Some years ago I found myself in a quandary. I had just been offered the top job by a leading newspaper, a job journalists would give their eye for. It was also a time when I was walking down the motherhood route, trying to enjoy the trials and tribulations that came with it. Then I was working for a national magazine where deadlines were staggered. Overall, it was a comfortable life veering towards complacency.

When this job offer came out of the blue, I had settled into a routine where being a mother came first. At any other time, I would have grabbed it without ever debating the decision in my head. The life of a newspaper editor is never theirs alone. Though it navigates through many lanes and by-lanes, the fact remains that stops being just about you. At the time when the job was offered to me, the academic needs of my child were of paramount importance. If I took up the job I would have to give up on the homework time. By the time I reached home, my child would have been put to bed. The picture did not seem so rosy.

I was caught in the mental tussle of “Should I or should I not”. Finally, my child’s homework needs scored and I declined the job offer. Years later there are times when I let my thoughts meander to that decision. For us, the women of this world, every day is a Catch-22 situation. Decisions cannot be made without giving due weight to the consequences. Since complacency never sat well as a crown on my head, I decided to work around my situation where the growing needs of my child dominated. Now in hindsight, I feel that it was a good decision for it helped me find ME. There Is nothing like a   fresh start.  But the challenge is about finding yourself. It is about creating a new you. Never postpone your life, understand that it has to coexist with your situation. Self-pity cannot be a friend. It has to be left behind if you have to embark on a new journey. Reinvention is a magic like no other.

“Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision  and purpose,  instead of the expectation and opinions of others”

The first step to reinventing yourself is to remember that growth starts with that important decision to move beyond your present circumstances. Challenge yourself every day. Look within yourself and find out the buried dreams. Whether you are married or single, reinventing yourself can be fun, it can be magical as the possibilities are endless. For a majority of women, familial circumstances dictate the course of their careers. A sizeable majority are forced to or have to give up their jobs. During my reporting assignments, I have met numerous women who regret the choices they made. They are seething inside and are plagued with health problems. Self-worth becomes the biggest casualty in the next level of their journey. Reinventing yourself is not as complicated as the sound of the word, nor is learning a new trade. It can be a new language, navigating the complexities of digital media, painting, sculpture, trading in equities, publishing your cookbook, being a part of an NGO, or starting a catering service, the possibilities are endless.

Reinventing yourself fires a new enthusiasm and changes your outlook towards life. Enthusiasm releases the “happy” hormones in the body which is central to raising your self-worth. The way you sow the seeds of your creativity will decide on the results you create. If you limit your choices to only what is within your reasonable reach, you will be compromising your choices. You will disconnect yourself from your buried dreams. The response you get from the world is the image you have presented before it. As you build your repertoire and your personality moves into positive gear, you will notice a perceptible shift in the way people see you. Unless you learn to rewire your thinking it will be difficult to find who you want to be. In my experience, I have learned that the second inning of your career is more exciting than the first, because you have made your mistakes, lived your complacency, and reared new wings. Reinvention is like a cocoon and when the butterfly flies out it is with stronger wings.

Haima Deshpande, Mumbai

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