Sometimes life puts us on an unexpected road and we find ourselves having to make important decisions that we were never anticipating. The decisions we make next can influence our lives moving forward – for better or for worse. I had made difficult decisions before, but none that had so much at stake.
I’ll never forget the words of my beautiful daughter Sarah that day. She looked up at me with an ounce of uncertainty in her eyes and said, “What are you going to do now Mommy?” It seems like such a simple thing to say, but it resonated deeply within me.
There wasn’t an easy answer to her question. My marriage had just ended, and at age 37, I found myself suddenly single with 3 teenage children. I had to pull it together. I had to stop spending countless nights crying myself to sleep, feeling ashamed of myself for failing to keep my marriage.
Everything I had done to this point had revolved around my home. It was what I knew; it was what I loved. For almost 20 years I had been a wife, a “work at home mom”, the head of the Parent-Teacher Association and a Sunday School teacher. Now I was just me, out in the work force, looking for a place to land. I guess this was a little different from how I had perceived my life would be. I now needed to review what the next steps were going to be for this new phase of my life; I needed a new plan. I had to re-evaluate my situation and turn it into an opportunity to grow, instead of a time of defeat.
I started by speaking to those closest to me about opportunities to get involved in the community, places where my personality could grow. I took advantages of what was offered to me, from the chance to be the weather girl for Rogers TV to an invitation to come to Tweetstock. By opening myself up to new networks, new conversations, and new people, I began to grow into the woman I wanted to become – a woman who is poised and confident, and a woman who can use my strengths to help other people.
Since I chose to move forward, to take that nervous first step into the unknown, I have realized the power of the people in my life. There was my daughter who wasn’t afraid to ask the tough question. There were my friends who provided the counsel and guidance to point me in the right direction. And then there are the people of this community, the ones who have supported what I have done to try and make this community better, and at the same time, make me better. I have leaned on them all, and they have never failed to support me.
As I answered that very important question of my daughter Sarah’s, I remember not even flinching as I replied “Mommy’s going to be famous!” We both giggled immediately as the words were spoken – Sarah because she thought I was just being optimistic or perhaps funny, and me because I knew that much like the lyrics from that Shania Twain song, things could “only go up from here”!
We all have choices in life. I have chosen to embrace my circumstances in a way that enables me to continue to move forward.