It was an epiphany for me; I had just watched my second husband drive off with all his belongings. When I saw the last of his car drive down our driveway and turn into the street from our bedroom window, I ran back and slumped down in a corner of our walk-in closet. I was about to start my pity party. After all, this was my second failed marriage, so obviously I said to myself, "It quite possibly might mean that perhaps there is the slim chance that I might bear some responsibility in all this too!"
Then I noticed out of the corner of my eye, he had left in such a hurry that there was still a lone hanger swinging on his side of the empty closet. Oh my God I thought, I don't have time to sit and cry and lament about my condition. I need to run down stairs and bring up my winter clothes immediately! "Finally," I excitedly said out loud "I will have enough room in my closet for BOTH seasons of clothing!!"
And that is how I embarked on my next great adventure...
A dose of humor with some optimism and pinch of self-depreciation has always served me well. It has allowed me to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going sometimes in a completely new direction. Whether it was starting over again (and again) with dating and trying to meet new people, or walking into to a new career and convincing the dean of a medical school or the news director of a television station or the managing director of an investment bank that my expertise is something they need to help expand their business; I have been able to do whatever I set my mind too.
Now don't get me wrong, I have had my share of failures, tragedies and disappointments. Pick one, be it not getting into my top choice of residency spots or my two failed marriages, a cheating husband along the way or the untimely death of both parents. And of course I love an "oh poor me" as much as anyone else! I also have days wrought with the same insecurities and worries as any woman or single mom has trying to raise a healthy, happy, well adjusted child while juggling, for me, 3 careers and counting! But I have learned to redirect and persevere.
Fear of change is one of the reasons women stay in dead end relationships and jobs or why they don't shoot for their dreams. It is easier to go with the status quo than put yourself out there and take chances by learning or trying something new. So often I see women who sell themselves short. Everyone has doubts about themselves but there are ways you can learn to deal with them so they don't cripple you. I have learned along the way on how to focus on my strengths and lead with those.
Also importantly how humor in most any situation helps with survival. Because the world of emergency medicine is often horribly sobering and surviving in that environment depends on it. When life is cruel, finding even a shred of humor or a little self-deprecating chuckle is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. And when you can find the humor in yourself and your situation and learn not to take it all quite so seriously, you will not be disappointed.
As I neatly hung my wool suits and dresses, lined up my boots on the floor, then placed my scarves and gloves on the top shelf of the other side of MY walk-in closet, I smiled thinking of all the new possibilities. Saying to myself, "It's really all in how you look at it!"