Great Expectations: The Average Supermom

I’ve been following Sean, the Average Supermom, on Twitter for as long as I can remember, but finally got to meet her in person at Blissdom this year. And I am so happy I did. She’s completely down to earth, gorgeous, funny, real, and FUN. She’s a Texan, a wife, and a mom to her own sassy pants girl. She’s practically a rocket scientist (at least in my eyes), working in the space industry. Just wait, you’ll see!

Thanks SO much for stopping by with your story today, Sean!

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All throughout high school my expectation was that I would go off to college. I spent hours slaving over SAT prep books in the counselor’s office. I took college catalogs home for leisurely reading. UC Santa Cruz and UT Austin were my ideal campuses with their laid back lifestyles yet stellar education programs. I expected to be an architect. With a perfectly balanced left and right brain the combination of art and engineering were a perfect fit.

In the spring of my senior year, I crammed for the SAT every chance I had. When the test day arrived, I aced it with near perfect, equal scores on both math and comprehension. My dream was so close that I woke up some mornings expecting to find myself in a dorm.

The counselor at my school helped me fill out college applications. We even threw in a few lame schools (Sul Ross and Southwest Texas State WTF?!) to appease my dad. With my test scores and my straight A’s I knew it was a done deal. And it was. It was too easy.

My acceptance letter to UT arrived in February of 1993. My nerves were so shot that I fumbled to open the envelope. When I saw the word ‘congratulations’ my heart screamed. I think I screamed. It was an out of body experience. But I was quickly brought back down to Earth.

“You didn’t get in, did you,” my dad snarked. He was always so positive.

“No, I DID! I got in to UT! Do you know how hard it is to get into UT as a freshman?” my cheeks ached from smiling.

“Huh, well, no daughter of mine is going off to a big school like that,” he snidely mused. “I’m not paying for it and I’m not going to sign any of your financial aid forms for you to be able to go.”

Dreams, expectations, whisked swiftly away.

“You’ll go to community college and we’ll see what happens.” Decision made. There was no changing this dictator’s rule.

And that’s where my life took a drastic turn.

Within two weeks, I was dating the bad boy in school. I dated 100’s of guys in high school, but this was my chance for a ticket out. He was going to be a Marine, after all, and we’d live the military life – happily ever after. But, soon after we started dating seriously, my dad forced me to move to Houston (actually packed my belongings while I was out of town one week and moved while I was gone!) and to go to community college. I felt betrayed. I felt small. I felt helpless. But I wasn’t. I knew he wasn’t in control of my future and it was up to me to make my life my own. So, naturally, I ran away in the middle of the night and got married that October.

It was a bold move. And it was a complete failure. We separated the following June, though I wish it had happened much sooner. From there, my only option was to move back in with my dad and go back to that damn school. So I made another bold move – I enlisted in the Air Force.

My only goal for my enlistment was to leave for Basic Training as soon as possible. I didn’t care about my job or anything else. The sergeant at the processing center wasn’t feeling it.

“You aced the ASVAB and you can pretty much pick any job you want,” he told me.

“What leaves tomorrow?”

“Ha! Seriously? You can pick any job – why don’t you look through your options and we will see what the departure dates look like.” He wasn’t amused by my urgency.

“No, what leaves tomorrow? Or as soon as possible? My only goal is to leave.”

“Well, if you want to leave in three days, you can go to dental hygienist training or something called space systems operations training,” He still wasn’t amused by my urgency.

“I hate teeth. I’ll take that space job.”

And that’s how I went on to spend the past 19 years working on various space programs from the Air Force to NASA to commercial space companies. I met my husband in the Air Force and we have a beautiful daughter, a beautiful home and a great life. I’ve made this life for myself under no one else’s terms. I guess when it comes to my happiness, I’m pretty fearless. We are given one life to live (as far as I know) and the only terms you should live by are your own.

Do yourselves a favor and get to know Sean by checking out her blog, liking her on Facebook, and following her on Twitter.

20 Responses to Great Expectations: The Average Supermom

  1. Sean says:

    Thank you so very much for having me here Greta! I truly appreciate your hospitality 🙂

  2. tamaralikecamera says:

    WOW, what a story. I got so mad at your dad! You're really amazing – you created a beautiful life there.

  3. Alison says:

    Sean, your story is inspiring! Good on you for choosing your own path.

    • averagesupermom says:

      Hi Alison! Thanks – never an easy decision. But once my mind was made up, I was all in. I'm really happy with the direction my life took.

  4. Co-Pilot Mom says:

    It must have taken a lot of strength to stand up and choose what you wanted from your life. Such a courageous story, Sean.

    • averagesupermom says:

      Thank you! It was a combination of strength and 'flight' syndrome. I had to get the Hell out of Dodge. 🙂

  5. jasbeeray says:

    That's a wow!

  6. Jayme says:

    Bravo to you for standing up for yourself. My dad pushed me into being a psychology major. I didn't want to do it. I wanted to be a teacher. Needless to say, I went into a deep depression from that and a few other factors and failed out of college. I know he thought he was doing the best for me but it wasn't. Thankfully I turned my life around, but I still feel a bit lost, like I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

    • averagesupermom says:

      Hi Jayme – so glad you were able to eventually take the reigns and steer your own path. I feel lost sometimes, too. I know a lot of poeple do, and pulling yourself out of that mindset is so very difficult. But the fact that you were able to turn your life around is a big deal. That says a lot about your strength. Who knows – maybe we aren't supposed to grow up after all? 😉

  7. AngelaYBlood says:

    When I saw your name pop up here on Greta's blog, I knew it was going to be good and it was. You are so brave, so strong, so inspiring, so, so…kickass and I love it. I'm glad that I met you at BlissDom too and we have connected now online.

    • Sean says:

      Hi Angela! I was just stalking your YouTube channel last night 🙂 Thanks for reading! I'm so glad to have met you at Blissdom. I haven't danced like that in years! Hope we can do it again sometime.

  8. Ilene Evans says:

    One of the things I had to remind myself when I read this post was how young you were when you made these incredibly bold choices. That's admirable. I love your fearlessness and there is such a great message here and clearly a "happy ending" to a story that continues to evolve. This was my inspiration today!

    • Sean says:

      Hi Ilene – sorry for the late response. Work has consumed my life lately. As I've gotten older, and had Ava, that fearlessness has declined. I miss it sometimes. So glad my story inspired you!

  9. Life of K says:

    What a story! Good for you for sticking to your guns. You made your own choices and your own mistakes. I'm definitely going to check out your blog to read more! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Kristin Shaw says:

    WOW! What a fantastic story. I am proud of you and I don't even know you. Awesome.