If you have been reading me for any time at all you will know how much I love a tale of reinvention.
A chance for reinvention can come around for many different reasons: moving house; losing a job; a change in family circumstances; or simply because like me the nest empties out and there is more time available to pursue other interests.
I think we may be the first generation to have so many possibilities laid out before us, so many avenues to explore, such exciting tools available for free.
I have reinvented myself twice. Once when as a young girl I left home and moved to France, leaving behind my family, my friends and any contacts that could kickstart a career. That was a challenge, and most certainly shaped my life in a way that staying at home in England would never have done.
My second reinvention came when I started this blog. Starting the blog was a big deal for me, even though as I hit the publish button for the first time, I honestly had no idea of where it would take me, or just how many doors the blog would open for me.
My motivation was simple enough. Our four children were growing up fast, and I could see that within a few years my role as a hands-on Mom would no longer be required. The youngest of my four was 13 at the time, and the eldest was 20, and already a long way from home at college.
When you’ve been a hands-on mom for as long as I had, there is no denying that you are very cut off from the traditional workplace. The idea of applying for a job is pretty scary, and uncomfortable. As a full time home-maker I had always kept myself busy, but I worked to my own schedule, my own hours, my own rules. I wasn’t ready to take on a job that would require me to fit into someone else’s office hours.
The need to reinvent myself was urgent and I knew that I had to find a way to be creative every day.
When a girlfriend sent me the link to her ‘blog’, I clicked and checked it out. I had never visited a blog before, and I was amazed by what I saw. She wrote beautifully, and she had a blogroll recommending all sorts of other blogs written by lively, creative women all over the world. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, some were instructive, others all about beautiful photography or amazing flowers. I was immediately hooked. I felt as if the doors had been opened onto a huge and fun party, and if I wanted to, I was allowed to walk inside and join in.
I took the plunge seven years ago. For the first two and a half years I published a blogpost every. single. day. ! I still don’t know how I did that, but I guess I was enjoying myself, and eager to progress.
Did I put myself outside my comfort zone? Yes definitely, and also ran the risk of appearing ridiculous, or of never having a single reader, but I worked hard to understand what people liked and to adapt , and I loved the learning process, and the fact that the internet felt like an exciting and ever changing playing field. By pushing open doors, and exploring new territory I discovered just how much I love to create and also communicate. Through photos, through flowers, through my tales of French life – sharing is so much fun!
I’m not saying that my reinvention path is right for everyone, nor that I’m an example to be followed. But I’ve noticed how one person’s tale of a new life direction can sometimes inspire someone elses, and I wondered if you have a story or a question that you’d like to share in the comments below here.
all photos available in our print store