Suburban Life Transition: Smart, Pretty, Well-Married & “Running Out of Gas”
“C” had just turned 33. She had a husband to whom she’d been quite happily married for 8 years, a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. The family had an attractive home in a sought-after neighbourhood, and her husband, somewhat older than her, had a very successful high-level technical job with a multi-national corporation headquartered in the GTA.
On the surface, C. was pretty, vivacious, and had every reason to feel good about the “good life” that she and her husband had created, and that she and her family shared. But it wasn’t quite that way. C felt that everything had gone gray, and that life had “lost its savour”. University-educated, C had given up a good career in sales when her son was born, to become a full time mother–a choice she felt sure about at the time. Now she found herself uncertain that any of the choices she had made in her life — to marry N., to give up her job and stay home, to have kids — were really right for her. It felt like the life had gone out of everything, and life, the exciting life she had hoped for in her teens, was rapidly passing her by. Worse than that, it felt to her as if there was no way to get what it was that she really did want.
C’s work consisted in part in exploring her feelings about the choices she had made, both rejoicing in their positive aspects, and grieving for the roads not taken. In time, through working with her dreams, artwork and other symbolic material, C started to find the beginnings of new creative directions. What began to emerge were new talents and abilities, and most importantly, the uncovering of new feelings, new thoughts, and a sense of new possibilities that she had not even begun to imagine. By sitting with these, discussing them and sifting them, over time C began to have a picture of the life that wanted to be lived in her, and the passion to reach for it.