I have been reading Jenna Bailey’s Can Any Mother Help Me?, the story of a group of women who built decades of friendship through a circulating magazine that they wrote. The magazine commenced in 1935 and concluded in the early 1990s due to old age and ill health. They wrote about “ every aspect of their lives – the pain and elation of childbirth, the challenges of marriage, broken hearts and fading dreams”. Many had to cope with husbands who changed drastically due to the experience of war.
One woman was Roberta, who moved in Switzerland with her husband and four children only to be informed by her husband that he had met someone else and wanted a divorce.
Roberta wrote the following extract that struck quite a chord with me. She was writing about her marriage break up and her journey to a new life, but to me, her words and emotions are very reminiscent of the journey I have found myself on in recent months, actually since I found myself made redundant at the end of 2009 and decided to embark on a career change to teaching.
“… I have been torn, twisted all inside of me, mentally at sea, never at rest, seeking what I did not know, but I was terribly restless mentally, and I know at one point I would have cracked up and was terrified. I did not sleep properly and woke thinking of …but now I have floated free, free, free, bliss. If the clouds do come again to close me in, I don’t think it will ever be the same, I hope not.
I guess it is the natural reaction to having been tossed and torn and buffeted left and right…”
In short, it is true, what doesn’t kill you, does make you stronger. The change may indeed not be something that you would have chosen for yourself, but there is something to be gained from any experience, and if each day is taken for what it is, eventually you emerge to confidence in your ability to cope with what there is, and your own bliss.