Stay-at-home Mom, Working Woman, Writer, Artist, Executive, Nurturer, Entrepreneur, and the “titles” go on and on, as women are constantly defining the space of their existence through the act of “doing.” Sometimes the search for the correct title of our being, through our doing, can lead down the negative roads of self-doubt, comparison and perfectionism. I’ve learned there is no right or wrong, only your life’s truth.
My sister and I were raised, by our divorced, single “working” Mom, and at the young age of 14, we learned first hand the title role of a hard — working — independent — woman. The images in my household were of independent earning women, and not earning men. Where I grew up, 14 was the age that a child could go gain employment, so when both my sister (5 years older) and I turned 14 we entered into the working world. And so it began the forming of myself as a “working woman.” Yes I saw my friends take other paths in sports, various social clubs or just enjoying the teenage years exploring life. I viewed all these different paths golden, and didn’t think twice about the variety of what they did or what I was doing. The beauty of our youth allows us to do and explore without over analyzing. Yes it was work and I was amongst adults that also worked, to some a daunting reality, however at that time in my life and household that is what you did. I was proud of it and enjoyed the independence of it all. After your day at school you went to work. From the age of 14, the summer before my 9th grade, through my four years in college (with the exception of my last semester senior year when I lived off a student loan to focus on graduating with honors — yes it was worth it) I was gainfully employed. After graduating with my Bachelors in Business Administration degree in Finance, I climbed and moved across the corporate ladder for 3 years post graduation, until the winds of change pushed me into another direction. I got married 2 years after I graduated from college, and after my 3rd year became a Mom.
My title for the past 11 years sharply changed from “Independent Working Woman” to “Stay-at-Home Mom.” Uncharted territory and uncomfortable to say the least, I was 25 years of age — the prime time for an eager young professional. The inner struggles of my self imposed societal expectations, provided an inner push and pull of emotions. At the same time, neither my husband nor I wanted to leave the care of our newborn son in the hands of anyone else. The quiet voice inside gently supported my life changing decision. Both in our twenties, young and eating life as it came we mindfully made the joint decision. I would stay home to be the primary care giver of our son, while my husband zigzagged across the country establishing his career in the Music Industry. As much as I envied the freedom of my friends who fully lived and embraced their twenties, my reality involved something so much larger than myself. The shift of my life role stretched and shaped me in ways that only walking in your life and its truth can do for you. At the time, walking in “my new truth” while observing everyone else’s lives, provided the perfect process of constantly questioning life and the paths we all choose to take. The beauty of the down stream and up stream flows enabled the process of self-evolution.
As life’s lessons continued to mold and shape me throughout my 20’s, 30’s and now early 40’s, I have discovered to learn the most important gems of wisdom. Everyone’s life and journey is perfect because it belongs to you. After all the self-doubts, comparisons, right and left turns, and you reflect on life’s teachable experiences, settle more into you — you realize it is all golden. At the time of my shift in role/title, I didn’t have the emotional wherewithal to say hey I’ve honestly experienced this side of the coin, and was a working young woman at a very early age and enjoyed the variety offered through the many jobs, people I met, and places I traveled. That chapter was my truth that evolved into another truth of Motherhood, and Business Woman, and will keep evolving forever on. Embrace and love the life you have at this moment, your life that is in front of you is just as important as the dreams your future holds. Each path of your truth is perfect, good, and worthy, simply because it is you.
Originally published at medium.com