Three times, my life has taken a sharp turn from the path I was on. The first turn, I was a hard drinking, hard partying wild-child, flunking my way out of school. Luckily, I met my husband just as I was spiraling out of control. Suddenly I spent my nights at home, did my drinking in the safe confines of my living room, and started going to class. Because it wasn't just about me anymore -- it was about us.
The second turn, I was all about ambition. I was all about career. I wanted to climb higher, make more money, be a SUCCESS. I was working insane hours, 70 hours, 80 hours, 100 hours a week. Then our son got sick, and for a while, the doctors said we were going to lose him. It's a cliche really, that whole "I suddenly realized what was important", but it was true. It is also true that there are no atheists in foxholes...or hospital waiting rooms. I vowed to change, made promises to I don't even know who, if only my kid would live. And he did, and I did. I put the job on the back burner, worked less hours, and focused more on family. It wasn't about me -- it was about all of us.
The third turn, I was a mess. Stressed out, irritable, blood pressure going up, weight going up. Snapping at the people I loved most. Bored. Cranky. I didn't know what was wrong, but I knew I needed a change. I needed to change ME. This was urban renewal -- tear down everything but the shell and rebuild. I wanted to strip out all the things I had hung on to, but that didn't serve me well. In a way, I wanted to be a self that I had chosen, rather than a reaction to all the different circumstances of my life.
Three turns. So far.