change so quickly in college.  It’s a shame in a way because I’m left to wonder... I might have been very good at the job field I never went into!
I can’t be unique in my thoughts.  I’m sure some of you had planned for a different career too.  Circumstances tend to change things. That thing called “life” happens and along the journey new routes are carved for us to choose as options. What fork in the road didn’t you take at one of those pivotal times? Did you change course on careers like me?  There are times I think about that.  Seems even more so recently because I'm more acutely aware of what I have control over and what I don't.  Sometimes we create the change ourselves and sometimes it’s out of our hands completely.
I had one of those life changing experiences in college.  I remember it was a big deal in my life and it upset me.  It was a combination of my own doing as well as my professors but I like to blame him!  I should have known better than to let it get the better of me – but live and learn.  I turned out just fine but my career could very well have been different.  I had plans to go into Psychology.  I love the inner workings of the brain and what makes people tick. I took Psych in high school, loved it and decided it was my path.
I’m not a Psychologist; I never made it past my first year in college.  I changed majors and went into Business Administration instead. I like it very much thankfully.  I'm still bothered by my bad experience freshman year of college though.  I truly had a terrible professor who had well overstayed his time in the classroom.  He was tired out, had many, many years of teaching under his belt and he really no longer cared.  It was a real shame, he has no idea how he affected me - and I'm sure others.  I got a "D" my first semester and was so disappointed I gave up.  I thought it was me.  It didn't dawn on me until many years later that someone else instigated my change of direction.  At the time I figured I wasn't so good at it, being that I nearly failed so I quit and choose another path.  I find it interesting to be able to turn around so many years later and look back at that time in my life so clearly now.
The business world is a good place for me.  There are plenty of personalities to get to know and analyze.  I like to learn about my co-workers lives and hobbies and families.  I've even formed relationships with the FedEx guy; Jack, the coffee salesman; Bill and the evening office cleaner; Harold.  Not sure I could have done that as a Psychologist.  I'm glad to know these people. Yes, it's different than I had expected but it's still good.  My professor can't take that!  I'm where God wants me to be, doing what he planned for me all along. There's a reason I spend time with the ones around me and a reason I'm in their path too.
Here's hoping you're headed down the path you chose for yourself.  If so, good for you!  If not, what are you going to do about it?  Don't let the "crappy professor" in your life alter your plans!  Focus forward and keep plugging along.  It'll be worth it to pat yourself on the back and know you did it regardless of the hurdles.  
Thank you for reading.


  1. All choices lead us right where we need to be. Your choices gave you Chris and Jeremy:)

  2. If life is a series of acts with pivotal turning points...and really more about the journey than the destination...then hopefully you know that it's never too late to stop chasing your may not be a psychology degree...but the tragic happenstance that's been thrust upon you has given you an outlet to do so much good in the world if you want to. I find it so admirable and brave that these are your thoughts barely two months after the worst day of your life. When my daughter was little, one of her favorite books was "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" by Kevin Henkes. Unlike your college professor, Lilly was guided by a wonderful teacher named Mr. Slinger. Whenever she had a particularly hard day, he'd slip her a little note that said, "Today was a difficult day. Tomorrow will be better." Happy Wednesday.

  3. Regina, thank you for this post. I have been thinking a lot about "my path" recently. I lost my job last month. I have worked in child welfare for 15 years and due to budget cuts my position is gone. I am not the only one in my agency some lost jobs others demoted with pay cuts. I have been the "preacher" of "paths" and this "has purpose" to those around me. This post is great because I needed someone to remind ME! I going back to school and enjoying my new found time to focus on me while still being there for my family. It's a nice unplanned vacation! Thanks for your posts! I read them faithfully!

