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Posted by on Dec 1, 2010 in The Women Behind The Men, Winter 2011 | 0 comments

Support, but don?t sacrifice yourself

Life has an incredible way of taking us to places that we would never plan or imagine. At 34, I was still single (and happily so). I saw dating as painful and unnecessary, so I decided instead to pursue career over commitment and personal development over parenting. That was my plan at least.

Erica Brandl Learning Evolves

Erica Brandl
Learning Evolves

But when Rob showed up, I realized that life had a very different plan in mind. This beautiful man was my match in every way, but dating him presented an interesting twist. It meant abandoning my Erica-centric lifestyle and becoming a pseudo-mom to my two stepsons-in-training (something I never thought I would do).

Sometimes, while Rob?s at work, my days start off with Pokemon battles and chasing a naked five year old around the house. At times, it?s a far cry from the sassy, single entrepreneur lifestyle I?d pictured. But, lending a helping hand and a gentle heart so that Rob can achieve his version of success (creating a loving and happy home for his boys) is worth any of the struggles that I may face.

Striving to find balance between my goals and my three new priorities gives me a new appreciation for my mom. My father, an Austrian immigrant, was new to the country when they first met in Montreal. Full of ambition, his career path took them across Canada, back to Austria, and finally to Ontario, making it difficult for my mom to create a long-standing career of her own. Instead, she focused on supporting his career, as well as making sure that her daughters grew up to be smart, educated, and self-reliant women with choices.

Now, it?s my mother?s turn. I?m happy to say that she?s pursuing her passion as a genealogist, helping individuals all over the world research their family histories. I?d like to pass on her words of wisdom:

  1. Support, but don?t sacrifice yourself: It is both loving and admirable to be a driving force behind your family?s success, but make sure it is not at the cost of your dreams.
  2. Help, but don?t hide: If fear is keeping you behind the scenes, remember that you have everything it takes to pursue your own goals. Just take the leap.
  3. Find your own path: You deserve to be the leading lady of your own life. Trust your heart and let it guide you back to your dreams.
Page 11, Winter 2010

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