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  • Writer's pictureRenée Purdie

Living life backwards

By Denise Renée Purdie


Sometimes I feel like I lived my life backwards. I married early, when I was 20, but ended up having to start over in my 40s, a terrible cliché. When I was 30, I really had it all. I was living overseas in Australia. I was married. I was in a beautiful home we had built from the ground up, starting with buying the land. And I had gone back to school and really found what is probably my life purpose: helping people find their purpose and share their stories. I started a communications and publishing business and also did freelance for a book publisher. Things were pretty amazing … until they weren’t.


Now I’m in my 50s and admittedly some things are on track including having gone back to school in my late 40s to get my bachelor’s. I graduated at the age of 16 and was the valedictorian and had so many scholarships to so many schools around the nation, but I opted to go to the local university, the University of Arizona (much to the astonishment and chagrin of my Mom who had basically coached me into getting into almost any university I wanted to in the United States). I finished about 3.5 years in my computer engineering degree before I got married … that’s a whole other story, but I’m so glad I was able to fulfill a promise I made to my Granny that I would go back to school and get my bachelor’s. It took 32 years, and it ended up being in math and business studies, but I got it done!!! Soon after I followed that up with a master’s and I’m working on my second master’s (Master of Education in Instructional Technology) with a view to getting my doctorate.


With that said, I am definitely in a HUGE transition period during which I’m trying to figure out what to do with the second half of my life. I’m so ready to have my second renaissance, but sometimes I think it will never happen. Someone I know says I have so many choices; however, too many choices can be a curse, especially to a Libran. Also, choices are often underpinned by the money to make it happen. I’m really not a 9-to-5-er by nature, but it looks like I will probably have to be one for a minute so I can stockpile some cash and give myself true options. While my Grandmother said, “You can’t cross the same river twice,” I’m truly hoping that my (second) river hasn’t passed forever.   


They say envisioning what you want is the first step so let me see if I can do a little daydreaming/visioncasting about what I would like to be doing.


Here’s one …


  • Living on the beach in Jamaica with my husband (no I’m not married 🤔🤣) operating either a food truck, a restaurant, a bookstore and/or an Airbnb … and running workshops regarding book publishing and purpose coaching


If you’re going to have to work, I think doing it in Jamaica would be a wonderful compromise!!! 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽


To round things up though, this is not a pity party message, but rather an introspective one. As I am wishing and wanting this second renaissance, I'm still going to keep moving as best as I can. I really am a goal-oriented person so I give myself goals and things to do because the worst thing you can do is take each day for granted or stay stagnant. We were put here for PURPOSR and so while we're waiting on whatever it is we feel will make us happy, it is incumbent upon us to make an effort to make every day as happy as possible as my dad advised today. So, get out there and do something amazing! If you can't be exactly happy right now, help somebody else be happy.


Keywords: relationships, transitions, life after 50

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