I’ve never really known what I wanted to be when I grew up!!  In college, I bounced back and forth from elementary education (until I taught at a camp one summer), to communications (I wanted to be Katie Couric, but I was too shy for public speaking classes!), to Biology ( I was naturally very smart and science came easy to me, seemed like the way to go)!!  I worked my way through college as a waitress and bartender.  I loved the fast pace of the restaurant and I loved the cash.

I eventually took a job at Sanofi-Aventis, as a Data and Acquisition Assistant (short for data entry).  I thought I was hot stuff working for this big pharmaceutical company.  In orientation, they made it sound so exciting and I imagined heading the team of a new clinical trial!!  In reality, I was stuck in a cubicle all day entering pages and pages of clinical trials into the computer.  They moved me up to Data Analysis after the first year and that was a little better, because I was looking at trends of data and putting together drugs and their adverse reactions,but I was still not too happy.  (In all honesty, I think that because of staring at the adverse effects and reactions all day, that is why I’m so scared to take any medicine!!)

Fast forward two and a half boring years still in a cubicle. I got pregnant at 25 with my first!  (Surprise!! More on this in a blog to come).  2008 Wow was I stylish??! I only had 6 weeks of paid maternity leave.  This surprises me because the pay was phenomenal, the benefits were incredible, but my baby was so tiny at 6 weeks, I couldn’t go back yet.  I took another 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA, and then that turned into me never going back.  I sometimes wonder how far up I could have worked, but I realized that I was not cut out for the 9-5 office career.

So,I  waitressed a little and stayed home with Madison. (Again, more on this lonely mom sitting at home in a future blog!!)  We struggled financially for years.  My husband worked hard and long to support us, but we were barely getting by. I remember taking jars of change to the penny arcade at the bank to buy diapers.   In the end, we made it work.

Fast forward a year and I started taking classes at night to go back to school for nursing.  Surprise!  Mento Family 2010Pregnancy number 2 (Did we not hear of birth control?!)  I took online courses through my pregnancy and got into the nursing program and started when Lana was 5 months old. It was definitely a struggle, but again, luckily I didn’t have to try as hard as others.  I graduated in 2012 and started working on a Cardio/Pulmonary Progressive Care Floor at The Reading Hospital.  (Do you remember Kate Gosselin from Jon and Kate Plus 8?  She worked there prior to that). I loved the fast pace of the hospital, but I was always very stressed and I felt like I never slept.  I had two small kids at home and I worked second shift 3 -11, which in hospital terms really means 2:30 (report) to 12.  By the time I got home, I was hungry and wide awake and never fell asleep till after 3.  Kids were up at 6 ready to go.  I was miserable. I was so sad this day, I missed Madison’s first dance recital. I decided to leave the hospital (again pay cut and loss of benefits, my poor husband), and take a job PRN working pediatric home health.  The hours were flexible and it was so much less stressful.  I worked for a few years here while becoming pregnant with baby 3 (again kind of surprise.  I really did want kids, just thought I’d plan them…lol).Baby number 3!! Mento Family 5!

In 2015, Zac opened his own business, Superior Custom Flooring.  (If you’re local check him out…they do amazing work www.superiorcustomflooring.net)!  His hours were constant and I worked less and less until I didn’t work at all. I really enjoyed the next four years staying home with the kids.  I struggled with a lot of anxiety and I honestly couldn’t even imagine working during this time.  My anxiety was less being home (way more about this anxiety in another blog)!!  I picked up some work as a substitute school nurse which was great and I even applied for a full time position this past fall 2019, but when I didn’t get it, I decided it was time for another change!!

Katelyn started full day kindergarten in the fall of 2019. I decided to take a leap and launched an online boutique the next day! Opening Day!! I had planned to stay as an online only store for a few years, but a building came up in Downingtown that my husband and I could both use and again….I took the leap!  I opened Boutique On Thirty (www.boutiqueonthirty.com) November 27, 2019 (Black Friday!!).  It has been fun and challenging every single day and I absolutely love it!!  I am so happy where I ended up and I finally know what I want to be when I grow up!

“Life is a journey with problems to solve and lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy!”  I found this quote online and it is very fitting.  I never would have imagine being where I am today and I was sometimes shameful and regretful of not sticking with my prior choices, but why settle when you’re not happy.  I challenge you to take a leap!  You never know what may come of it.