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How to Find the Fun in Starting Over… A Lesson from My Mother

A fresh perspective on what to do in life when an important door closes.

mother daughter

In first grade, I wanted to be a doctor. Then I read about a prima ballerina in NYC and decided that was a better fit. I took that idea and ran with it.

I always thought you had to pick one thing to do when you grew up and pursue it wholeheartedly.

So when I reached my late teens and realized how few people actually make it as a professional ballerina, I felt lost. This was the profession I chose as a child. I put all my eggs in this basket. And the basket wasn’t panning out. What would I do now?

I’d look to my mother.

As a young child, I never thought much about all the different jobs my mom worked… during my childhood, she worked at a university in the food science department, then she was a coordinator for physics outreach at a local college, then she was head of economic development for the county we lived in, then she managed a ballet studio, then she sold RVs…

Before she married my dad and had kids, she flew planes at Embry Riddle!

By the time I was an adult, I started to recognize how amazing that was… She was able to experience so many different worlds through all those jobs.

It helped me see how many opportunities truly are out there for all of us.

Who says we have to choose one path and stick to it?

When my pursuit of becoming a prima ballerina didn’t pan out, it wasn’t the end of the world.

It was a new beginning for me. The start of a new chapter in my life.

I spent a few years as a waitress, learning what it’s like to serve others.

I pursued a media degree and became a television news producer for a few years.

Then I started my own copywriting business.

Who knows what’s next?

All I know is that my mother’s winding career path taught me how to keep my chin up if something didn’t work out.

Personally, it sounds pretty boring to work the same job for 40 years. I’d much rather experience all the different things life has to offer!

We’re in a time of great uncertainty right now. People are losing jobs. Businesses are closing their doors. For many people, it probably feels a lot like what I felt when I realized I wasn’t going to dance on a stage in New York City…

So I encourage you to take a page from my mother’s book… look for a new opportunity, no matter how different it may be from your current occupation.

Who knows what blessings will come from a new path?

My mom met my dad when she worked at the university. She got to spend precious after-school hours with me when she managed the ballet studio. She learned about an amazing opportunity for me to attend a prestigious art school when she sold RVs. (Plus, she instilled in me a life-long love of camping!)

I’m sure there were even more blessings from each job that I wasn’t privy to as a child.

I can see how beautifully my own path has unfolded during each of my jobs as well.

I hope you can learn from my mother as I have, and with each new opportunity, trade stress and anxiety for excitement and anticipation. You never know what might come from starting over!

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