Everyone finds and defines self worth at different times and in different areas of life. Many times, a person’s self worth changes ax they enter different phases of life. The hardest thing to do though is defining your self worth when a change came through no choice of your own. When the worth of a person is redefined for him or her, it may not be easy for that person to see what it is, but I assure you, it is there.
After trying on different “hats,” I found in my thirties that I was a career woman. I was very good at bringing technology into publishing and helping bridge the gap between editorial and tech people. I thrived on change, loved the work involved, and never minded thinking about work 24/7. Working vacations were okay, and I was able to fit family in without a problem. That’s who I was, that was my contribution to the world. Even after the tumor and MS diagnosis, I was able to bounce back and deal with the symptoms without it affecting my work.
Unfortunately, a career very often becomes very high pressured and stressful as it leads to more responsibilities—and we all know that stress and MS make for poor bedfellows. Eventually, and without my notice, cognitive MS symptoms started to appear. As the stress got more intense, I became less effective in my career. When I finally came to the point of being laid off from the job I had, I was a different person. I am blessed with a friend and mentor who saved me from being unemployed and even had a job open that would have saved my career entirely, that is it would have if I hadn’t become this other person of course.
The new me was unable to convince the upper management that I was right for that job and therefore had to wait and settle for a much lower position that was to become just a job, my career a distant memory. Knowing I disappointed my friend, I tried to pick myself up and bring my old self into the new job, but that old me was too far out of my reach to be of much use or have the proper effect that was needed. So, saying goodbye for good to the old me, I tried my best in the job and started the search for what the new career was to be. I was still under the impression that the new me was just a new version of the old me. I thought my self worth was too tied to a career for there to be worth in not having one. It has taken me a number of years to fully mourn the career woman and accept that my job is no longer part of my importance to the world. It took a couple more years to get beyond the mourning and understand that I still have something to give to this world. I don’t pretend to understand fully what it is; I mean can anyone really understand the impact they have on others or on the universe? I just do what feels right and have begun to go back to things I have enjoyed in the past.
Writing is something that has been part of me since I was very young, so I am hoping to touch people’s lives with it. I know now that its okay to transition into a different me without losing any of my true self. Whatever the past me or the current me has to offer, there has always been and always will be my core self that is worthy of nurturing to the fullest possibilities.
These are the opinions of Debby Nowicki only and do not reflect those of the IEEE or any other organization or individual.