First and foremost, I want to say hello! Yes, my husband is @JerryBanfield. He is so very passionate about this community and that is a big part of the reason I'm here!
This is my first post, which is perfect because I have been thinking about new beginnings a lot lately. I just came home from cuddling with my four day old baby niece and seeing my sister and brother-in-law take on that role of new parents got me reminiscing. Becoming a mom is one of the biggest new beginnings I have ever experienced. After 9 months of being pregnant and 23 hours of labor, I met my daughter Madeleine and knew my life would never be the same ever again. It was as if someone had carved out my heart and it was now out in the world. All I wanted to do was hold her forever.
My journey to motherhood was also filled with new beginnings. When I went to college, I traded the beaches and perpetually warm weather of Florida, for the seasons and especially brutal winters of Boston. I traded life close to childhood friends and family for the potential to build a home away from home and a new family of friends in a new city. This was a great and difficult challenge for me as I was notoriously shy and a total introvert.
In college, I learned that, to borrow a line from Winnie the Pooh, that I was braver than I believed, stronger than I seemed, and smarter than I thought. I also realized that the world needed help and I made it my mission to do my part. That's why I joined Americorp right out of college.
The Americorp program I joined based me completely across the country at an Air Force base in Sacramento, CA. There I met the 12 people I would be spending the next 10 months traveling, volunteering, and leaving with. We first were sent to New Orleans to help rebuild the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I had the chance to speak to people who had lost loved ones, lost pets, lost their house, and lost everything they owned. It was a humbling experience to really see that my problems were not real problems. These people had lost everything. They were still fighting with insurance companies to be compensated for their losses. I knew that this wasn't the way it should be. These people must have legal rights that they didn't know about. That's when I decided to go to law school. I wanted to be the voice of people who were all too often silenced by others. My Americorp team went on to build migrant worker housing in Southern California, build houses for low income families in Mobile, Alabama, and work in the Sacramento Food Bank. I found out I was accepted into law school and thus went on to my next new beginning.
Law school terrified me. Put a quiet, introverted person like me, a person who hates being wrong or not knowing an answer, in a classroom where they will be randomly called on and thoroughly questioned (the Socratic method is brutal) and it will lead to severe anxiety, loss of appetite, and loss of sleep. I funneled most of this anxiety into a bad relationship I had with a drug addict for almost three years. I would pour my emotions into trying to "fix" him and focus all of my mental strength into succeeding in law school. Not the healthiest of arrangements, but I did great in school, broke up with said boyfriend upon realizing he was not for me to fix, and decided to try online dating right before I took the Florida Bar Exam.
My dad said online dating was for losers. I did it anyways. I think it took a lot longer for my parents' generation to realize that meeting someone online had just as much, if not more, potential than meeting someone randomly while out and about. Match.com provided me with my next new beginning: dating my husband. We moved in together after six months of dating, got engaged four months later, and were married within two years of our first meeting. The life we have built together is far and away one of my greatest adventures. You will notice as I post more here on Steemit that we have very different personalities and I hope to make my own, unique contribution to this ever-growing, ever-evolving community.