Dear reader: The two questions are at the end of this post. The story that precedes them will give you context for why I regularly and honestly ask and answer them.
It was a beautiful sunny morning in May but I had a sinking feeling as I approached the house that something was seriously wrong. As I entered my worst fears were confirmed. Almost all the furniture was gone. The kid’s rooms were empty and two very powerful emotions collided.
“How could she do this to me?” (Anger)
“It’s finally over!” (Relief)
Even though I didn’t know it at the time I had finally finished tumbling down one mountain and was about to start climbing up a very different one.
With every major turning point in life there is a before and an after.
As a child I was a dreamer. I loved to spend hours reading and thinking and wondering. I wasn’t particularly athletic and public school was just a place I was required to go to.
High school however woke me up. I excelled in academics and athletics. I ran, I wrestled, I weight-trained and my thinking ranged far and wide.
I won trophies and scholarships and accolades. I graduated from high school with the highest marks. I was accepted into the toughest engineering school at the University of Toronto and went on to study physics, philosophy and mathematics.
I got married and started a family. I learned how to fly. I traveled all over the world and made a lot of money. Everything was wonderful — on the outside.
You see, there was a hidden part of my life that not many people could see.
I was brought up in a poor family. My father was incapable of being a parent and my mother worked hard but depended on me more and more. During my second year of university my mother reached the edge of a nervous breakdown and was advised by her doctor to leave and take her three youngest children with her.
I now tried to be a parent to both of my parents but it was taking a toll.