Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Other Path

A former classmate, whom I have not met for nearly 3 decades and recently befriended on Facebook, is now an accomplished medical director with a long string of accolades and is a well sought after keynote speaker.

Another schoolmate, whom I last saw in 2007, is now a very successful litigator and partner of a large law firm.

A close friend with whom I have shared 18 years of friendship has recently published her first book after accumulating a decade of incredible experience in her field.

The list goes on.....   and on......

Many people whom I have crossed paths with, in the past 3 decades, have gone on to achieve some great things. Some greater than others, by my definition.

While I know that it is unrealistic to compare one's achievements and success to others and that no one path is better than others; they are just all different paths, as a BFF rightly pointed out.....I cannot help but wonder if I would have accomplished the other goal I set my mind on since I was 15 if I did not quit my high flying career a decade ago. But by choosing the path of being a stay-home mum and for this long now, has sort of derailed me from that goal.

Friends do point out kindly that my time was well spent on raising my kids and I know they are right. I did not waste my years, I know that. It is just that, the ambitious and competitive nature in me wonder if I could have still raised my kids while achieving even more. After all, I was in no way less brilliant or outstanding than the few I just mentioned during our school years. Of course, academic achievements alone would not bring them this far; there must be other factors and skills which they acquired and honed over the years which together made it possible for greater achievements. One of the obvious factors is time spent on the career. Years of sacrifice and long hours at work, which they still invest to this day and probably for years to come.

I am not complaining that I wish I could be like them, spending 15 hours or more away from home, leaving my kids with the maid, spouse and/grannies while I conquer the world. Perhaps I should be clear now that two of the above-mentioned are men and the third is not married.

Hmm..... in a way, it is like I sacrifice one of my personal goals for another by choosing to spend 15 hours or more a day at home. I just hope that in years to come, when my kids leave the nest, I will not look back and wish I had picked differently. I know I will not regret being a mother and spending time with them, but I am not so sure if I would also wish I had pushed myself more, to achieve a fulfilling career that challenged me in different ways while I did my best as parent. Time will tell. For now, I just have to remind myself of the reasons for doing what I am doing and if there should come a day when I feel compelled to change direction, I shall be brave to do so with an open mind and heart.

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