'I decided it was up to me where that was.'
I find Louise's story of why she joined the Royal Navy very empowering and she makes a very good point.
My current place to be is in the home. I am a home maker, home executive and housewife. Well that's what I've had written on my visas in my passport for the past 10 years. No idea how it would've read if the roles had been reversed and my husband and I swopped jobs.
It hasn't defined me. It's upset me, my ability not to be able to work, for me not to have had the choice for 4 years when we moved to South Africa, my identity took a huge knock and then again when the kids left home at the time we moved to Dubai. But after almost 2 years in Dubai. I then made the decision NOT to work and focus my time on our adult children, all by now NOT living at home.
I've never had a life plan, I've never had a plan for my children either. It's not about rebelling, having a strop, being a feminist or a tom boy. It's not even about being different or difficult. it's about doing whatever is best for you (and your family) at the time.
I left school, I wanted to study for the Royal Navy in the Lake District. I passed the entrance exams but couldn't get a guarantor to secure the funding I needed for the first year. Then I just drifted, I worked, moved away, tried life abroad, had a child, bought a house, got married, had another child, started a PGCE, had another child and abandoned studies, divorced, met Peter, inherited 2 older children, moved, resumed studies, finished degree got a job, a career, packed it all in, followed willingly my husband abroad, fought against it every day.
I'm 50 this year in June. A few years ago I stopped worrying about how other people saw me, was my tummy too wobbly, was my hair right, should I be wearing more make up, should I be visiting the beauty salons for procedures like everyone else, did I need a career to define me?
The answer was and still is NO. There is no life plan, circumstances change our plans, change us. We may have to sacrifice something in order to be where we want to be. There are very few people in the world who actually have it all. We may perceive that they do and measure our achievements by theirs.
I want to be the homemaker. But I have the choice to return to work. I have the choice to say NO today, I'm doing something else. But I'm also part of a team, my family. I can be selfish, without behaving selfishly.
I no longer need to prove to anyone else or even myself that if I want, if circumstances allowed, I can do anything I want to and be anywhere I want to be.