When Patrick and I would talk about life after football, Graduate School was always in the picture. The NFL offers their vested players some great scholarships to go back to school, and Patrick always thought it would just be silly to not take them up on that offer. My husband is a silly breed of man though – he’s a brainiac who could go back to school after being 7 years removed from it – not everyone is capable of that…I surely am not!
Today we celebrate his first year being complete and I don’t think either of us could be happier about it!
I’m not going to lie, I thought that him going back to school would be fairly easy. It wasn’t. In fact it was one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in our marriage thus far. It has gotten easier as the months have gone on, but as I reflect on his first year, I think back to the beginning and how dark of a time that was for all of us.
Prior to school starting, Patrick had been unemployed for nearly a year, just waiting for another NFL team to call him up. During that time, Beau got used to his Daddy being around, so his sudden disappearance from 7 am until sometimes as late as 9 pm totally rocked our little guys world! Patrick had severely underestimated his workload and the amount of time he would be away. I was totally overwhelmed parenting 2 kids by myself for the first time ever. And Beau, he missed his Daddy being around so much that he acted out all day long making life so much harder on me. I knew he was just sad, but it was driving me mad, and additionally broke my heart when he would say over and over again “I want Dada!” – I felt him, I wanted Dada too!
I felt like I was failing at my job as “Mom”, and there are few more defeating feelings in this world then feeling like you aren’t any good at what you have to do each and every day. I was slowly being drained, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Some days I would just cry after Patrick would leave the house looking all handsome, dressed up in a suit for some presentation or meeting. I would cry because I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to get showered and out of my pajamas that day because both kids were already up and roaring to go. I cried because I was overwhelmed with what my life had become.
It was tough! But it did get better. I shared how the power of prayer helped me through in a post back in November.
After the first Mod (Vanderbilt runs on the Mod schedule rather than Semester system) Patrick was able to make his own schedule. There were still some late nights thrown in there for information sessions with prospective companies he could intern at, but overall he was coming home much earlier which was a relief to all of us!
I truly thought it would be easy for Patrick to find an internship, but we quickly realized just how tough the business world is when he wasn’t even granted an interview with the first company he was interested in…ouch!
Other companies did grant him interviews though, and he’d continually make it to the 2nd and 3rd rounds but fail to nab a position. I couldn’t understand what was wrong with these companies! Didn’t they know what a hard worker they would be getting with my husband!? Didn’t they read on his resume that he received an Engineering degree from Duke University while being a college athlete? Didn’t they realize he came back from a career ending injury his senior year of college but still went on to play in the NFL for 6 years as an undrafted player? Did they miss that he helped win a Super Bowl?! Didn’t any of that mean anything?! Apparently not in the business world! He was continually met with “we’re looking for someone with more experience” in the rejection calls and emails.
The continual turn downs were hard on Patrick, and it was hard on me responding to him as well. If I thought my husband coming home after a bad football game was hard, I had seen nothing yet! Coming home after a failed interview was miles harder! After a game he always (hopefully!) had a job to go back to…after a missed internship opportunity, he was still in the same boat he’d been paddling since being let go from the Titans…unemployed.
I was on a roller coaster all of my own though! Each week I was met with a new place we could potentially be living for the summer…Seattle…San Jose…Denver…Pittsburgh…Dallas…Atlanta…I tried to look it as an adventure, but I really just wanted to know where we would be! What could I plan for? I just wanted to know!
As stressed as I was, my determined husband was even more so, and at times I didn’t do a very good job of realizing that. Through this process, God humbled us both and brought us to places we had never before seen in our relationship. It hasn’t been easy, but I know God is doing deep rooted work on us and when His work comes to fruition we will understand why.
The tough stuff has paid off though for the time being and I am so proud to announce that Patrick was offered a position with Acadia Healthcare on the spot. He has committed to work with them for 10 weeks this summer! This position will keep us right here in Nashville for the summer! I have never been so thankful for a stay-cation in all my life!
Acadia is a provider of inpatient behavioral healthcare services…go ahead, you have my permission, enter your best “crazy” joke at my expense here but be easy on this crazy Mama 😉
I am so excited for Patrick to seize this opportunity and am genuinely excited to see what God has in store for us! If this opportunity would lead to a job, it would be a good one, but it’s likely it wouldn’t be in Nashville…which makes me sad to think about…so I’m just not going to think about it. I’m going to enjoy this summer stay-cation, and the next year to come here in this place that I absolutely love doing life in!
It’s a little unnerving not knowing where we will be once school is finished. The only thing I do know is that it could be literally anywhere, which helps me zero! I can’t get wrapped up in that though because it will drown me. So instead I’m choosing to live life by a quote I recently read…
Currently, I’m still in Nashville, so I’m going to keep on growing here. It’s been a tremendous year of growth, and I look forward to seeing where we are next year…when that time comes of course 🙂
Be Blessed + Be A Blessing