Reinventing Yourself

For most of my life, I’ve defined myself by my job. Not the smartest of ideas, honestly, especially when you aren’t happy in your job.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked what I did, but the environment was way more stressful than I needed for some time. Then, I had kids – and my life became about my kids – being a great “Mom”.

Its taken a while, but now I realize that while I am Mom, there is more to me than just that.

And now, I’m soon staring down another big change in mommyhood – my baby is starting school full time in a few short weeks.

Right now, while I’d like to envision myself curled up on the sofa, reading book after book, with a hot cup of tea (ok, and a few McVites digestives, too) at hand, I know that won’t be enough to feed my need for interaction.

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity these past few months to work with my cousin as she started her new business. As it turns out, she has been phenominally successful, and her business is growning faster than I think anyone dreamed of.

The downside of this is that, well, I’m in the UK and she is in the US, with a timezone difference of 6 hours. Not the most efficient business does this make in terms of keeping her scheduled, etc. I’m coming to the realization that what she really needs is someone local – I love her enough to be able to back away soon, albeit with tears in my eyes.

My background is in finance, but not my first choice. It was something I fell into in college, mostly because it was practical, as I needed to find something to replace the major in Art that I had initially declared. It is one of the few things that I wish I had stuck to my guns about, but I didn’t, and well, there you have it, woulda shoulda coulda and all that.

That finance background eventually landed me at a hedge fund, where I slowly moved to the marketing side, and finished my career there as the Client Relations Manager. I had found a niche, of sorts – I hate selling, per se, I am rot at making speeches (it terrifies me) – but working one-on-one, I’m very, very good at.

I’ve jokingly said that client relations is very similar to dealing with children – you have to choose your words carefully, for the most impact and effect. Sometimes there is hand-holding to be done, maybe a bit of coddling and pacifying when things don’t go as planned. Sometimes you have to say no, and you might need to find the gentlest way around it. Sometimes you have clients that are anxious, or tantrum prone – and you have to learn to deal with them in a way that they feel taken care of, while at the same time you aren’t pandering or kow-towing.

I also was responsible for the company newsletter, and playing with formatting, editing, etc all fed the creative side of me.

In recent years, I’ve started this blog, which allows me to rant, laugh, cry, and sort things out. I tweet, which helps me feel linked in to the world at large when I’m feeling isolated here.

So, the big question is – what’s next? How do you reinvent yourself? I’m way beyond the “what color is your parachute” kind of questioning. I’m really not sure what my passion is. (Ok, aside from gorgeous leather bags, shoes, and my kids.) I like to write, but I’m marginally good at it. I love photography, but the same can be said of that. I don’t want to go back to work full time, as when I pick up my kids at 3:15, I want to be THERE for them – besides, job opportunities don’t exactly abound here.

I don’t need to work – but I’m really enjoying the extra income. Heck, I wasn’t even billing for all my hours in working with my cousin, I loved what I was doing so much, and she couldn’t afford me for much at the time.

So here I am, once again faced with that question: “If you could do anything you wanted in the world, what would you do?”

And I have no answer. What would YOU do?

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