Finding My Place in the World

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My husband’s affair coincided with several other big changes in our lives – moving across the country after working at the same company for 16 years and living in the same city for 25 years, new jobs, and becoming empty nesters (until we weren’t anymore…youngest back again). I now know even one major change makes someone more vulnerable to an affair. Add to all of our changes the fact that my husband stayed behind for several months to pack up our house and get it ready to sell, and we hit the affair vulnerability jackpot! I now understand why very few people choose to do what we did – it is damn hard! 

Surprisingly, even though my heart got broken, I do not regret the changes we made. I am an adventurer at heart – I love to explore and NEED to keep learning new things. I was starting to go stir crazy before the move – knew in my gut that it was time to reinvent ourselves.

And boy did I get a chance to do that. I guess I should watch what I ask for!!

In addition to rebuilding our marriage, I now also find myself needing to reinvent myself professionally. The job I moved across country for didn’t end up panning out, and I have yet to get back into the groove professionally. As a result, we have struggled financially as well.

Even with great credentials and work experience, I am getting very little traction in my job search. This has been really hard for me, because until now work has been one area of my life that has always gone well for me. Also, achievement was really important in my family growing up, so I think it became an important part of my identity and feeling of self-worth. Now, with this area not going well, I am forced to confront my self-image and learn to love and accept myself even when I fail at things…good in the big picture, but very painful to go through.

I think I’m also dealing with some ageism in my job search, which is bizarre to me. I am in my mid-50’s but don’t feel old in any way. I am not stuck in my ways, I love to learn new things, and I am open to change and new experiences. It is hard for me to understand why someone wouldn’t want to hire me just because I am in my mid-50’s. I’m sure part of it is a belief that my healthcare costs will be higher than a younger person, but that is a gross generalization that does not apply to me. I am fit and healthy and plan to stay that way.

We have very little money saved now since we have had to dip into our savings over the last few years, so not working is not an option for me. I expect to work for at least 20 more years full time, and then continue to work on a more flexible basis indefinitely. So it concerns me that the workforce may consider me to be “over the hill.” 

So I am dealing with a lot of worries right now and wish that everything didn’t have to be such a struggle. I keep telling myself that this is just a phase, that the disequilibrium/equilibrium cycle is part of being human, and that it won’t always be this hard. I’m ready for the universe to give me a few breaks!

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12 responses »

  1. We too embarked on a new adventure. We moved to the country, husband got a new job, I’m currently unemployed and we became empty nesters this month only til June when my son finishes high school where we came from. I’m 52 and don’t feel old as well. Because we live in the country husband doesn’t want me traveling at night and jobs are limited her but we are making it but things are tight. In the midst of it all I am trying to rediscover myself and looking into going back to school. I wish we could have gotten here without the affair but I will take it. I love it here!! Hope the door opens for you soon to get the career that’s the best fit!!

      • After the move. He lost his job and we both just wanted to get out of there and have a fresh start. Living in the country has always been my dream and so now…. Here we are. I think moving helped me heal quicker as well. I always was looking over my shoulder not wanting to run into her. Actually the first time I ran into her she ran from me. My son is dating her daughter and will probably marry her but they will probably move close to us as they both love it here and she loves our family and can’t stand her own. We could write a soap opera.

  2. I am with you on the re-inventing part and as far as life making sense (I am going through a divorce… almost 2yrs and still not final) but my professional life made sense… as crazy and chaotic as my personal life had gotten, I always had my job…. Until I felt the need to change that too! So the new job (it’s been 6mos now) is not my fav and it’s just as chaotic as my personal life… so I feel ya. My blog has become almost therapeutic for me… but enough about me. I wanted to tell you, I like your openness… You welcome adventure and I admire that! Rock it!!!

      • Always here for encouragement! It’s easy to get lost as females in all our roles we play and emotions that come with it, but I enjoy your blog and don’t doubt you’ll have it all figured out soon and can teach me 🙂

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