I started my career a year after college graduation, and I had such high hopes that I would do so well and be known for my career.
I wanted to become an expert and talk and teach others in my profession and help pave the way for others to take my career path. As my career began, I had goals and hopes to travel and speak and encourage others. I wanted to be THE best and make a difference.
Don’t get me wrong, I am closing in on my 30th year in the career I chose in 6th grade.
I love what I do and I have seen amazing things happen in my almost three decades. I’ve worked at two places in my career and taken a vision and have seen it happen. I’ve changed my methods as the world has changed and learned and failed and learned some more and am still learning.
After about nine years in my career, my marriage ended. I failed at my first marriage. As a leader in my career, everyone knew that I was getting a divorce. It was THE most difficult time in my life. I found myself as a single mother of two little boys and an ex that walked away from all three of us. The following nine months were a blur and it was tough. I kept my job and pushed through. I had so much support and was beginning to see how I could handle the new changes in my life.
After my divorce, my boss came to me and asked if I could make a call to a friend of his. He said she was going through what I had been through and could use a friend. Then another person approached me about speaking at a conference about my divorce. Not long after the conference, I was asked to teach a divorce care class for kids and help the mothers in that group, too.
But I didn’t want to be known for this.
Where had I gone wrong? I wanted to be known for my career, not my pain! I remember feeling a bit salty about what was going on around me and wondering why no one wants to talk about all of the programs I had created and the longevity of my career and the connections that I was making in the community.
I found myself continually talking to women, praying for them and counseling them and referring them to divorce attorneys or therapists, talking with their children and helping them through the many emotions of divorce. I wanted to make a difference but not like this.
Then it hit me: I’m KNOWN for this because of how I came out on the other side. Stronger, smarter and wiser, and I learned from my failure.
I love my career and can help people from time to time with what I have learned, but I have come to see it as a privilege to walk through dark times with others and help them see that divorce doesn’t define you but refines you… I’m humbled to be known for that.