It’s interesting to imagine yourself younger, less experienced, and still at the beginning of your adult life. Not easy, I admit, not easy at all!
I am in my early sixties, never thought I would say that out loud, but now that I have reached maturity, I realize it’s something to be proud of. I earned everything I have, including wisdom, friendship and love.
My dreams were many at a young age; most of them included leaving the tiny village where I was born. My parents didn’t have any money and sent me to work in a customs declaration office at the age of 15. By the time I was 22 I was a singer traveling with a Top 40 Band all over Europe. I was fearless and eager, the wild child that did what she wanted when she wanted it. Freedom had priority in my life; a career was not on the horizon. With little education, during a time in Europe when woman were still considered to be better off at home with the children, I couldn’t phantom that this limited type of life style could be my destiny. Fortunately I had a quick mind and learned easily, and my gig with the band allowed me to see other countries and experience cultures, languages, and develop my distinct personality.
By 29, life’s circumstances had brought me to Los Angeles. I fell in love with the diversity and creativity of the city. My love affair with the City of Angels hit me quick and hard. This is what I wanted I thought - this is how life should be. All pieces fell together quickly and easily. I met some of the right people and some of the wrong, I made mistakes but I also made helpful connections, which allowed me to make a decent living. I was doing what I wanted to do. No force, no restrictions, but hard work for sure.
Life went on. I married and had a son. My ex-husband and I owned a real estate development company and opened a restaurant (one of my many dreams) but the marriage didn’t survive and neither did the business. With not much left I packed up and moved with my son closer to the city. Again, the Universe dealt me a card of chances and opportunities which I quickly recognized and used to my benefit. One of my best trades was, and is to this day, that I love to learn a new thing every day. I am a quick thinker and make decisions easily. You have to be fearless at times, especially in the business world.
I was hired by a major Motion Picture Studio as a hostess for their commissary. I had learned a lot by this time, especially about the business side of restaurant management. I worked myself up the ladder one step at a time. I worked hard and I worked many hours, always focusing on bigger and better things. Within a few years I had paid my dues and graduated to the Special Events Department where I excelled. I loved what I did and I couldn’t imagine anything else that would have suited me better. However, the one thing I did in my spare time was to study metaphysics. I had found my true passion, but it wasn’t the time to give up the big job for passion!
About 4 years ago, once again, the time came when I was pushed into a new direction. I took the opportunity with both hands and a full heart. I finally had the time to write and teach and write some more. I published 4 books and I am continuing to write for many magazines and other publications. I am teaching workshops and I delight in the progress of my students. I am free again to do what I wanted to do for all these years, and no one can take it away from me. No one.
You asked me: “Are you where you thought you'd be?” The answer is a simple “yes”. I am further and beyond – I am at a stage that I never dreamt of. In this stage of my life I cannot imagine anything else giving me the satisfaction and joy I am experiencing. But, remember, things change. Stay fluid and open-minded. What you think is the ultimate job doesn’t always turn out to be it. Leave yourself open to new opportunities, and allow the Universe to guide you and keep your heart filled with love.
What do I know now that I wished I’d known then? Maybe to be more selective in the people I associated with, and not to fall for the smoke and mirror at times. Perhaps it could have been an easier ride if I would have known that I had a choice in everything and that I was in control of my thoughts and feelings at all times. But I didn’t know then, and it really doesn’t matter now. What matters now is that I love, respect, and accept who I’ve become. Keep this self-love, self-respect, and acceptance of self, in mind on your journey!
So, #IfIWere22 I would tell myself – keep striving for the dream. Do the best job you can, no matter where you are at the time, because it will lead to greater things. My advice to you dear friends, entering the working world today, is simply to choose a vocation that is in line with your desires. Maybe your first working experience is not the exact dream job, but it can be the stepping stone to what you think you want to be when you grow up, and trust me no one grows up until after they celebrate 50!
Remember, you can change your path at any time, but if you like what you do stay focused, persisted, honest and true to yourself, – no matter what. You might rise at a slower pace but it’s a steady and sound growth that will last for many years. Do what you love, don’t sell yourself short. Be true to yourself. Know that you can, just “…because you can!”