  4. Beautiful post! I was, for a good amount of time an academic advisor and always told my students to do what they were passionate about. I finally took my own advice and started nursing school this year. We all make choices that impact our lives, and sometimes a choice is made for us that has the same severity--in my opinion, it's how we deal with those choices that gives us character. You've got some GREAT character :)

  5. I went to SUNY Potsdam for four years to get my childhood education degree. My freshman year of college, I already decided I was going to stay there for graduate school. My senior year, I applied to Potsdam for graduate school early and was accepted. I had already registered for classes. Then in April, I was talking to one of my freshman residents. I don't remember exactly how the conversation started. He eventually told me, "You know, you don't have to stay here next year for graduate school if you don't want to." At that point, I knew I needed a big change in my life but didn't know what it was. I took his words to heart, applied to Saint Rose the very next day and was accepted. I stayed home while attending St. Rose graduate school. I got a job substitute teaching, which led me to the job as a computer aide that I have now. I am still looking for an elementary teaching job. However, if I stayed at Potsdam for graduate school and didn't listen to my wise resident, I have no idea where I would be today. I am thankful that I had that talk with him because I was very happy at Saint Rose and am happy with where it has led me thus far!

  6. Good Morning.I just want to Thank You so very much for sharing a lot of your personal life with us. I look forward to your blogs every day...

  7. I just told Ally yesterday that everything that happens, leads us down our next path. She is struggling with something that changed abruptly in her life and it threw her. The deep philosophical conversations ensued... As they often do in our house.

    Then your share this morning had me thinking back. Yes, I have 2 very vivid instances where life instances forced my hand at making me decisions that led me to the job title (Legal Assistant) I have, and have had now for 27 years. In high school my dream was to be a nurse. All my core classes up until my senior year were geared towards that goal. Even where I worked during high school was geared towards that goal to give me life experiences. Those life experiences were what "forced my hand" to make the decision that nursing was not for me.

    On to job choice #2, a teacher. I always heard I would have been a great teacher. I love kids, I love watching them learn, so that was the next plan. Off to community college to start that degree, then something traumatic that happened in our family and I made a snap decision that left me needing change and distance. At the time I need a quick change, and quick solutions. I attended business school, got my degree and started working in my first law firm, all before I was 20... I did mingle teaching in there. I taught gymnastics during that time to supplement my income. It was very rewarding and fun, but wasn't going to pay the bills. And here I am, still in a law firm and with the title Legal Assistant.

    Had I had the ability back then to "think clearly" and rationally, I would have looked at the big picture and made better choices, but as we all know so well, every choice gets us to where we are today. I still believe I would have been an amazing teacher. I have been in roles, volunteer mostly, that have me working with kids, and even taught gymanstics a few years back which help satisfy the craving, but... ya know... 2 kids to get to their dreams, and I wouldn't change that for the world.

    I know I would still love to teach, but don't want to go back to school... I'd have to start all over. My paycheck and our lifestyle could not survive that right now. I shrugged my shoulders as I finished that sentence. For now, I am where I'm meant to be and that's good :)

    I will leave you with a prayer I ran across this morning.

    "Holy Spirit, we need Your help. Guard our hearts and minds today. Help us control our thoughts and words so that we might lift others up and show them who You are and what You've done in us. ~ Amen!"

    God bless...

    1. My "prove you are not a robot" #'s were 2269 today. Just sayin'

  8. Regina,
    Regarding life choices, I, as most, have questioned where I would be if miraculously granted a "do-over". I became a CPA, and hated every minute of it, but at the time I was looking for a secure job with a livable income. As the children of Depression Era parents, I think we were pushed to find security, not follow our passions. So, throughout their childhood I have encouraged my children to follow their passion. But now that they are reaching college age, I find my inner parent panicking at the thought of them not being able to pay off their college loans, much less support themselves after college. Choices,..we agonize and analysis...yet the most profound moments in our lives are the ones that are out of our control.
    Thank you for you posts.

