This I Believe

Cynthia - Bellevue, Washington
Entered on July 5, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: purpose

I do believe there is a plan for my life—I’m just not in on it!

I grew up the oldest of six kids in a 790 square foot “mansion,” raised in a poor neighborhood by teen parents. I was the first in my family to get a college degree, and my grandmother really didn’t understand what I was doing when I got a Master’s and PhD—she had never heard of such things. I started out to be a Sociologist, and was tenured at a major university. I gave up my tenure to do research and owned a consulting firm for 10 years. Then I was “Rookie of the Year” as an executive recruiter. Then I was an administrator for a large HMO. At age 47, I was accepted to an intensive program at Yale University to become a registered nurse, a certified nurse-midwife and get a second Master’s. By age 50, I started a successful independent midwifery practice, which soon included a free-standing birth center. Ten years later, I sold the practice to return to academia to teach nursing, and am helping to develop a training program for midwives who want to serve internationally.

Most people get tired just listening to this brief overview of my six careers so far. I have led a very full life: I was destitute more than once, and had the experience of getting an unexpected check the day I was totally out of food for my children. I chaired a fundraiser for our symphony, and have pictures of Henry Kissinger’s arm around me on the dais. I dated a man whose take home pay was 2 million dollars—a month—who flew me around the country on one of his jets, and who later paid my tuition to Yale. I survived a car wreck at 65mph when I hit the RV head-on that was suddenly crosswise in my lane. I have attended the births of a thousand babies in several countries, including Sri Lanka after the tsunami. In October, I will assume national office as President of the American Association of Birth Centers.

Who could have imagined such a life? And who could possibly predict what is next with such a history? Not me! I have no clue!

I do believe there IS a plan; my life is not really random. Somehow, each part of my life has fed into the next without a conscious plan on my part, and I have always managed in good times and bad. But I have learned that there is no point in trying to figure out what will happen in my future. I have taught and served others and tried to contribute to my community all of my life, and somehow it has worked out. So I believe there is a plan, I’m just not in on it—yet. This I believe.