When was the last time you took your own advice? And I mean put your very own recommendation into action. It’s usually much easier to hand out advice than it is to act on or internalize your own, isn’t it?
Advice is the theme for this month’s Time Warp Tuesday blog hop/writing exercise. This monthly activity involves revisiting blog entries from the archives and reflecting on our journeys since we once sat down to write (or read) them. Thanks for the prompt Kathy and for sharing Lori’s father’s advice to “Draw a wider circle. Include yourself in it.” I see the connection in my own blog post selection.
I was going to choose When Advice Doesn’t Pass the Sniff Test, a post I wrote in October 2007 about the
compassion-lacking clueless response Dr. Phil conveyed to a woman diagnosed with infertility who was struggling with her emotional response to pregnant women and friends with young children.
But instead I’d like to focus on You’re The Star of Your Own Life, a post I composed with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon warming my veins. It was November 2010 and I was mulling over a few emails from blog readers seeking answers and advice about how to adjust to a life after an infertility diagnosis that didn’t involve motherhood. One email contained these observation:
I have learned to accept feeling left out, losing my “mom” friends, societal insensitivity, and running into every pregnant person in town when I go to the grocery store, but the part that bothers me the most is whether or not, when all is said and done, that my life will matter.
It was a poignant, searching and familiar set of sentiments that I’ve heard echo through the blogosphere from women adrift in a sea of confusion after their dreams of motherhood didn’t materialize. It prompted me to think about my own life. How had I managed to move from the place of alienation and darkness that accompanied infertility’s searing grief to a life of purpose and fulfillment. In response, I shared a few lessons and ideas about not only surviving but thriving, including these thoughts:
It’s easy to see how we buy-into the myth that there is only one way to live a meaningful life. We’re surrounded by messages every day that have the power to belittle or marginalize us if we allow them to own or control us. It’s self-defeating, though, to accept at face value someone else’s idea of what life is supposed to be like.
Remember this: You’re the star of your own life. You get to write the script, design your costumes, own the stage, and sing your own tunes. Make it yours!
Some two and half years later I re-read those optimistic, encouraging words with a new sense of appreciation for my own reinvention and the sometimes clumsy attempts I made to outfit myself in a new identity, to nullify unpleasant stereotypes associated with women who are not mothers and to see a new world unfold before me from a different stage.
Revisiting the post also called up images of women I’ve had the good fortune to meet who also turned their eyes and their many talents toward building new lives — strong, creative women who have art directed and written new scripts for themselves like Tracey Cleantis now writing a book, Irina Vodar who is creating a film, Marni Rosner who has authored pioneering research, Monica Wiesblott who expresses life through photography exhibits, Jody Day who has birthed an internationally active community, Lesley Pyne who has launched a new support network, Gillian Guthrie who hosts gatherings and Lisa Manterfield who channeled her nurturing energies into helping others thrive. And these are just some of the many who started down one path and ended up on another.
There were more than a few days when I had to remind myself to take my own advice and in the company of great role models, I’m all the better for it.
9 thoughts on “Time Warp Tuesday: Advice”
Great post Pamela and welcome back to Time Warp Tuesday! So glad you decided to join us again this month! I agree that no matter what path we take in life and whether it includes parenting any children or the number/spacing that we had hoped to have, out lives will matter. Our lives do matter. Your life matters to so many who have walked a similar journey and/or will follow in your footsteps. I also appreciate that my post this month, reflecting on Lori’s dad’s advice about “drawing a wider circle and including ourselves” resonates with you. It is seriously some of the best advice I have ever heard. :)
I enjoyed rereading your old posts, Pamela. THANKS for the links! :-)
There are so many ways to channel creative energy in ways that make a mark and leave a legacy. You are surrounded by women who are doing just that — and they are, too.
This is great, Pamela. I love the advice to be the star of your own life. I realise I gave similar advice to someone (about something completely different) years ago – telling her not to compare her experiences with mine, but to love them because they were hers. I perhaps need to take my own (and your) advice a bit more, though I try!
The timing of your Time Warp Tuesday couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Being in Australia my Tuesday has already come and gone and it sucked. My Tuesday sparked the incessant alienation that not being a mum brings. I met up with a girl I went to primary school with only to find out that her and 3 other old school mates all have children. The comparison trigger went off and I slid down the very slippery slope of depression yet again. The feeling of being so alone with no one to compare my life to can be so overwhelming.
But I don’t have to compare. My adorable, one-of-a-kind husband always tells me that I don’t compare to them because I am so much stronger than any of them. I have been through a lot in my life and the emptiness of childlessness is my newest and most difficult mountain that I need to climb. I’m sure I’m 3/4 of the way up the slope but some days see me slide on my arse down the mountain side.
I must remember that I am the star of my own life and throw away the scripts I still cling to so desperately and start the new one that will see me shine on my stage.
I know how painful that arse sliding you referred to can be. So glad this post arrived at an opportune time. Can’t wait to see what you do with your stage!
I like that post, about being your own star! I should have started reading old posts, not the current posts. LOL I love the statement, “It’s self-defeating, though, to accept at face value someone else’s idea of what life is supposed to be like.”
That is what I’m on-and-off battling nowadays- I hadn’t heard folks saying that to me lately, however I have this dark voice in my mind reinforcing the failure of not meeting the expectation of what life is supposed to be like. Have to remind myself there are many ways to live without children- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Give me more time to process it all. :) Thanks again for the time wrap post!
Time is our friend and spending some of it processing the possibilities is time well spent.