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What’s your why?

By Stacie Chadwick

between the Pines

On any given day, people all over the world do extraordinary things. Halfway through my journey on this Earth, my question is…why?

When I was 39, my fast-approaching “big 4-0” loomed large, hovering over me like a lingering cough. There was nothing about aging up into a new decade that I looked forward to. In fact, I sprinted away from this unwanted milestone with all the speed and force I could find.

A decade before, I’d traded a full-time career to be a full-time mom. Yet over the years, I somehow got lost in the tunnels of a world I’d built for all the right reasons, and I didn’t know how to find my way back. To me.

Even though the reflection of life that I presented to the world looked enviable, my internal composition wasn’t reconciled to the image I wanted people to see. So after some pretty spectacular wrong turns, I realized that I’d lost the passion behind my purpose, and I needed a personal definition beyond the words wife and mom. Admitting this feels selfish, but as my children grew up and away, my why started to change because I was changing too.

For me, with age has come insomnia, hot flashes and weird moles that have pretty much put my dermatologist’s kids through college. And maybe a little wisdom. I’m the byproduct of a long line of workers. My mother, who tried to retire decades ago, is still at it. Her father built a company out of nothing and changed his family’s lives. The list goes on. And then there’s me.

My re-entry into the workforce started with writing, morphed to a part-time job, then transitioned into a full-fledged real estate career. And now, at my busiest and craziest, I’ve never been happier. My why is to help provide for the wants and needs of my family, and the passion I feel when I help others permeates just about everything I do. Where I once felt lost I now feel lucky, in part because my self-definition of necessary rests in a more well-rounded place than before. I’m a better wife and mom because I’m a happier person, and I’m a happier person because I’m figuring out my why.

I believe that the most grounded and fulfilled people I’ve ever encountered feel a passion about their purpose. One of the many beauties of this world is that we’re all different, tailor-made to be completely individual and unique. So, I have a question. What’s your why?

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