On my way to the studio early last night, I had this great post from fellow Gemini Girl (when you click on it, don’t let it confuse you. You did end up in the right place. We just happen to have the same WP theme) going around and around in my mind.
Even from the first time I read it, I could tell we shared common check points and traffic bottlenecks while we were doing the proverbial slip sliding away down the highway of life.
Only that mine didn’t exactly go in the same order. After managing to survive the childhood from hell, and graduating with honours from high school at 16, I found myself exhilarating with power but – unbeknownst to me, in a very precarious mental equilibrium. Oh, but I thought I WAS moving. Fast and furious.
Before I had time to understand what the hell was happening to me, I found myself married and with two toddlers at 21. And the brilliant scientific career I was supposed to have? Buried under a pile of laundry along with other various dreams. At least they were keeping each other company, I guess.
I too found myself unable to recognize the woman looking back at me in the mirror. I was stuck in a perennial brownian motion, not really going anywhere
I woke up one morning and decided it was time to go look under that pile of laundry and rescue my dreams. I talked to my husband and told him that even though being a housewife was a good thing, I needed to finally do what I intended to do when I met him. So I applied myself hard for six months and then submitted my application to med school. I took the admission test on my birthday. There were 2,000 applicants from all over the country for 25 coveted spots. I placed 12th.
We arranged for day care for the kids and I started my first year of med school. This is it! I thought. I’m going places now. Right.
Going through med school was a whole different kind of hell but I did manage to graduate, not with honours but with a more than decent average. Most importantly, I had a solid reputation as a “young” researcher and landed a much coveted position at one of the most prestigious research institutes in the country. Only that it was in a different city and my husband was at that point in the middle of his residency in pediatrics. Moving the family was out of the question. The marriage was already suffering so I decided to decline the job and stay in order to try and save the marriage. Ha! Stupidest decision ever.
He left anyway, and I was back to my good old friend the Brownian motion. Jobless, husbandless, pretty much homeless too.
So I decided to risk everything and follow my other dream. Which I did. I came to Canada. I was going places again!
After a few hurdles with my permanent resident status, I applied and was admitted into the Cellular & Molecular Medicine program at the University of Ottawa. Oh yeah, I was DEFINITELY going places now. I could almost taste that Nobel prize. My friends used to joke that soon they would have to call me doctor doctor SSG.
And then all hell broke lose. Again. Now in my mid-thirties, my health both mental and physical was rapidly deteriorating. Whatever dam that held all the issues and help me stay sane all those years finally broke and after that it was a tsunami of health problems. Having the ex pretty much holding my children hostage in Colombia didn’t help one bit. I had a nervous breakdown and I had to drop my PhD.
It took me some long years to try and put myself back together. The kids, who were finally – by some sort of a miracle, able to come live with me, couldn’t understand what the hell was going on. I had to come to terms with the fact that my brilliant scientific career was no longer an option. Those were dark times. Forever stuck in Brownian motion.
But we survived. The kids finished high school, took jobs, life went on.
And here I am now. Somehow, I found the strength to reinvent myself. Self-taught a new set of skills. Found myself a new career. Two, actually :)
I am where I want to be. I’ve watched my children become two wonderful young adults. I have good friends, I am happy. Sure the monster lurks in the dark. It never lets me forget. Sure there’ll be times when the world becomes dark again. But I know I can beat that monster.
I also know I will never make a difference in the world they way I envisioned it when I was growing up. I won’t discover the cure for cancer, or the vaccine for whatever. But I rescued a kitten two weeks ago. I sure made a difference for the kitten.
I dance even though I’m in pain each time I do. I’m in pain even if I’m just sitting down anyway, so I might as well dance and have fun. Cause I rather be in more pain and dance and be happy than be in less pain and be sad. And I even get to teach! It is so rewarding when someone comes to me and says, I had so much fun tonight. Thank you for the lesson. I am definitely coming back!
Thanks to TFG, I am even re-learning how to play the guitar. Soon enough we’ll be jammin’ (I hope).
