Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda…..Had I made different decisions in 1988 would I now be at the top of my game professionally? Would I be happy in my personal life? Where would I be?
In 1988 I made the decision to give up my job as a claim supervisor in Dallas, Texas to follow my then husband to Taiwan. He was offered a position as an international sales manager. I would have to give up my career and follow my spouse as a dependent unable to work to a foreign country where I did not know the customs or language. I learned quite a lot! I knew if I rejected the opportunity I would forever regret that I’d rejected the chance to live in Asia. I had to go! I’d always dreamed of visiting China! I’d also dreamed of becoming a Vice President at 30. But the call of adventure overrode my determination for professional success.
Ultimately, circumstances brought me back to the USA five years later and I found myself needing a job and trying to figure out how to explain my absence from the market for 5 years. Essentially, I found myself starting over at 36.It was a difficult realization. The real world marched forward while I was performing the role of expatriate wife in the surreal world of the dependent spouse supporting an international corporate representative in a bubble devoid of reality or any association with the real world. Then, all came crashing down. I had to pick up the pieces.
Thanks to the support of my dear dear friend Cindy Bennett, I had a place to use for a base and got a job in my former industry and fought my way back to my professional ground zero. Things had changed. I’d gotten older and was no longer the golden child. I had to compete in a corporate environment that had transitioned. I was no longer the only woman in the office - a good thing but…..I had to face altered dynamics. The competitors were no longer men. Now I had to navigate the challenges of women competing against on another - an entirely different ballgame.
After several years back in the game I’ve found myself at a peace. I have a job that I truly enjoy. I’m afforded privileges I could not have imagined at the beginning of my career. I have earned everything that I’ve achieved. It took a long time; but I do feel appreciated. There are times I consider that I should be farther along my path; but I did make choices along the way that had some repercussions. And I have no regrets.
I learned many lessons during years I spent in Al Anon thanks to somebody that has not been in my life for many years, learning the tools I need to live a full life, to accept what is, and to appreciate that I am where I am supposed to be. Had I not made the decisions that I did make, I would not have traveled the world, lived in Asia, learned to embrace change, found the job that I currently have, met my wonderful husband of nearly 11 years, and found peace, serenity, and an understanding of who I am. I accept the decisions that I’ve made and embrace the results
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