Why No One Is Like Me

No One Is Like Me

Jessica grew up in a wealthy family.  She didn’t have to worry about too much when she was younger.  She had a great family life and her parents really cared for her.

Amanda didn’t have the luxuries Jessica did, but that didn’t stop the two of them from being inseparable in high school and college.  Amanda’s parents were divorced when she was only 5 so she had a different perspective.

Jessica knew how to make connections with people and landed a great job after college.  She was driven and she liked all the traveling she was able to do.

Within a couple of years, she had become vice-president of marketing for a small, but prestigious, multi-national software company.  She led an exciting and hectic life.

Amanda always had a more practical nature.  Her friends adored her because she always sent birthday cards, even to long-lost friends.  She received a teaching degree because she always wanted to help young people.

Amanda was a hopeless romantic too.  She married her college sweetheart and they moved back to her hometown.  There was a certain comfort level Amanda felt at home even though her parents divorced early on.

Jessica was always super-busy, but she called Amanda whenever she could.  The two of them were thicker than thieves in college.  They would remain close after college too.

Jessica had an on again, off again boyfriend, but it wasn’t serious.  Her career was important to her and her relationship was a distant second.  Jessica was on top of the world and she was proud of the things she accomplished.

Her passion outside of work was competing in triathlons.  Just like work, Jessica approached triathlons with the same intensity – win at all costs.

Jessica’s accomplishment in triathlons was quite impressive.  She began to easily win many age-group races and even started beating her boyfriend (take that).

Amanda was quite the over-achiever as well.  She taught second-grade at the school she attended as a child.  Her passion was a little different.  She never set her sights on traveling the world because that wasn’t reality for her as a child.

She wanted to be a second grade teacher for as long as she could remember.  Her second grade teacher had such a profound affect on her as a child that she felt compelled to be the best teacher she could be.

Life was good for Amanda.  She was happy with her life.  She had a husband who adored her and she had two little boys.  These were the things she dreamed of as a young child – it was kind of her version of a fairy tale.

Life in her twenties was going pretty much as planned.  The boys, Chase and Jacob, were growing up so fast, but Amanda made it a point to teach them the right values so they would grow up happy and healthy.

Amanda knew she was a good mother and she was proud of the boys.  But as the years began to pass, something was bothering her.  It wasn’t any illness or anything like that, but it seemed to trouble her some.  She tried to shake the feeling.

Not too long after their college reunion, Jessica called Amanda and filled her in on her hectic schedule.  One day she was flying to Rome for a business meeting and the week after she was competing in a triathlon in Sydney, Australia.

It’s funny, Jessica thought after she hung up the phone.  She remembers the times her and Amanda would sit in a coffee shop and talk about how their lives would turn out.  They would laugh and giggle about their hopes and dreams for the future.

That fond memory made Jessica feel a little sad.  She sat there for a minute and realized she needed to get back to her training run.  Nothing bothered Jessica up to this point.  She was driven and she was a winner.  Minor setbacks never stopped her from reaching her goals.

She checked her stopwatch at the end of the run.  Her time was not very remarkable.  She kept thinking of the times she had with Amanda and her sorority sisters during college and she loved every minute of it. 

She kept wondering what was bothering her.

It wasn’t an illness she was suffering because she was probably in the best shape of her life.  Jessica would tell herself to put it out of her mind and get back to focusing on her job.

As the holidays approached, Amanda was in a festive mood.  The second-graders loved her classroom because it was always the best decorated room in school. 

It always gave Amanda comfort to have a happy environment at school.  It was always her safe haven.

The boys were still young and the joy of Christmas was still lingering for the holidays.  Amanda was excited to get back to work and see her second graders.

The next couple of weeks were uneventful.  Nothing extraordinary was happening, but that strange feeling came back.  Amanda told her husband, James, about it and of course he didn’t know what to say.

Amanda was a little mad at James because it didn’t seem to bother him too much.  ‘Being concerned’ was Amanda’s best friend.   So she decided to make an appointment to see her doctor.

She wasn’t really worried because she felt fine and she was confident her doctor wouldn’t have any reason for concern.

Fade to Jessica’s semi-dark bedroom:

Jessica began her day like any other day.  She dragged her tired body out of bed and headed for the pool.  As she was swimming laps, she focused on her exhalation breathing and her stroke.

Whew!  She exclaimed.  She had a great workout at the pool and she was ready for her trip to Seattle.  She stopped for some coffee before she headed over to her gate.

