Friday, August 6, 2010

Starting Over

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~Marcus Aurelius

Not many people in life have a chance to start over.  Well, actually it's probably more accurate to say that most never take that chance.  They're not willing to take that first small step over the mountain that at the time seems insurmountable.  Who knows exactly what holds people back: fear, unbelief in themselves, the unknown.  Yeah, I know, some people are actually satisfied with their lives and that's great.  I'm talking about you guys that had that look in your eyes begging me to take you with me on my new journey because you don't have the courage to do it on your own.  I'm still not sure I have it either, but I am walking anyways.

I myself am starting over for the second time in my life.  This isn't the first time I've quit a job, moved to another state, and basically started over.  New friends, new doctors, the works.  Apparently I like stress.  More than that, I believe I thrive on it.  This is the second, possibly third time if you count my 5 years at college.  But this is a major one.  I'm not just a snot-nosed kid out of school that has no responsibility and only has herself to worry about.  I now have 3 amazingly angelic (hah!) kids that I have to consider with ever decision I make.

My grandfather is a great example of someone who started over.  After retiring from the Marines after 20 years, he went back to school and got a doctorate in Language and Speech Therapy.  He started his own practice, wrote several books, taught college classes and wrote a computer program to help stroke patients learn to talk again.  Oh, and he did all of this after he was 40 so maybe even I have a chance.

One thing that goes along with starting over is the ability to re-invent yourself.  It's a great time to establish who you want to be and hide the fact that you've been a boring, don't-take-chances soccer mom/engineer or whatever that title is for you.  I am, of course, talking literally, not figuratively.  That wasn't me.  I was this incredible over-achiever that is just carrying her awesomeness back to Cleveland with her (yeah, I know you're laughing again.)

But seriously, you get a chance to put behind you the stuff you're not happy with.  You can decide on a new career path like my grandfather did.  You can get a new hairstyle (been there, done that) and some new clothes.  Get a great new apartment with groovy new furniture.  Get a hot boyfriend (note dating blog post) with a great job.  Change your attitude which in turn changes others attitude towards you.  Because the new friends don't know who the old you was.  They haven't had to put up with your Irish temper and hormonal changes over the last 20 years.  Again, I'm talking figuratively :)

Does re-inventing yourself actually change who you are?  I suppose it has to do with just how much you are willing to change.  I'm going back home, so too many people know who the real me is to change too much.  Which is OK with me because I'm OK with me.  But say I was moving to a completely new city, starting a new career path making more money.  I could, in theory, make a complete change with no one being the wiser.  Of course, inevitably someone from your past always shows up in the new town to unmask your identity. 

So, seeing as I haven't yet quite figured out who I want to be, I'll be winging it a lot.  I'm not very good on the fly.  When you ask me who I am, I may blurt out princess or kickboxing champion. Hot Latin Zumba dancer.  Single, hot woman living out her life the way she wants this time.  Supermom/Soccermom, balancing work and activity schedules with the greatest of ease and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound (oh yeah, wrong superhero.)  Highly capable engineer with an awesome well-paying job with lots of flexibility.  If you take the time to get to know me, maybe you'll get to know the real me.  Or maybe meet one of my alter-egos.  

What would you change if you were able to re-invent yourself?


  1. I want to be the person inside me who has been afraid to get out. I like to make people smile. I want to be fit. I am so thankful you gave me the courage to take kickboxing. I am terrible. I have almost fainted twice (really, I'm not joking). But without you I never would have done it. I want to be a writer. I want to live a life of adventure and not care what others think about me. I am in the process of changing my life too. We'll have to compare notes in a year and see how we've done.

  2. Michele- I love reading your blog, it's so inspiring! I, too, feel like I am starting over and taking a leap into the unknown. Returning to school, attending classes with 20 somethings, and accumulating college dept that will surpass my mortgage dept here real soon, has been a roller coaster that so many wouldn't do because of the risk in the job market and the sacrifice. Even I have questioned if I am crazy for doing it...but something keeps me from stopping! So Iknow what you mean about knowing that something is the right thing to do even if at the moment it seems risky! Your grandfather is one of my inspirations, too (referring to your previous blog). I remember telling him how awkward it was returning to school with three kids and in my mid 30s....I had no idea at the time of his accomplishments from 40 on, but of course he filled me in lol! I admire your perseverance and the fact that complacency does not appear to be on your agenda :) Keep blogging :)