Anyone who has ever started a business, taken over an existing one, or changed jobs knows how tough it is. No matter how prepared we are, how much “homework” we do, or how confident we feel that the move we are making is the right one, we cannot help but wonder, “What if?” What if things don’t work out? What if I am not making the right choice? What if, what if, what if?
These same feelings of uncertainty apply to relationships, friendships, partnerships, or whatever interaction or endeavor we are involved with at the time that shakes up our life, stirring it until our head feels like it’s spinning. In a way it is. The feeling is similar to the one I used to get as a child when I’d spin around and around in a circle until I was dizzy. After stopping, I would then try and walk in a straight line, wobbling for the first few steps but gradually regaining my balance.
I have felt this same sensation at different times in my life, which, looking back, occurred during periods of change for me. Whether I was starting school, a new career, beginning a romance, ending one, or going back to a former one, I felt the same—a little afraid, but still determined to make a change. I have to say, I am fortunate. Though I recognize how scary the unknown can be, I have always been able to summon my strength and, with confidence, push ahead.
For me, reinventing myself is like fuel. I feel empowered whenever I delve into a different part of myself, whether it is a talent that I haven’t tapped into in a while, creativity that I haven’t yet cultivated, or some interest that I never knew I had. Whenever I learn something new about myself, I feel strong, despite those “what ifs” never being too far from the surface. And when they do begin to poke through, I push them back, opting to take a chance on me and my future.
Mary Tyler Moore, an American pop culture icon, often comes to my mind. Anyone who has ever made a change in their life, particularly a woman, be it a to move to a new city for a job or altering their existence in any way, can see herself in Mary. I can, and it was her death that inspired me to look back at the many instances in my life when I took a chance and wondered to myself if I was going to make it after I did.
The past few years have been challenging; I ended my marriage and went back to work. But I have been savoring every moment, embracing the puzzle that I have in front of me, the one I laid out, figuring out how all the pieces will fit together. The good news is, they are beginning to. That’s because I understand how my determination pervades every aspect of my life. Through the redefined role I have as the head of my household, experiences I share with friends and the new people I meet, and the pride and success I take in my work, I can show the world the person I am now and becoming each day.
Recently, I formed a law partnership that I am incredibly excited about because I finally have found the perfect platform to do what I do best and help people using the experience, tools, and skills I have honed throughout the long evolution of my career. Instead of popping open the bubbly, I will celebrate this most recent victory by working hard and, most important, taking with me the knowledge that, like Mary, I’m gonna make it after all. Somehow I always do.
Doni Feinberg Landy, Esq. is a mom, entrepreneur and Managing Partner of Duberman & Landy Attorneys At Law, a full-service law firm specializing in commercial and residential real estate, tax appeals, and family law.