By Guest Blogger: Rebecca Undem, 2016 Women’s Day Out Keynote Speaker
When I graduated from high school, I had a plan.
My plan was simple.
It was as follows: go to college, graduate from college, get a great job, marry an amazing man, promote within said job, have a family, retire in Mexico.
My life would be fulfilling, I would feel complete and by all accounts and standards, I would be successful.
Being successful was the key—without success, what would be the point?
Here’s the thing about plans: rarely does life serve up the circumstances to perfectly accommodate them.
I’m sorry. I don’t mean to let the air out of your tires.
Then there’s the concept of success. Here’s the thing about success: it looks different on everyone. And the idea of what it means to you will change over time as you change, grow and develop.
I know. It almost doesn’t seem like you can count on anything, does it?
In my memoir How Mommy Got Her Groove BackTM I share my personal journey of returning to my hometown in rural North Dakota, starting a family and how, in combination, these two choices made me question nearly every single thing I thought I knew about myself.
Here’s an excerpt from the book below:
“At times during our first few months in Oakes, I’d travel to Fargo to meet with Tonya and Tamara or help out with a training. Inevitably, I’d run into someone I knew. When we had decided to leave Fargo, I only shared the news with my Nesties, my employer, and the Dale Carnegie women.
Naturally, when I visited, people would say, “Rebecca! Wow! I haven’t seen you in so long! How’s the bank?”
I would return their greetings and say, “Oh, I, uh, left the bank in August.”
“What? I hadn’t heard that! Where are you now? Do you have a business card on you?” Most assumed I’d accepted a job with a competitor.
Each time this happened, I was overcome by embarrassment, too uncomfortable to explain the choice we’d made. I felt ashamed. Hoping they’d move on from the topic, I’d quietly mumble, “Oh, uh, we moved back to Oakes.”
Once I’d said that loud enough to be heard, I always anticipated the look. The look that suggested they were thinking, Really? Why would you do that? And here I thought you were a real go-getter. Did your dreams die? What happened to you?
When faced with someone from my professional past, I felt like I had squandered my potential by moving home. Like I was some sad, unfulfilled version of the woman I was supposed to become. It was hard not to question whether I’d ever feel professionally fulfilled in Oakes.
Each trip to Fargo was a painful reminder of all I’d left behind. I loved the hustle of the city. I loved meeting people for coffee dates and happy hour cocktails. I loved shopping for shoes and clothes and trying new restaurants. It was thrilling. It was exhilarating.
Now life was simple. Quiet. Boring, even.”
Throughout the book, I share how I came to get my own groove back and my hope is that through my story, you’ll find some truths you can apply to your own life.
I couldn’t possibly be more thrilled about joining you on Sunday, November 20 in Wadena for the 2016 Women’s Day Out event. I’m bringing books so you can get a signed copy (or buy them for the women on your Christmas list—it will be nearly time for those pesky lists!) and sharing my signature keynote message of living BIG, which stands for being bold, getting inspired and choosing to grow.
Living BIG isn’t about what you do, where you live or what your specific roles are.
It’s about learning to follow your heart, surround yourself with good people and enjoy the journey—detours included.
We’ll laugh, we may cry and above all else, we’ll remember that as women, there is more connecting us than dividing us. So let’s celebrate all it means to be a woman!
And in the meantime, if you want to connect or chat, don’t hesitate to reach out:
To your groove…