Can you look back at your life and identify points in time that created permanent changes? I think that most of us would answer to the affirmative. Now,parents, can you look back and take your children out of that equation? To me, that is a little less obvious. Barring disasters (health, accidents, tragedy) the turning points are little harder to put my finger on, in my opinion. Some are positive and some definitely are not, but they all have changed the course of my life in a lasting way. Here are some of my turning points:
- Leaving the University of South Carolina. I moved back to Charleston, ended the long term relationship I was in, met someone else who turned out to be my husband. Loved the College of Charleston. Positive.
- Opted not to accept a position on a US Senator's staff in DC in order not to leave said husband, then boyfriend (amongst other reasons). Positive and negative. Love the husband very much but always wonder what direction career may have gone from there.
- Chose to take baby downstairs to show her beginning smiles to my husband instead of waiting for him to come back up. Fell down stairs, permanently injuring my ankle. Negative. Baby unscathed. Positive.
- Decided to accept a very painful rejection from a group of "friends". Negative. Realized that I'm pretty damn cool and it was their loss. Positive.
- Moved from Summerville to West Ashley. The jury is still out on that one. Some of the effects have been very positive, some, not so much.
The point of defining these moments is helpful to me because it allows me to make objective observations. And since I have a tendency of going off the cliff emotionally during hard times, it also helps me to look back at things that were so incredibly painful or difficult at the time and draw strength from having survived those times. I'm wiser now from most of it too.
We are not promised anything in this life, other than the opportunity to live it and that is something I've had a very difficult time with personally. As a younger person, I genuinely felt destined for something great, something special, and that has yet to materialize. Separating the "me" from the life I have is a huge challenge and I struggle with not defining myself by my success (or in my case, the lack thereof). The fact is that I am not wealthy, do not have an amazing career and an impatient/imperfect parent does not make me "less than" but let me tell you, it sure feels that way sometimes. Being thankful and counting my blessings does help give me some focus, but to be honest, I'm ready to shine. I'm ready to accomplish something huge, to take on the world, to make a difference. I'm ready for me.
What are the turning points in your life? How have you handled them? I'm nosy curious. :-)
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