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I can see how your experiences would shape you in the way they did. You developed strategies to survive and thrive. I believe those strategies help you to achieve all you do.
I’m a very emotionally reactive person (get attached and cry easily), and I think it has caused me to prioritize other people’s needs over my own goals. I’m OK with that, as my kids and grandkids provide me with incredible happiness.
But, I’m clear that I limited my professional success as a result. In a certain way, despite my intelligence, my childhood experiences in a geographically static and close-knit family trained me to “need” emotional connection over achievement. I’m highly educated and was successful professionally prior to becoming a mom in my late thirties. Subsequently, being with my kids became my highest priority.
Contrary to what I believed as a young feminist starting college in 1968, I discovered that I could not “do it all.” I’m comfortable with my choices, recognizing both how my childhood experiences shaped them, and acknowledging their costs.
Thanks for sharing what you did and stimulating my thoughts.
Sharon, thanks for posting about your experiences. I know that you are thoughtful and clear about your choices and once made that you committed to each in turn—first the career and then the family. And I am sure that both experiences have made your life very rich and balanced. I think the most important thing we can do in life is own our choices.
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