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Starting Over

Being in my 40s, it seems like most of my peers have already started over, or are just starting over—in their careers and/or marriages. Some of us have had the luxury of initiating the change. Some of us did not. Either way, starting over is hard.

Some of us are filled with excitement and optimism. Some of us are filled with fear and anxiety. Some us feel like pioneers and are exhilarated. Some of us feel like failures and are ashamed. Most of us feel a mixture of emotions.

I remember when I was in my early 20s and complaining about my job, my mother told me "don't worry, this is probably only your first career". She told me that everyone she knew wound up doing something different than they started doing when they first started working. That was not what I wanted to hear.

My mother had not only made a career change, she was divorced—which meant she had started over twice. Most of the parents of the people I had grown up with were also divorced. So, a "starter career" and "starter marriage" weren't out of the realm of possibilities for me.

But in your early 20s, you are naive enough to think that you know what you want and are making the best decisions. You only envision yourself having a successful career and marriage. You don't yet know people who have become disillusioned, unfulfilled and willing to start over after they have spent 10, 20, or 25 years doing something or being with someone. You can't imagine that. You may know someone older that has made a career change. You may have heard that the odds are against the successful marriage. But, you think you're different.

Then, you find out you're not different. And, you think about starting over.

Starting over is hard, but TOTALLY DOABLE. Whether you're starting over with something like an exercise program, diet, school, or something as big as a career or marriage, commit to making the change, stay focused and look forward and keep moving on your new path. You can do it. You control what you do now. Don't think about the past as time lost or as something that you failed at. Think about what you learned from the past and make your future BETTER.

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