Just last year, I was working as a marketing director at a luxury travel company. When discussing career paths, I remember telling a colleague that I didn’t want to move up or get promoted. At the time, I was dating someone who I thought I’d have children with. And when I did, I’d be a stay-at-home mom and write on the side. At that point in time, I thought my life plan was set. To take on more work and add stress to my life in order to further my corporate career just wasn’t in the cards. So I thought…
Then, suddenly everything I thought I was so certain of fell apart. My boyfriend and I broke up abruptly. At the time I was not working. I had no income, no home, and was emotionally damaged. For the second time in my life, since being severely bullied as a child, I felt like I had lost all control of my life. I said to myself the same words I proclaimed at age nine: “I will never let this happen to me again.”
My outlook on relationships and work has changed drastically since last year. Why? Life happened, knocked me off my feet for a while, and in the process of getting back up, it changed the way I saw things.
Today my goal is to become a CEO in five years – a completely different vision from the life I planned out just a year ago. While some may applaud (or sneer) at my tenacious ambition, I don’t discount that the drive comes from a dark place. I am quite aware that the same pain that fueled me to be an overachiever at the of age nine is the same pain that powers me today. My vision is to work as hard as I can to continue building my career, continue establishing myself as a writer, and make my own money so I can afford the lifestyle I want – and do it all by myself.
Who knows, maybe life will throw another curveball at me and my vision will change all over again. But if there is one thing I have learned, it is that just when you think you’ve got it all down pat, everything can change in an instant. And everything you think you know for sure, isn’t so sure after all. All you can really do is dust yourself off when you fall, and navigate your way the best you can until you’re back to good again. Those ups and downs that throw you off track make life beautiful and worthwhile at the end. And it’s those same ups and downs that inevitably what enable you to create yourself.