She believed she could, so she did.

Every decision I make is with the best interest of Noli and Kieran in mind.

Ironically, Noli was born on the exact day of my 10 year anniversary of Government service. Before she came along, work was my “baby” [so to speak]. After Noli was born, I had to find my footing trying to juggle the career I had invested a decade into, all while figuring out how to ‘share’ my time equally with the ACTUAL baby who needed me.

When Kieran joined us, everything changed. Days, weeks, even months in the hospital left me wondering how I would ever continue being successful in my career given my new level of ‘mom’ priorities.

I’ve been lucky for the past couple of years… managing to keep up with my work commitments whilst handling a pseudo [second] full-time job coordinating logistics of Kieran’s needs and schedule. That said, despite my hesitation, I ultimately accepted that how I can best provide for Kieran is to take the next step in my profession — even if that means physically being away from him more. Fact is, we must secure a financial future that will allow us to offer Kieran the highest quality medical and educational care that exists.

With that, today, I bid a bittersweet farewell to the job that saw me change my last name when I got married, the office that watched me waddle around pregnant and navigate initiation into life with a special needs child, and the place that led me to meeting a truly amazing person who is now one of my very best friends.

The time has come to enter the next phase of my story… chapter titled, “Emily Barrett, Director of Employment Services” (eeeekkk!)

As excited as I am, I’m equally terrified. Every time I think about being farther than ear-shot from Kieran, moderate to severe panic sets in. I know this new role is going to open doors for exploring opportunities we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to consider, but I also recognize that the transition doesn’t come without sacrifice.

Alas, this afternoon I packed up my belongings and said goodbye to the Office of Personnel Management (a send-off that was complete with a “unicorn” themed party thrown by some super awesome colleagues who wanted to make sure I departed feeling ‘magical’ and fabulous).

Change can be scary, but I encourage anyone reading this to embrace opportunities for stepping outside the comfort zone. Never allow yourself to stop growing. As I’ve come to learn — thanks to Kieran — there are no limits to what can be accomplished when you work hard, stay determined, and have faith in yourself.

*signed with glitter and sparkles*

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