I couldn’t agree more when C.S Lewis said: “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” That is a fact. The only constant thing in this world is change. Not only is change — a way of life; but change is healthy for us. We need to embrace change and be able to adapt to where life leads us every single day. And change means reinvention. Every time, a major adjustment occurs in our lives —losing a job, moving to a new place, separating from a partner, getting sick — we must be in charge of who we will become when such a major shift happens in our lives. We need to go with the flow. We cannot resist change or we will be miserable and unhappy in our lives.
I’d like to see myself as the Mistress of My Own Reinvention. I’ve reinvented my life a hundred times! I was a wild child who broke all the rules at 18. At 23, I turned my life around completely — I went back to school and graduated with honours on Hospitality and Restaurant Management course in Vancouver. At 25, I worked as a waitress in a five-star deluxe hotel in the Philippines. I worked my way up from waitress to the corporate world of the hospitality industry over the next thirteen years. At 30, I became a single working mother. At 39, I uprooted my son and myself — we moved back to Vancouver for good. I became an Intellectual Property Assistant in a new industry — the legal department of a biotech company. Over the last ten years, I moved from one industry to another industry supporting the owners, CEOs, and Presidents of the companies I worked for. I saw myself working in the construction industry, finance, non-profit, government, mining industry, pharmaceutical industry, tech industry, credit union industry and more recently, the private merchant bank industry. I also tried to go back to school to earn a new diploma on 3D Animation — which I failed to finish — I was juggling work, raising my son and studying. I overworked myself. When we embrace change and when we constantly strive to change for the better — expect setbacks and failures. You are not always going to succeed. You will fail — several times. Over the last five years, I’ve reinvented myself from a single working mother to an author of two published children’s books; an artist who is passionate about oil painting and watercolour painting; a budding photographer; and a contributing writer for an online community that supports and encourages women from all walks of life. I didn’t mind that my books only sold for 2,062 copies combined, (https://www.amazon.ca/Protector-Pterygota-Matheen/dp/1494838826) and (www.amazon.com/WILLIAMS-WONDERFUL-Written-Illustrated-Matheen/dp/1320937497)! For me, it was never about the money nor fame; it was all about the creative process. At present, I’m working hard to reinvent myself again for the nth time – a new career and a new role in life – I will keep this a secret for now until it materializes!
Reinventing yourself requires patience, determination and a lot of hard work. You don’t sit on your bottom and expect things to happen or fall into place. No. You actually have to make reinvention happen. How? I’ve learned that having passion helps a lot in reinventing yourself. We need to find and identify our passions in life. Create your new identity through learning new skills, doing things that excites you and by learning from your past mistakes in life. I’ve also learned how important determination and perseverance are to reinventing yourself. I’ve learned to have a strong self-discipline. I’ve learned when to say no and when to say yes in life. I’ve learned to visualize my future. I’ve learned how to make things happen by actually working hard for it. Lastly, I’ve learned to step into my new identities by owning it. I’ve learned to give permission to myself to define who I am as a woman, as an individual. Moreover, I’ve learned that reinventing my new identity is about WHO I WANT TO BE and NOT WHO OTHERS WANT ME TO BE.
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