I had reached my mid-fifties with an established career and happily married – everything was perfect. I had a job, a home, a life I had built with my partner.
Or so I thought…….
My world collapsed when suddenly my marriage ended. I never saw it coming. I had never expected it to happen to me so I had no plan ‘B’. In my mind and heart I had married for life, because ‘death do us part’, right? For me there were only two options: first wallow in self – pity or second, do something about it. Hesitantly, I chose option two.
My greatest adventure was deciding to ‘re -invent’ myself by going back to studying, I had a diploma in social work already. I was head of department in the organisation I was employed facing tough competition from young people who were more qualified that I was despite my experience. As I considered what what was going to be helpful to me I decided to pursue further studies in Theology – something I had always wanted to do. I had met very dynamic women theologians who had inspired me immensely.
So I went..
Going back to studying at mid-fifties when ways of learning had changed a lot – everything done differently and no one was going to slow down for me. Computers were coming in at the time I was completing my education so all I knew as far as computers were concerned was to send and receive e-mails.
Deciding to further my education in the United Kingdom had added challenges, everything is done done technologically. My first challenge was having to do everything on the computer from issuing myself books in the library, to submitting assignments, and everything in between. Having to navigate my way round “search engines” was a nightmare for some one who had never done that before.
Then there was the whole new learning culture, as books are hard to come by in Zimbabwe – where I did most of my education. I was used to be have two or three key textbooks, max. It was not easy for me to have to read a minimum of six books for each of my courses.
In the Zimbabwe the learning culture is still about “the all – knowing” who did the teaching and the student accepts what the teacher taught, said or his/her general thought. When I was with having to ‘critique’ what I was learning rather than nodding along and taking everything word – for – word was massive.
My going back to study opened a whole new world! While this had been an adventure, with a lot of challenges, it was worthwhile because it re-kindled a dream I held in my heart; being a writer. Writing assignments got me back to continuously. I did not only come out with a B.A. (HONS) in Contextual Theology, but with an MA. as well.. My adventure paid off!
What seemed like a catastrophe turned out to be a stepping stone for something great, had my marriage not ended I would not have been in the place I am now. Blessing in disguise?
After completing my studies, I then decided to to establish two blogs which are helping me to improve my writing skills giving me the confidence to “hopefully” write my own book one day.
In this adventure I learnt the following lessons along the way:
- It is possible to re -invent yourself after you have reached the end of another career.
- A broken relationship can be a springboard of something new and exciting.
- Never allow yourself to wallow in self – pity, pick up the broken pieces of whatever is left of your life and start all over again.
- Do not be afraid to take risks, you can never know what you are capable of until you take a risk.