August 18, 2016

[ the struggle is real ]

Posted in: personal

I have a confession y’all: I’m leading a double life.

Okay, well, maybe not. But sometimes it sure feels that way. You see, I have two passions. Two careers that I absolutely love. And for some reason, that isn’t celebrated in our society, but rather, it is almost looked down upon.

I am an elementary school counselor. I got my bachelors degree in Child and Adolescent Development and then my masters in School Counseling. I am educated, I am knowledgeable, I am successful, and y’all, I truly enjoy it. I tell my kids every year that I have never had a single day at work when I would have rather been somewhere else, and I mean it. Of course there are times when I want to stay home in bed, but as soon as I walk through those doors, get my crazy busy day started, and see those little smiles, it really makes my heart burst.

[I wish I could show you actual pictures with my students, but that’s illegal]

And then, I discovered my passion for weddings. And guess what, I am good at this too. I love the planning and organization leading up to the big event, I am a stickler for every little detail, and following the timeline brings out my OCD tendencies in a good way. It sincerely fills my cup to give my brides and grooms the ability to enjoy their day and to soak in every last second, to take their big dream and make it a reality that takes their breath away. Coordinating weddings means marathon days with a lot of physical labor and not enough rest, but I’ve never had a wedding where I wished I wasn’t there.

So… that’s awesome right? How great that I can find two things that bring me so much joy? That’s what I would think, but for some reason it is not that way. When I am at school, I feel like I can’t talk about my wedding business. When I do, people assume that means I don’t love my job and that I’m just looking for a way out of the education system. On the other hand, when I am working as a wedding planner, I feel like I have to conceal the fact that I have an “8-5” job. When people learn that I am a school counselor, I can actually see their opinions of my business change. They think that I’m not a legitimate wedding professional. They think that I can’t be as good as someone who solely does planning. I’ve actually been told that if I have another job, then I am not a “real” business.

This has been a huge struggle for me over the past year. There have been times when people’s reactions or opinions have affected my self-esteem and confidence in my career choices. But here’s the thing: it’s not about them. I do these jobs because I love them and I am good at them, but most of all because I feel called to them. I am lucky enough to work in two positions where I can glorify God by helping others; whether it’s through providing clothing and food for a family in need or allowing a couple to begin the most important earthly relationship with a celebration they’ll cherish forever. My husband has always pushed me to figure out where my gifts are and to USE THEM. Well, I’m getting there y’all.  And you know what? I don’t plan on quitting anytime soon.

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VIRGINIA WEDDING PLANNER

KATELYN@HADDYEVERAFTER.COM