My grandfather was in the Navy, so is my half-brother, I am a Navy girl, so maybe that’s why I feel so comfortable entering these uncharted waters.

Ten years ago my life plan was entirely different. I was going to be a great journalist, I was going to travel the world – by myself. I didn’t foresee ever getting married, I certainly wasn’t fit to be a mother.

Ten years ago I was on a path, and when I fell off that path it was very painful. It was confusing and I didn’t know where to turn next. It took me almost a year to find my new path, but in 2004 I decided that I would switch things up. I went back to school and that decision has changed this forever after.

I made new friends, I learned new things, I got a job that helped me build up my skills and confidence again. Oh, and I met my husband.

This man who convinced me that I did want to be married. This best friend that I never want to be without. And we started building our life together. It got bumpy along the way, but we’ve been through it all together, and we have added a dog and a daughter.

A daughter that has turned my world upside down.

Even when I was pregnant I didn’t know how I felt about her. I didn’t think I would be a good mother. I didn’t think I would know what to do with her. She’s only two and she continues to prove me wrong every step of the way.

She has changed me so much that I don’t want to be without her. I want to cuddle with her in the mornings and read to her in the afternoons. Share my lunch with her, take her for walks. Paint, draw, imagine and play.

And so I am leaping off my path again – the path in which I am a working mother who rushes in the morning and takes the kid to daycare, is always exhausted at the end of the day and lives in a house that’s never quite clean or tidy. I am going to be a stay at home mom – the 19 year old me would balk – and I am going to take care of myself and my family. I am going to work and make my ideas come to life and define myself in a totally new role.

This time it isn’t going to hurt. This time I am changing into a butterfly.

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