The Decision to Quit

The Decision to Quit

I am not a quitter.

With that being said, I did quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom. Part of me ( a teeny tiny) part still feels like I’m crazy for it. I mean, I spent my whole life preparing for my career. I was obsessed with it.

At 16, I decided that I was going to go into sports business–male dominated. hard to break in to– how ’bout a little “Anything you can do, I can do better” motivation?

That was me.

I finished undergrad with a business marketing degree focusing on sport management. After that I started working multiple part-time jobs at different retail stores because..the economy. Side note: someone should really reconsider the idea that a college graduate is not going to have 2-3 years of experience “needed” for an entry-level job. I mean….What?! Yikes.

My life after graduation, after part-time retail jobs:

  • landed a job in the NCAA D-1 arena and was thrilled.
  • Moved out to Louisiana and realized I hated it
  • Applied to grad-school, got accepted (duh)
  • Moved back home, got engaged, got pregnant (what?!)
  • Transferred to the online version of my master’s program
  • Interviewed with the NBA while still in the hospital..2 days after giving birth to my son. (because I’m a go-getter)
  • Got the job

My mom came in to town to watch this 3-month old chunky-monkey in my arms while I worked 15-hour days during NBA All-Star. Then they came to see me at work.

After this job, I was on my way. I landed an internship with the Houston Rockets to finish my masters requirements; was offered a part-time position and was then promoted to full-time in the corporate sponsorship department.

Three years of making little money, then no money, then little money, I had made it. Corporate. 

Then things got really real. The NBA doesn’t sleep. I had 2 children at this point. I was missing soccer games and recitals and bed time stories and was miserable for it. I had done the work to lay a solid foundation to have a great career and my spirit wasn’t in it anymore because..motherhood.

And that’s my reality. That is not everyone’s experience. All women can have it all…even with minimal sick-leave and long hours and juggling a million hats– women can really have it all. The thing is, I didn’t want it all. I wanted bedtime kisses and soccer practices and mommy & me dances. That’s it. The motivation and the laser sharp focus I had on my career had refocused on my kids.

I’m content with that fact.

So here I am, maneuvering through my new reality. Getting use to it. Feeling (a little) conflicted by it. But it is a journey. Any one else going through it? How’s it going?

Until next time,

Ashly

Kurandza – A Non-Profit Sending 100 Girls to School in Mozambique

Kurandza – A Non-Profit Sending 100 Girls to School in Mozambique

Every morning, Monday through Friday, I wake up, get the kids ready and into their uniforms, fix their lunches and commute for an hour across town to their prep-school. It is an amazing school–their teachers have advanced degrees, they are learning a second language and they are in an amazing, nurturing environment. That is part of my American story.

In rural Mozambique, however, completion of high school is rare. Because of all of the fees associated with keeping a child in school (uniforms, transportation, books, etc.) the majority of parents are unable to keep their girls in school; many girls drop out and are left with one option: to marry.

I think of my own daughter while writing this out. As a mother, I have made sacrifices to put my kids in prep-school. Private school is expensive but even if I couldn’t afford it, public school would be a viable option. If I didn’t want to go that route, I could home school. The point is, education is always on the table for us as Americans. A lot of the world is not so lucky and it breaks my heart. Could you imagine being a mother of a child that is bright-eyed and curious and ready to learn and, instead, having to marry them off because you can’t provide them with what they need? It hurts me to even type it out, knowing that this is happening in the world.

Luckily, there are things we can do to help. I have had the pleasure of meeting Elisabetta Colabianchi, founder of Kurandza– an organization that supports the Mozambique community through education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development programs. With the help of Percina Miocha, Kurandza’s Country Director, a local and close friend, they have launched an inspirational program #IStandForGirls which has set a goal to send 100 girls to school through scholarship.

$20/month or $240/year provides a scholarship for one child in Mozambique. 100% of your donation goes to these girls and it covers everything — transportation, school fees, uniforms, books, school supplies and extracurricular activity. If you can’t provide a full scholarship, you can donate any amount towards this amazing cause here at the bottom of the page.

I was so moved by Elisabetta’s story. She explained that she met Percina 6 years ago during her travel in the Peace Corp…After a natural disaster, Elisabetta moved in with Percina and became her family. So much so that Percina asked Elisabetta to be her daughter’s namesake. She explained it beautifully here:

When Percina was pregnant, I was with her all the time and was the first to see Lindsey Brianna born. Percina had asked me to name her baby, which is a huge honor in their culture. When you are someone’s “Xara” or “namesake” in their culture, it means that you are the same person. Lindsey and I are the same person now in her culture. So Percina calls me “minha filha”/”my daughter” and Percina’s mom calls me her granddaughter. Lindsey and I also have so many of the same characteristics– we both are curious about life, are super friendly and love to smile, love learning languages, and our mannerisms are the same. 

Percina wanted her daughter to have an American name so she also said that she wanted me to name her “Elisabetta”. But since Elisabetta is actually an Italian name (my dad was born in Italy), I decided to name her “Lindsey Brianna”– American name that would be pronounced well in Portuguese as well.

As you know, I love to highlight moms and all that they do and this is something so beautifully special. In a way, I see Elisabetta as a mother figure to all these young girls. What other group of people love and nurture and go to bat for children in this way?

I hope you will take some time to check out Kurandza’s website and, if you are moved to, donate. The #IStandForGirls Campaign has not yet reached their goal of financing 100 young girls for school.

*This is not a sponsored post– I offered to post, free of charge, because I believe in this project. All thoughts are my own. All photos belong to Elisabetta Colabianchi of Kurandza.

 

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