Margaret Fortney’s article “What Princeton Women Want” may take some by surprise, but not me and probably not any of us, builders!
It was spring semester of my junior year at Princeton. I was taking two biology courses, one physics, an elective, writing my junior paper, preparing for a summer of senior thesis research, rowing lightweight crew, and studying for the MCAT.
In many senses, I was doing too much (weren’t we all?), but in others I was forcing a square peg into a round hole. The effect was not that I appeared outwardly overwhelmed, but that I began to lose my inner joy. My smile was an outer facade hiding an interior void. I was giving so much of myself to endeavors that were no longer meaningful that there was little left when it came to others. In many ways I was losing sight of my God calling, or true vocation. I had started off wanting to help people, but where had I gone wrong in the process?
Then came a vision–it was of me at reunions years down the road, elated at seeing a fellow MCAT gal. While she regaled me with tales of medical school and residency, I imagined me stooping down to pick up a toddler. The child and I eagerly listened and questioned, genuinely happy for her, and then parted together, joyful and content. I was not a doctor. I was a mom. This was my calling.
I quit the MCAT soon after and experienced an undeniable peace in its place. This was definitely right. From there it became obvious that I needed to pursue my passion for teaching others. I remember the naysayers: “You went to Princeton to become a teacher?” An assured “yes” was all I could articulate at the time. The world told me I was taking the lesser path, but all I knew was that I was truly answering His call even if it deviated from others’ definition of success.
Today it would sound more like this: “You went to Princeton to become a stay-at-home mom?”
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. (That’s one per kid.)
Thanks be to God for women who answer the call to become physicians. You care for my children; you are my heroes.
But for me, I answered the call to be a mom (always a teacher) and haven’t regretted the decision since.