Yeah, I am definitely moving!
19 thoughts on “The motion [picture] of my life”
Wow, that is some story. It moved me to tears and made me smile at the same time. Life is scary sometimes, the unknown is out there and you have no idea what the future looks like, but to read things like this from other people makes life seem a little less scary. You are one amazing person.
Thank you miss Sophy. You are very kind :)
Sometimes, its the little things that make the biggest difference in people’s lives.
I’m all about the little things :)
I love this post, and I’m flattered to have anything to do with its inspiration. Goosebumps the ENTIRE time while reading. I think there are many of us in the crazy parallel blogosphere universe who travel in the same circles because through our writing, we’re expressing that somehow we’re on the same path. I love keeping it light with you, Le Clown, and all of the other amazing people out there, but sometimes it’s nice to go a little deeper. You find out a lot more interesting things about why you find the musings of certain fellow writers attractive. I’m not at all surprised to find that you are a brilliant person, sad to read of your struggles, and happy you’re finding your way. Looking forward to sharing more….
P.S. also freaky that we picked the same blog theme. My blogging bestie, Cristy Carrington (www.paltrymeanderings.com) has the same theme too. All three of us are in our 40s, brunette, writers, thinkers, and totally HOT. =)
There’s something to that whole thing, but I haven’t figured it out yet.
The Hot 40’s? ;)
I never thought of myself as a writer but I guess you are right, in a way. Glad our paths crossed! :)
Wow. This kind of entry rises above mere blogging – and not just because of the casual mention of brownian motion. Thanks for sharing more of your story. Wow.
You are way too kind. Thank you!
This is beautiful. Your life, your amazing ability to reinvent yourself, to prioritise your children too and find a place of contentment and meaningful connection with life despite several u-turns, is so inspiring and purely Awesome. :) I’m inspired and totally intrigued now. I shall be catching up on All your posts here as I’ve got spare moments, and I shall be following this Blog through the future. :) You’re worth it! And for the inspiration you provide, I’m worth it too. :) I’m SO glad we “met” in cyber space! Thank you Jazz Cat!! :)
Love from Rach
I am glad we met too, Rach. I have to tell you though, please be careful when you read my previous entries. Most of them are light and funny but every now and then some will be sad and they will have some trigger words that might affect you.
And thanks for your obliging words :)
Thank you :) I’ll be careful. I’m determined to readi t anyway because I know you’ll offer some awesome insights along the way.
Love from Rach :)
I love that photo of you. And you are one tough broad, my friend. My hat’s off to you. And you don’t have to be a Nobel prize winner to make a huge difference in the world. You already have! Also, there’s a special place for you in Kitty Heaven because you rescued Satchmo. Next cup of coffee is on me!
Why, thank you! Maybe we can invite Le Clown too so he stops complaining ;)
I learn so much when people share their lives. I appreciate reading this and I’m inspired by what you have learned through it all. Considering what you have been through, I think you are a bright star!
Oh wow. Maybe one day I’ll write a book or something, then. If other people can find inspiration in the story of my life, then perhaps the pain will not have been in vain :)
I am constantly amazed by what people manage to live through.
“I also know I will never make a difference in the world they way I envisioned it when I was growing up. I won’t discover the cure for cancer, or the vaccine for whatever. But I rescued a kitten two weeks ago. I sure made a difference for the kitten.”
Being here makes all the different in the world. Sure, maybe it isn’t what you planned, but your presence makes a difference in all of our lives. I used to want to be a big mover and shaker too, figuring the only way to make an impact on the world is to make some HUGE thing happen. Now I realize it’s the little moments that you pass on to others which spread like a virus. A handshake, a hug, a smile, a kind word….those are the things that matter in this world. You give that to us through this blog.
Absolutely. That’s the BIG moral of my story. That’s why I smile every day, to everyone I see :)
There’s little I can say that hasn’t already been said better, so I’ll leave it at: You’re an inspiration. :D