embracing the changing roles of our lives
Infant. Child. Student. We’ve all been there. It’s after the school years, that our lives take off in different and varying directions, formulating the person we are today.
embracing our changing life roles
My mother died when I was just 13 years of age, morphing my tween years into that of a live-in maid. I had to learn how to cook and do housework early in life, as my brother was already living away from the family home, and my father was still working full-time, and had not previously ever had to attend to household chores prior to my mother’s passing. Together, we learned how to cope and survive the most significant change in our lives.
That prepared me well for my next major role in life. That of a wife. I married at the early age of 19, most probably driven by the desire to leave the family home. It’s not that I didn’t love my husband-to-be, but I think had circumstances been different, we would have taken our time in marrying, and I would have completed the degree I was engaged in at the University of Winnipeg.
Instead, I embarked on my next role–that of a gainfully employed woman. I began working for a large but local corporation in an entry level job, but over the course of nearly 18 years, acquired a significant amount of formal education (sponsored by my employer) which elevated my position to a fairly senior one by the time I took a severance package and opted for voluntary leave in 1993.
At that time, I embraced the role of entrepreneur, and became a self-employed communications consultant and freelance writer. My life has never been the same! No more stable income or health benefits. But a lot more freedom with my time, providing me with the opportunity to volunteer, travel, pursue my passions, and nurture and develop my skills as a professional writer.
Throughout my life, the role of caregiver has been prevalent. First, to my father who developed Alzheimer’s Disease in the late 1980’s, and passed from it and associated illness in 1994. And later, to my cousin, who was dying from cancer, my aunt who suffered from severe dementia, and more recently, to my loving (second) husband who is 25 years my senior and now suffering from the ailments of his age.
Each of these roles has taught me so much, and sculpted me into the person I am today, and for that, I am grateful.
Have you taken time to reflect on the changing roles of your own life? Have there been monumental occasions that forever changed your life, created new opportunities and challenges and set you on a new, unexpected path?
I’ve written this post because I am embracing the changes that have resulted in my life due to circumstances beyond my control. I am choosing to find happiness in places that cause others to leave. And I am hopeful that someone reading this may find the courage to do the same.