Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

May 9, 2014

JACKIE DAVIS: The challenge of self-reinvention

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The longer I live, the more I realize that life requires endurance. Obstacles, transitions, challenges and change are a part of life, and things don’t always go as we anticipate or plan. 

Endurance is required in order to accomplish anything of value or worth. Whether it is career goals, educational plans, family dreams or fitness challenges, there will be obstacles in our way that must be overcome. Although we are not promised a “bowl of cherries” or a “bed of roses,” somehow, when hardships arise, we are often shocked momentarily.

I learned years ago that simply “knowing” that challenges or hardships will come doesn’t make life any easier when they do. I have also found it hard to take when those I know and love are faced with injustice, hardship or loss.

When life takes an unexpected turn, sometimes, we must find a way to “reinvent” ourselves in order to endure. It has long been said that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” If that is true, then I would also declare that challenge is the father of reinvention. 

Since 2008, when the markets crashed, the economy “tanked” and the rules of society quaked, I have seen more people go through the process of self-reinvention. Friends, acquaintances, and family members have found themselves suddenly laid off or let go from careers they had held for years. Experts in their fields with years of education and experience were suddenly at a loss and faced with the challenge of “now what?”

Once the initial shock was over, I watched some of these quality individuals endure the process of self-reinvention. My cousin, once a senior executive with Corning Glass, started an international consulting firm and now travels with his wife making presentations to businesses overseas. My step-sister, once a senior statistician and executive vice president, began a successful touring company through the historic sites of North Carolina and has been featured in several media publications.

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