  9. “If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's.”
    ― Joseph Campbell

    I love this quote! The path is not meant to be clear. It is made by YOU... step-by-step. I have changed course in my career now several times. Engineer, then marketing... plastics... then clean-tech... Sound like small changes? They were not! One of the greatest changes in my career path came when I was quite unexpectedly given a bit of a push out of a plastics company for "style" reasons (I kinda like my style actually... but words like overchallenging and even "bully" were used as reasons given for our differences. Bummer!). After 9 months search I landed in a solar company, but not without first going through some deep contemplative practices regarding what I had to bring to the world, and HOW I wanted to bring it. That push ended up being perhaps the greatest gift of my entire career! I have now moved on from solar to water purification... another pretty big change. Change is GOOD! Get inspired. It is always the right time to embrace something new...

    Which leads me to another of Joseph Campbell's favorite quotes:

    "Follow your Bliss!"

  10. Hello Regina. My career choice is being a Registered Nurse. I work on a BUSY labor and delivery floor at Rochester General. I'm pretty sure I made the right choice but there are days where I ask myself...."is this really what I want to do?". I find myself, like many others I think, getting to work and seeing how crazy busy it is and automatically that puts me in a bad mood. I say to myself, "why do I work here", "I hate this place" and so on. It just can be overwhelming seeing all the needs that need to be meant, and thinking there is now way I can give my best care with all these patients I have to care for. It at times, drives me nuts!! But as soon as I meet my patient/patients, that all goes away. I absolutely without a doubt LOVE helping others. When I have a delivery and my baby and mom are doing well, I feel so good about my job. When someone comes into our triage, and they need immediate care and if we go for the STAT C-section, at the time, it's all business. IV, foley, meds, get her in OR. But after all is done, and and baby are well....I get this feeling of...."wow, what a amazing team of doctors and nurses I work with" and I just feel real good that I was a little part in helping this family get a positive outcome with a healthy baby. It's not always like this, boy have I seen some bad outcomes but I still feel good knowing we did all we could at the time.

    Man, did I babble on. Basically what I think I'm trying to say is we all question what choices we made, and how we came to be in the present time we are now are all in. I don't often look back and wonder, but when I do....I know that not for one second do I wish I had done it different. Every choice, every sacrifice was meant to be and it got me to where I am now....with a wonderful husband, and 2 little girls. It's amazing Regina how that professor got in your mind and at the time, made you think you weren't smart enough or whatever to do what you wanted to do at the time. But the way I look at it, he was meant to be there, because it got you to path you were always suppose to take and the moment you are in now. I hope I made some kinds of sense??? LOL

  11. Dear Gina,
    I can remember being in high school wondering what I wanted to do in life. I considered the Marine Corp, but my heart wasn't in it. I ended up taking Criminal Justice courses and focused on being a State Trooper. I worked in Colorado with our brother Frank on my summer vacation, and got a taste of construction working on gunite swimming pools. Long story short, a broken heart in my second year of college gave me the push to pack up my things and move West for a few years. I ended up meeting my wife on a highway outside of Chicago when I had some car trouble, that was about 30 years ago, and I found masonry construction to be my calling. To better myself in my chosen field, I joined the Bricklayers Union and served an apprenticeship and had the best teachers I've ever had and continue to have, 27 years as a member and still learning something new everyday passionately.
    I've wondered so many times how things would have been, would I have made it as a Trooper, what would my life be like now? It's easy to shrug that off by not knowing the answers and concentrating on all the things I have been blessed with. Just being able to reply to your Blog this morning assures me I made the right choice a long time ago. Thank You so much for sharing your heart everyday with us Gina. I may not reply everyday, but please know I am here everyday and share your writings and feelings with others. Praying you have a great day. Always In My Thoughts And Prayers, Love You, Eddie

  12. I have been struggling with "what do I want to be when I grow up" until very recently. I have a strong feeling you have a lot to do with my recent choices and decisions regarding my life and what lies ahead. I finally have to some peace of mind when I think about what I want and it feels good.

    thinking of you today and everyday.

  13. Hi Regina,
    I think we all end up just exactly where we are supposed to be. We may have a plan.. But God has his plan and no matter how many twists and turns we take.. We end up where we are meant to be.

    Luckily I did end up exactly where I had hoped for since age 5!! Crazy I know.. And I've truly never regretted my decision. I've been very fortunate.

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