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Transitions on the road to Caregiver Advocate

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

I have been considering transitions, and what that means in the current phase I am in. I thought I would discuss my own transitions, and what I did to push past them to find the right way through them.

One of the first major transition was when I left the comfort of my home and what I knew to do a study abroad program in Dalian, China during my undergraduate studies. Although I had made numerous trips to China to visit family (my dad was half Chinese from Nanchang, China, with family in Shanghai), this was my first solo trip (relatively). I was on a program with, I believe, 6 other exchange students from other universities. None of us (except the assistant director and director) knew any Chinese. Well, not much anyways. I knew a few words that I had learned from my family in Shanghai. Actually, some of what I knew previously, was not Mandarin, but Shanghainese (the language spoken locally in Shanghai). As I look back on this period of time, I was excited to be learning the language and culture of my dad. However, it was still an adjustment with learning the language, culture, a way of being.

Returning back to the US, was also a major some ways more difficult that living in China. I had to adjust back to my native language and culture. I also had some health challenges the last month or so I was in China so needed to recover from that as well. It had been a year and a half since I saw my family and friends and was so excited to tell them about my experiences. Little did I realize, they really didn't want to know...or maybe they got tired of my excitement, or weren't that adventurous.

Fast forward to 2012, when I went through my divorce, after 9 years of marriage. This was a major transition for me, in many ways. Actually it was a number of transitions combined. I had moved back in with my parents (to get back on my feet). Little did I know of my dad's health conditions. It shifted from taking care of me, to taking care of my dad.

While taking care of my dad, I also completed a second Masters and a Doctoral degree. This was just prior to Covid. I had applied to numerous jobs in academia, using my past knowledge of job searching. After not getting any results, and finding that the job market was down, it was suggested that I look into UX. This caused me to transition in my job search to a new field. I spent 3 years job searching, and getting additional training, with no results.

When my dad passed away, immediately, my role as his caregiver abruptly ended. This, as well as my divorce, has been the most challenging, because it is a shift in identity, as well as role. I am doing Neurosculpting, meditation, to discover what I should be transitioning to next.

What have your transitions been? What helped you most in those transitions?

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