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Forum > Miscellaneous > How did you "reinvent" yourself? ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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How did you "reinvent" yourself?
Tell us how you transformed your life!
QuickFade
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QuickFade
Intermediate
USA
Member since 6/7/05
Posts: 1778
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Date: 11/22/09 0:50 AM

There are many reasons for and ways to reinvent oneself. More magazine likes to feature such stories, but in the past they have often involved well off women who go off to Africa to do charity work. Frankly, I find that fascinating but a little far fetched for me to apply as I am still raising a child solo and won't have any trust fund to back me up when I decide to explore new avenues. Still, I can apply what I learn from others in small ways. For example, I found myself isolated and feeling unproductive when home from injuries. But, I could still talk on the phone and meet with people. I called up the local school's Communities in Schools site director and asked if they needed clothing for the kids they serve. They said they ALWAYS need clothes. Well, a bunch of phone calls and meetings later, they were overflowing with high quality clothing donated through Freecycle, had submitted grant requests I led them to for funding for next year's needs for clothing, and arranged for all the schools in the district to take the kids with the greatest clothing needs to a hospital thrift shop to get a week's worth of clothing plus a coat, a pair of shoes and an umbrella each. It was literally one of the easiest projects I've ever done because everyone agreed on the goal. It was a matter of connecting the dots which somehow had never been connected before. That project is done as they now know how to do it, have established a precedent and should be able to continue without my help. And, it gave me a great feeling and confidence. I never was even an official volunteer. I just made a call and answered the need. I didn't get an award. I didn't get listed as a staff member. There were no news reports of this. I really didn't even get a big thank you. But, my need to be of service to others outside my family was met while the kids' needs for warm winter clothing was met as well. Now, I want to start my novel or screen play about some of my experiences (or fictional stories that are similar but not real) in my current state of residence. And, start a new job. And, fix up my house that's fallen apart during these years of illness and injury, and polish off raising my son to college age before it's too late.

So, what have you done and what do you plan to do? Spill the beans, girls and boys! Let us feel the love too.
-- Edited on 11/22/09 0:53 AM --

mary in FL
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mary in FL  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Florida USA
Member since 4/28/02
Posts: 987
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In reply to QuickFade


Date: 11/22/09 11:36 AM

My "re-invent" wasn't nearly so grand, and was the opposite of far-reaching, but it was the big turn-around moment in my life.

I had been a very quiet person, maybe too quiet. I didn't know that I could have an opinion. I basically kow-towed to the guy I married the first time around.

But a year after I married my current husband, my mother asked me why I had divorced the previous guy. It was very daring, but I had to tell her that if I had wanted her to know, I would have told her.

That was the first moment of the rest of my life.

------
from Daytona Beach, FL
http://mary-sews.blogspot.com/

Kim12469
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Kim12469
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Montana USA
Member since 3/27/08
Posts: 2348
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Date: 11/22/09 2:21 PM

I kicked my emotional abusive ex husband to the curb 6 weeks after giving birth to our son. I had that "aha" moment the people talk about while I was desperately trying to keep up breastfeeding with some difficult issues and my ex was screaming at me with my son latched on.

I thought, hmmm, "this is so not where I thought my life should be. It was bad enough that I let my self be subject to this but no way in hell was I going to raise my son in this environment."

I spent the next year living an hour from work, keeping up a large farmhouse and acreage, working 50 hours a week, and raising an infant, along with caring for 6 dogs one who was extremely elderly. I learned in that year once again how strong I was and found the "old" me again!

Ironically, I was someone whom you would never consider allowing herself to be pulled down into the quagmire of emotional abuse. I never ever took anything from anyone, have a very strong personality, and have always spoken my mind. It just goes to show what being around someone who is emotionally abusive will do to even the strongest of people.

I realized I had an excellent job, was very well educated, and didn't need this bozo around me, my son or even my dogs! I could raise my son on my own. I didn't even take child support for very long. I wanted no part of his support.

Seven plus years later, it was still the best damn decision of my life!

------
http://kimsewsilly.blogspot.com/

PhyllisC
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PhyllisC
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Massachusetts USA
Member since 8/2/02
Posts: 2005
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Date: 11/22/09 6:54 PM

I went back to school in my early 40's. Initially I was planning to go to law school but the price tag ($100,000) combined with kiddo college looming in 10 years changed my mind. Instead I enrolled in an ABA accredited paralegal program. Paid for it through my company's tuition reimbursement program. Graduated with a 3.8 average and no debt!

