Hi, my name is Amy, and an introduction to my life could appear very monotonous and repetitive to all the other 30-year-old women out there who get classified into three categories: single, married, married with kids. Well, I’m married with a little girl and another one the way, working full-time and trying to balance all that life throws at us. That’s typically why introductions don’t work when your true goal is to reach someone beyond the surface. With as busy and crazy as everyone’s life is, it’s really hard to dive in and see the full picture behind the flurry of faces that pass by every day. But either way, here you go:
My husband, Brian and I, started on an adventure together about 8 years ago when we both decided to leave everything (and everyone) we knew in Michigan to test out some Southern weather – Atlanta, GA. We both quickly found jobs and settled into the “adult life” for the first time. Life never really settled down for us, since over the next year and a half we were planning our wedding, buying a house and debating Grad School. Shortly after we were married, I found out I was accepted in to an MBA program that would allow me to work during the day and go to school at night…about a month after I found out I was pregnant with our first child…unexpectedly. Walking into my orientation meeting and first week of classes 8 ½ months pregnant had to be one of the most terrifying reductions in self-conscience I’ve ever had for fear of judgment that I was not serious about my career or graduating. I quickly realized that with all of the encouragement I was receiving from classmates, co-workers, family and mostly my husband, I could accomplish anything (even on the bad days). Those three years seemed to pass quickly and slowly at the same time as our careers continued to grow and change and we learned the life of being parents. Some days it felt as if all I could do is hold my sleeping child and tear up as I spent my day working from 8am to 5pm and class from 6:30pm to 10pm while running all over the city and still finding time to do homework and maintain my relationships with friends and family. Maintaining any sense of sanity was key to surviving and since we were so busy it was small things that kept us all going. I would continue to train for half marathons, Brian and I would take cooking lessons at restaurants for date nights, we indulged in several local hiking and camping trips with our little girl, and welcomed in countless family and friends to visit on a regular schedule.
As graduation came, we found our weekends and breaks were going to soon open up and we decided to finally plan our honeymoon…four years late. Traveling had always been a true passion of mine that I wanted to share with my best friend and husband. Relinquishing what you thought you knew to fully absorb yourself in another culture was the most liberating experience I’ve ever had. My goal in life has always been to see as much of the diverse life as possible on this earth. I want to not only be appreciative of the gifts I’ve received where I live, but surpass any naïve opinions and thoughts I may have solely based upon my limited experience in cultural diversity. I had limited travel to South America and Europe so our first trip was to indulge in food and wine (two very serious obsessions in the Hine household) of Italy. Our life in cooking and drinking wine along with art, culture and even cars (we had to visit the Ferrari Museum) was forever changed. For our next adventure, we decided we needed to break away from civilization and turned towards another desire of ours – hiking and nature. We, along with some friends, decided to let go our first-world conveniences (and problems), take only what fit in our backpacks and hike five days through the Andes to Machu Picchu.
Throughout these adventures, whether it be through travel, hiking/running, cooking, fun activities as home with family and friends or careers, we’ve found that, as a family, as long as we keep each other as the focus and the overall goal, anything could be accomplished and we actually have fun doing it. We have learned over the years that even though we love to live some days in the fast lane (traveling internationally, going out to nice dinners with friends and pushing forward in our careers), some of our favorite memories have been a bottle of wine at home with a cooked meal by the fire playing board games. We know that no matter where you go, what you run through or what life demands from you, as long as you are with, truly with, the ones you love, every day is a blessing and an adventure in The Good Life.
In the future I hope to continue to travel with my husband, take on other personal goals like running another marathon, continue expanding my mind in culture and food, and be the best mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter and person I can be to everyone that I meet. Deep down I’ve always had an issue with living in mediocrity; not because I want the most expensive house or car or a fancy title at work. But mostly because I wanted to make sure I was living life the way I wanted to and to the fullest, not just because that’s how I was told to live by the “cool” people, a magazine or Oprah. Instead of working to earn a paycheck, I want to find a job where I actually enjoy the people I work with and the work I do. Instead of having a house full of expensive items, I want it full of memories and little touches that would showcase what really matters to our family, like the hand-made bed frame my husband custom-built for me. Instead of going through life not considering anyone else’s point of view, I want to make sure my mind was always open to a new experience and perspective, whether I end up agreeing with it or not. Part of removing myself from “living in mediocrity” is setting goals and obtaining them through hard work and patience, but the other is all attitude. I am grateful for the life I’m living, partly for the blessings I’ve received and partly for the diligence and dedication that my husband and I have put in to make our life not only work, but thrive.
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This post appears as part of the In Her Words series. To learn more about In Her Words, click here.