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  • Writer's pictureKim Colman

Reflecting on my life from the heart

I have been challenged to put pen to paper and to write from the heart about my childhood and life experiences. Gee whizz this is hard and where do I start. I guess at the beginning.

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and lived there till the age of 49 and then I moved to Amsterdam. I have one brother who is 2 years older than me. When we were growing up we had a really close relationship and I was always looking after his needs and caring for him even though I was younger than him. I was a very sensitive child who picked up on all the emotions that were going on. My parents did not have a very happy marriage, and in those days, they stayed together as they believed that this was in the best interests of the children. I see now that this with a sacrifice that they made for many years, for us, which was perhaps not the right thing for them. I picked up on many of my parents unhappy emotions, and just bottled up what I felt and saw. My parents were doing the best that they thought and possibly by following the advice that they were given.

What happens in our childhood can shape who we are today in a positive or negative way. I see my childhood challenges now as a positive influence in how I am today. It has taught me to be a kind, empathetic, caring person. When I was a child I was always concerned that my Mom, Dad and brother were okay physically and emotionally. When I look back now, this was a big responsibility for little me. But I took it on, because that was my nature and I cared.

This is so reflective to me now, as when I look at my top 3 strengths, they are Empathy, Responsibility, and Harmony. The harmony strength now makes me smile as I now understand it. When I was a child I hated it if my brother got into trouble, so I always tried to protect him and cover things up…lucky him. I also didn’t enjoy seeing my parents fight or disagree. Thus rather keep quiet about anything that could cause any issues.

I do remember when I was young I wanted to be a nurse. This sounds about right, as I was always patching my brother up every time he fell off his bicycle. I did enjoy caring for others at an early age, but unfortunately never went onto studying nursing. When I left school I pursued a career in sales and marketing which I was very successful at and did for many years.

It took a life threatening event in 2007 to turn my life upside down and re evaluate my purpose in life. It lead me to ask myself the question – “Am I really happy doing what I am doing?”

Sometimes it takes something awful to make us re evaluate our lives. At the time this event was tragic and awful, but I look back at it now and see that it was something positive that caused a great shift and change in my career path, for which I am now grateful.

This is proof that something GREAT can come from from BAD.

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