July 11, 2023

Questioning what we want comes up early in A Very Typical Family. Think about a time you were adamant that you wanted one thing in life only to realize you wanted something completely different. How did you react? Did you go after it?

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Sarah January

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I wanted to become a nurse. I did not become a nurse because of family circumstances. I did take a path that led me to becoming a travel agent and later a bookseller which lead me to this book.


While I was in high school I had no idea what I wanted for my future. Well, I knew I wanted to travel internationally. However, I knew what I did NOT want. I was very vocal about NOT wanting to become a teacher. Of course, I ended up being a teacher. It was actually how I was able to live abroad. I left the teaching profession several times because I thought the grass was greener. After teaching high school, middle school and elementary school, I have finally found my niche as a special education teacher and love it!


How beautiful you were able to find balance in your travel desires and a fulfilling career as well.


When I was younger, I wanted to be a nurse and was going to school for it when I got pregnant with my second child and decided to put off nursing school to stay home with my children. Now older, I realized that I my dream job was working with kids and help them learn the love of reading.


Sometimes life forces us to make choices that we would not have made for ourselves. Sometimes it leads to relationships, families, careers that you would have never envisioned.


As I’ve gone through life the things I thought I wanted and then lost was really a blessing in disguise.


In my 20’s I thought I wanted so many things that turned out to be the wrong things. I was chasing men, a job, friends to find happiness when all I needed to do was find happiness in myself.


I have been their before and it is so peaceful once we find peace and happiness within.

Tonya Shumate

I’m wide open with my decisions, but if I’m wrong I’m wrong, but usually it ends up ok. But as time goes on, I’ve realized try to think before I speak or react. And yes, I’ve learned a few things the hard way lol


As I’ve gotten older, my wants and needs change, I’ve had to adjust. I’ve changed my goals often, but am glad I did.


This is tricky for me. Growing up, I so wanted to be a singer or a teacher…..polar opposites. Flash forward to high school. Back in the 80’s, typing classes were in and shorthand. My mom pushed these on me because maybe it seemed better than singing and teaching. After 8 years working in Chicago, I quit and worked as a secretary at various places. Became a financial representative until my health got in the way. Now, here I am, present day, working as a teaching assistant for kindergarten. I love it, and I can sing to and with them. My… Read more »


Wow, both your passions are intertwined now. Our visions may not come when we want it but you are a testament of them coming together at some point.


I have wanted things professionally and as with everything you always think things will be perfect
The problem is life changes people change
So bliss is also changing


Growing up, I wanted to be a librarian or work behind the scenes in television: writer/director/camera. In college I was in the broadcasting program but was placed in mostly radio classes. I hated it and switched my major. Now I’m a teacher and mostly enjoy all of it, but a huge part of me wonders why I didn’t study Library sciences. Sometimes I think about returning to school to obtain the job I really want, but all my time and money go towards my kids now. Maybe it won’t happen for me.


Thank you for teaching. I am a kindergarten teacher assistant. I always wanted to teach, but I went down another path before getting to work with kiddos. You never know what your future holds.

Tonya Shumate

Very true!


Very true! Even in high school, teaching wasn’t on my radar of potential careers. I do enjoy it and have had some amazing students. I love that I’m always learning new things, too.

My husband built me a Little Free Library to live out my librarian fantasies. 🙂


Once your children are older and go for that library science degree. I have always wanted to be in health care, specifically a gynecologist or nurse practitioner. I am content with pursing it within 10-15 years, it is never too late.


I had received an email about a folk music tour of Scotland. I dismissed it as too expensive, I didn’t enjoy tours and had never been interested to travel in Scotland. Decision made but I didn’t delete the email. Several months later I came across it again, along with more information about the itinerary. I realized I was very interested in ONE place they were going to. Fast forward 10 years. I now travel to a small town in Scotland at least once a year for lessons, jams and whatever other opportunities come along. In between I take remote lessons.… Read more »


Good for you for having the guts to do this.💗


How awesome!
I tried to vote for you comment but was denied upvoting. ;-(
What a fantastic thing you decided to do. Kudos to you!!


I thought that I wanted to take more shifts on my job. But then I realized that I would be at my job all day and spend almost no time with my family. I ended up taking two more shifts on my job and still getting to spend time with my family. Sometimes taking more work is necessary, but it might not be the right thing for you.


I believe like me she needs to delve into why her whole family found it so easy to give up on each other
Was that the dynamic as a child
I’m only in the 2nd chapter so I’ll see
Although people say you can chose your family you tend to pick the same kind of people until we work it out or the total opposite which might not be great
But I’ll see
Loving the book


I thought I wanted college and a career. Instead I met my amazing husband. We decided to start our family right away. Thank goodness we did because I needed a hysterectomy at 28. Once my kids started school I got a career working with the special Ed in my kids school district. We had all the same holidays. If I had finished college I would have been doing a lot more of the paperwork side of special Ed, instead I got one on one time with the kids and it turns out that was what I really wanted. Sometimes that… Read more »


Hello my fellow hyster sister! Shout out to SPED! You guys are amazing. I took a crazy turn and am a teacher assistant for kindergarten.


I wanted to become a court reporter when my first born son was very young, but I realized a year or so into the program that it was not for me. My in laws had paid my tuition and my husband was watching our son so that I could go to classes, and I knew that quitting would be disappointing to them. I did quit, and ultimately became a teacher with a schedule that allowed me more presence with my boys as they grew up. Telling him was so hard, and I felt like I lost power in the relationship… Read more »


I thought I wanted a promotion and got it but shortly afterwards I got pregnant. Becoming a mother is my most important life role so with the pandemic beginning I decided to stay home and am blessed to have spent a few wonderful years together making precious memories

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