What Would You Do If You Had A "Do-Over"?

“You’re on vacation and nobody knows you!” The tour guide boomed over the microphone of our tour bus. I don’t remember much about that particular vacation, taken at least twenty years ago, but those words of wisdom have stuck with me.

A couple of years ago when my children and I made a cross country move from Massachusetts to California, a friend said to me “Christina, you are so lucky! You can completely redefine yourself with this move. Nobody will have a preconceived notion of who you are and what you can or cannot do. What a gift!”

I don’t remember feeling so lucky at the time. The move came at the end of a tumultuous divorce, and my stress levels had never been higher. Reinvent myself? Seriously? I was just hoping to get out of town in one piece and keep my head and those of my three kiddos above water.

The idea of reinventing myself was not on my mind at all. Getting my kids enrolled in new schools (three different kids, three different grades, three different schools) – elementary, middle, and high school, was my top priority. Then connecting them with activities that would help them transition was my second goal. Just finding my way around the unfamiliar grocery store was a monumental task. Despite having three Safeway grocery stores within three miles of my house, none of them were organized in the same way. My GPS could help me with the roads, (thank God for that!), but it literally took me months to navigate the grocery store in less than an hour. Good grief!

By the end of the first year, we all took a deep breath and reassessed our lives. I was finally starting to make a couple friends of my own after having focused most of my energy on getting my kids settled. School was not working out well for my oldest, so we made a change in her routine. The little bit of family that I had in the area had their own way of doing things that was very different from mine, so some tweaks with those relationships needed to be made. Yet a funny thing happened as we got settled and started to evaluate our lives. Suddenly I could hear my friend’s words being whispered into my ear. I was given a clean slate and a perfect opportunity to take a deep dive into what really mattered to me.

My girlfriend was right – I was lucky and still am. I think back now to my life in Massachusetts and I wonder how easy would it have been to break away from my old life as an accountant to become a writer and a coach if I hadn’t made this move? I remember telling my divorce attorney as well as my best friend how much I really hated accounting. As wonderful and well-meaning as they both are, when they said I would not be able to do anything different career-wise as long as I had kids at home, I wanted to burst into tears. I felt stymied and stuck. The rules of the world combined with my family and friends’ ideas of how it and I should work in it seemed already firmly established. Bucking the norms to listen to my inner voice and be myself would have been virtually impossible had I stayed in Massachusetts.

My life now is nothing like it used to be. Logistically, perhaps, it relatively has remained the same. I still have my three kids and a dog, but emotionally, it is completely different. I wake up happily and easily every day. Whenever someone asks me how my day is, I say “great” and mean it. Coming into alignment with my true nature has ignited me in a way I never thought possible – especially at the age of 50!

Transformation is possible if you want it strongly enough, and when you listen to that inner voice inside you telling you to wake up and follow your true path. Your past is a lesson to help you cope in the future, not a mistake that needs to be corrected. Who you are today shapes the person you will be tomorrow. Plus who knows who you will you be in a year from now?

If you were able to wake up tomorrow and not worry about what anyone else’s expectations were, if you could start with a clean slate and get a complete ‘do over’, how would you choose to live?

Like the tour guide said, pretend you are on vacation and nobody knows you… and let me know how you make out!



No comments:

Post a Comment