Thursday, October 19, 2006

reversal of fortune

I have 4 siblings - 3 brothers and a sister.  My sister, DD, is a year older than me.  We are quite close - I was her Maid of Honour and she was my Matron of Honour.  My parents raised us to be responsible, hard-working people.  We, all my siblings, were fortunate enough to go through university and earn our respective degrees - my sister has her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and I have my Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Chemical Engineering.  All very similar, I think.

If I look back 11 years ago, to 1995 - I had just graduated from university and decided to accept a job with a mining company in Vancouver as the start of my career.  At the same time, DD was pregnant with her first child and she decided to put her career on hold indefinitely to raise a family.  Our paths have been completely opposite since!

Now, 11 years later, on the eve of having our first child, I find myself putting my career on hold for the first time to start a family.  At the same time, DD has just accepted a job as the start of her career.  What a strange reversal of fortune that takes my sister and I to the exact same place, but opposite!

Really, in the last 11 years, our lives have been similar in many ways - my career has moved me from Toronto to Vancouver, to Elko, Nevada to Bellingham, Washington and back to Vancouver.  DD's family has moved her from Toronto to Peterborough, to Austin, Texas and finally to Schnectady, New York.  We've both had our fair share of moving in 11 years! 

Both of us have been back to school in the last 11 years - me to change careers from engineering to computers and her to be able to start her career as a medical transcriptionist.  She has 4 wonderful children to be very proud of - L (11), N (9), DB (7) and C (2) and I have a successful career as an IT professional that I can be proud of!

It's so ironic that we find ourselves asking each other advice now - me asking about pregnancy, labour and motherhood and her about writing cover letters and resumes!

I'm so proud of my sister.  It must be difficult decision to return to the workforce after 11 years.  I'm finding it hard to leave it for just a year!  What is most exciting to me is to see where my sister and I will come full circle.  I don't doubt that we will and I think when that time comes, we will be able to sit down, compare stories and feel closer to each other than ever.