There are times that we can’t help but wonder what our lives might have been if only . .. .
I woke this morning with this thought on my mind: If it hadn’t been for chronic illness, my career would have been very different. Would it have been more satisfying?
Don’t get me wrong. I love what I’m doing. But every once in a while, I wonder what would have been if I’d been healthy.
A part of me knows this is a fruitless question. It’s not like one of those movies where you can replay an event several times with different outcomes (Sliding Doors was one of my favorites). The question has come up because I’m been talking about my history recently in interviews because of my book. And, because of conversations with clients recently who are seriously struggling to find jobs and feeling so deeply frustrated because of health limits.
There was a time in my life (my early 40’s) when I had to leave my job because I was too sick to do it adequately. I desperately wanted to go back to school for a degree that would allow me to work regardless of my health (which wasn’t true of my former career in multi media).
But it was too much of a financial risk. We couldn’t be sure how much sicker I’d get. Would I be able to finish graduate school (given I had young children)? Would I be able to develop a career being sick and in my mid-40’s? It made me very sad for a while. But I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself and I was able to figure out stuff I could do. I reinvented myself on my own. It’s taken a long time to earn a living doing this and I’m not sure if I’ll ever earn what I would have had I kept on the career track I was on – or would have picked up.
Do I wish I could have based my career decisions on different factors? Yes. Does it make me sad that illness held me back? Yes. But I also know that many things that can hold me back — and that I’ve learned resilience and optimism because I had to.
Living with chronic illness for most of my adult life has formed who I am. Had I been healthy, many things regarding career and career choice would have been different.
Do you worry that you’re just getting in your own way? What do you do to pull yourself out of the funk?
Do you find that you need new strategies but you haven’t got a clue where to start? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s talk about how I can help you … so you don’t have to spend as much time and energy that I did – figuring it out alone.
Rosalind aka cicoach.com