One of my favorite questions to ask during interviews is “what do you consider to be your most significant accomplishment since getting divorced?” Sometimes, the answer is a new skill, like learning to tow a ski-boat or starting a whole new career. Other times, it’s along the lines of “I survived divorce” or being able stand on your own two feet.When I asked April this question, she wasn’t able to pinpoint just one thing but as she talked, I realized she’d been transforming her life since the day she decided to leave her marriage. She has much to be proud of, no wonder she couldn’t pick just one thing. Here’s April:
I went from having $100 cash, no home and no car to being a college graduate with a career and being able to care for my two girls completely on my own. So for me, the whole thing is a significant accomplishment. It took a while to get here … it was a lot of little steps along the way.
I worked full-time and went to school two nights a week and sometimes it was Saturdays also. My parents watched the girls on the nights I had school. I had started and stopped and started and stopped school before but this time I was determined to complete it because I didn’t think I could care for my children financially without a degree.
I was just squeaking by, very much paycheck to paycheck and I just couldn’t think what else I could do to make myself more marketable without getting a degree. It took me two years to graduate and I ended up getting a B.A. in liberal arts. Then I started paralegal school.
The paralegal school was because when I first got out to L.A, I signed up for a temp agency as I always had in the past when I needed a job. I landed in this legal department. From my temporary position as secretary, I was promoted to a paralegal and that was before I got my paralegal certificate.
I started off as a theater person and an actor eons ago but I absolutely love my job now. I work with amazing, people and I feel completely supported. I couldn’t be happier with where I am.
The Divorce Coach Says
I expect if you told someone that they had to start transforming their life and that this is what it would take, their reaction would be,
“That’s impossible! That’s too much. I can’t do it.”
The secret to transformation though is just what April says; it’s a series of little steps taken one after the other, slowly but surely. And little by little, it all falls into place. When April, took her temp job she had no idea she’d end up a paralegal; when April was completing her degree, she had no idea the job opportunities that would evolve. What April did have though was a goal, a goal to financially support herself and her children and having that goal helps you make decisions – if I do this, how will it take me closer to my goal?
Sometimes “life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” I love this quote from one of my favorite bloggers, Jolene. I think when you go trough divorce, you end up spending a lot of time thinking about how you got to where you, wondering what you could have done differently, what you contributed. Yes, that is important and critical to do but that’s not what’s going to move you forward. Having that goal will.
Are you transforming your life? Do you have a goal you’re working towards? Does having that goal help you? Are there changes you made that have lead you to unexpected places?
This is the final post in April’s series and I’d like to thank April for sharing her story. You can read more about the fantastic job April’s doing balancing her life at her blog, It’s All About Balance.
Photo Credit: Tingsteph at Flickr