Dear Aspire Too,
I’m a female in my mid-forties, recently divorced from my now ex-wife, and have an adult son who has recently moved away for college. I’m a professional with quite a demanding schedule, and often choose my work over everything. With the divorce, the nature of my work, and my son moving away recently, I’m feeling lost. I don’t know who I am anymore.
Where do I go from here?
Someone Finding Her Way
Dear Someone Finding Her Way,
I want you to know that considering the changes you’ve experienced, it’s very normal to feel lost. A divorce is a huge change that is often very emotionally and financially exhausting. This is a major transition for anybody. That individual you invested so much time, love, and energy in now coexists, but without you and you without her. Your role as a married individual has now changed to a single individual.
Your role as a mother has now changed too. You will always be a mother, but your responsibilities in that role have changed. Your son is now finding his way, building on himself, and finding his own identity.
With all this change, and with what it sounds like is just the nature of your profession, it can be easy and dangerous to prioritize our careers. I say “dangerous,” not meaning in a bodily harm sort of way, but where we identify in our work and our work alone. You’ve written Aspire Too, so my assumption is that you’re not wanting to identify in your work alone. So, what now? Where’s the balance?
There’s lots of exciting work to be done here if you’re open to it. I’d be interested to learn more about your relationship with your ex-partner; your relationship with your son; and your relationships with others (i.e., friends/family). I’d be interested to learn what your demanding career is, and what attracts you to it. Most of all though, I’d be interested to discuss with you what you think you should do now. What have you wanted to do over the years, but never did? What are your hobbies or do you have any? What are you passionate about…outside of your work?
Trying to find yourself when your many roles have changed can by terrifyingly intimidating, but if you embrace it, it can also be a fresh new chapter, and it’s all about you!
Michael Kluba, BSW, RSW
Clinical Counsellor/Registered Social Worker
Aspire Too Counselling & Professional Services