Phyllis

------
Sewing = Fashion
http://coudremode.com/

Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
Intermediate
Ontario Canada
Member since 7/16/07
Posts: 10584
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In reply to mary in FL


Date: 11/22/09 7:48 PM

Quote:
My "re-invent" wasn't nearly so grand, and was the opposite of far-reaching, but it was the big turn-around moment in my life. I had been a very quiet person, maybe too quiet. I didn't know that I could have an opinion. I basically kow-towed to the guy I married the first time around. But a year after I married my current husband, my mother asked me why I had divorced the previous guy. It was very daring, but I had to tell her that if I had wanted her to know, I would have told her. That was the first moment of the rest of my life.

I really like this story. It may not be as outwardly dramatic as some stories, but it's a story of empowerment.

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

bunz
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bunz
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 2728
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Date: 11/22/09 8:37 PM

I just divorced my abusive husband (at age 60), sold my house, and moved to another state where I live in an apt. 4 blks from Lake Michigan (heaven!) and now have the life of a painter (which is not always easy, but it's what I want).

I did all that with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is getting a bit better!

SewVeryCreative

SewVeryCreative
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Florida USA
Member since 8/23/07
Posts: 2604
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Date: 11/23/09 9:18 AM

I just decided long ago that while I couldn't "fix" the mistakes in my past, I can prevent the ones in my future. :/

I try my best to be a good person, show the people I love that I love them (for who they ARE rather than what they do), show strangers kindness wherever I can, be a good listener when the opportunity comes, and just be a better person than I was the day before.

Just knowing that I can't change the past, but I CAN change my future helps a LOT. Knowing that I might be so privileged, in changing MY future, to change someone else's future for the good, helps, too. It's taking those opportunities where you see them.

Sounds easy but I spent a LOT of time trying to "change" the past. All it did was stress me out and make me miss the present ~ and the future I *could* have. It wasn't an epiphany moment ~ just a growing realization over time.

------
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Connie in Panama City Beach, Florida :)

"And these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through" ~ David Bowie, "Changes"

http://www.imsewverycreative.blogspot.com

Queendom

Queendom
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 449
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Date: 11/23/09 10:17 AM

Once upon a time, I had a fabulously glamorous job, made lots of money and was at the top of my game. Then I became very, very ill with Lupus and lost it all. I was sick for many years and in bed most of the time.

After several years, I slowly began to get better. By that time, I was a dinosaur in the industry. I didn't have a clue what I was going to do. I couldn't go back into Marketing, but I had always used needlework when I needed to think. I very slowly picked up a needle and began to stitch again. I pursued spinning, weaving, tapestry, rug hooking and anything else fiber related I could find. All of them fascinated me, and kept me occupied, but none of them would provide any type of income nor use my business skills.

One night, I was feeling really low about my huge weight gain from the steroids and my beloved husband came in with an arm load of beautiful designer clothes in very large sizes. He said that he had checked them out from a boutique on approval. He said to pick what I wanted, that he didn't care if I ever lost the weight. Then he produced a Viking he knew I had been looking at and told me he thought I could design better clothes. Such a sweet man...

I began to sew again. Years went by and we built a new home. He insisted on building a studio onto the house for me. I invited a designer over to give me an estimate on draperies for two rooms. I made her give it to me divided into materials and labor. When I saw the labor costs I nearly swooned.

Then and there I made the decision. I enrolled within the next 90 days at the Custom Home Furnishings Academy and received the necessary Certifications for what I wanted to do. In 2003, I joined the local Chamber of Commerce and opened my business, as a wholesale to the trade, drapery and soft furnishings workroom. Thanks to the foresight of my beloved I already had the space to set up the industrial equipment I needed. The business has been very successful and it is not even something that I consider work! I love creating all of the beautiful things that are going to grace other people's homes and make those homes becomes havens for the people who live there. My work has even been published in a national magazine.

Sorry for the very long post. Bottom line--Celebrate the very precious skillset that we share. There are few of us now.

------
Sandra
Whatever You Can Do, or Dream You Can, Begin it, Boldness has Genious, Power and Magic in it. - Goethe

julie w
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julie w
Intermediate
Western Australia Australia
Member since 12/25/06
Posts: 811
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Date: 11/23/09 5:24 PM

I am in the process of doing something about my future and am going to college after 25 years of leaving school. I am getting qualifications I should have got years ago. Now I can stop blaming others for my lack of skills and move on. I agree with the other post about not being able to change my past but I can change my present to change my future.

------
Julie, Perth, WA

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
Intermediate
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
Posts: 6348
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Date: 11/23/09 10:33 PM

In my mid 30's I learned to listen more and talk less. In my mid 40's I learned there are times when I should talk. Now I am in my mid 50's, I am hoping I have found some sort of a balance.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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