I used to think that by the time I reached my mid-forties I would have the entire rest of my life mapped out. I thought that at some predetermined point I would have a firmly set path in front of me, complete with clearly-defined goals and the steps required to get there.
I started a career in the medical field, and though there were missteps and difficulties here and there, I managed to get where I wanted to go. That vocation allowed me to support my kids while they grew up, finished school, and then began the pursuit of their own dreams. One day, though, I realized the work no longer satisfied me, fulfilled me. I asked myself, where do I go from here?
Life, I’ve heard, is not a destination, but a journey. It follows then, that when one goal is reached, it’s time to set a new one. Some people are lucky to find a career, a lifestyle they love, and are content to stay with that for the rest of their lives, and I say great for them! However, I was not one of those people; after a while the job I held for so long became, to put it bluntly, boring.
I became aware that the aims and goals that I had when I was struggling with a young family in my twenties no longer fit my changing life now that my kids were grown and (mostly) on their own. Eventually I decided to go back to school, and start on a new path, one that I had lacked the financial security and perhaps, the courage, to pursue as a parent of young children. I decided to become a professional writer, something I’d dare only dream about before.
I still don’t have it all figured out, but somewhere along the way I realized that that’s okay. Somedays it still feels like I take two steps forward and four steps backward on the path I have chosen. I don’t expect I’ll ever become rich or famous, but I’m happy sharing my gifts with the world.
My life no longer has a completely set plan, but I’ve decided I really don’t need one. All the changes, growth, and even succumbing to uncertainty I’ve experienced on this particular expedition, means I’m still alive, still growing, still becoming whom I’m meant to be. I’m only forty-six after all; I ‘m optimistic that I still have quite a bit more untraveled road ahead of me, and I’m just enjoying the journey.
Here’s to hoping you all find your own path to happiness,