As she was walking to her gate, she felt someone tap her on the shoulder.  When she turned to see who it was, Stephanie gave her a big hug.  Stephanie was one of her sorority pledge sisters and they had gone through a lot together in college.

Stephanie and her husband and 3 kids were headed to see the grandparents and she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw Jessica.

Jessica was genuinely happy to see Stephanie and thought of all the goofy things they did together in college.  Everyone called her, Amanda and Stephanie the 3 Mouseketeers.

Later that evening in the hotel room, Jessica began to cry for no other apparent reason.  She started to get that feeling back again.  That thing that made her pause and wonder why she felt the way she did.

As she was tossing and turning in bed, it suddenly occurred to her what the problem was.

Meanwhile, Amanda went to her doctor’s appointment and waited anxiously for her doctor to come in the examining room.  To her surprise and relief, her doctor couldn’t find anything unusual in her blood-work.

Amanda felt relieved and couldn’t wait to tell James.  James was happy Amanda was cleared of anything bad. 

There seemed to be some underlying tension there, but Amanda had no idea what it could be.  She always had this paranoia about relationships because of her parents’ divorce. 

The only thing she could think of was something bad was going to happen between her and James.  She worried for a month and finally couldn’t take it anymore.

She was stressed out and she wanted to talk with James about it, but what was she going to say? At her wit’s end, she broke down in tears and told James how she was feeling.

What Amanda didn’t know was James ……………..

Really, you need to know what happen with Amanda and James. 

James finally confessed that he was being considered for a promotion.

Amanda was really happy and excited for James.  That’s when he said the job was half way across the country.  You could hear the air come out of the balloon.

James loved the idea of being promoted because it meant a huge increase in salary, but at the same time, he understood what it meant to have roots in this community and he loved his family more.

After long discussions, James decided to pass on the promotion.  He really didn’t need any convincing from Amanda, but she encouraged him to go for it.  He decided that his family came first and he was happy with that decision.

The stress took its toll on Amanda, but it felt like the weight of the world was lifted off her shoulders.  She had the thing that gave her the greatest strength back  – her family!

Jessica woke up the next morning and just felt so depressed.  She figured out what was going on in her life – NOTHING!

Her ambition got the best of her.  She had been a force to deal with her whole life and she loved it.

It all changed when she had that chance encounter with Stephanie at the airport.  She suddenly realized her ambition created a giant void in her personal life.  She had it all, money, athleticism and great looks, but no one to share it with.

Jessica didn’t have the most important thing of all – LOVE. 

How do you fix that, she wondered.  You can’t buy love like you do everything else.  This seemed like a challenge she had no answer for.  True to form, Jessica sulked about it for a couple of days and became even more depressed.

You obviously don’t know Jessica very well.  Sure, she cried in her “Cherry Garcia” ice cream for a couple of days, but when she finally got around to that winning attitude, she decided to conquer L-O-V-E.

Watch out!

Okay, this is the part where you ask if we’re crazy.  The answer will depend on your point of view.

If you recall, the title of this story is “No One Is Like Me.”

We could have written some cheesy story about how two sorority girls gain weight and now are desperate to lose it 10 years after college. 

Really the point of telling the story this way is to show you how people go through different phases of their lives.

Women who are in their twenties are in a discovery phase – good or bad.  But the beautiful thing is – there is plenty of TIME.

Things start to change for women as they head into their thirties and forties.  Family, community and career become better defined.  Again it can be good or bad.

One thing hasn’t changed for thousands of years.  Women in this group are a force to be reckoned with.  Okay, cavewomen probably didn’t live that long, but a lot is put on women’s shoulders and strength is an absolute necessity.

Have we lost anyone yet?  Hope not!

“No One Is Like Me” is you (nicely worded sentence, huh?)  No on can pigeonhole you into a category.  You may be influenced by your upbringing – rich or poor, but you think for yourself and more importantly you handle family decisions most of the time.

Whether you are an Amanda, Jessica or Stephanie, you make decisions because they make sense to you at some point.

You own that decision.  You may talk with others about it, but when you’re in the right mental frame of mind, you embrace your decision.

Why?

Because life goes on and you make the best decision you can at that time.  We’ve taken this point of view because it would be wrong to sell you something you’re not ready for.

Weight loss is a deeply personal issue and no one will know what finally gets you to take the steps you need to take.

But for women with responsibilities (unimaginable to men), you are shaping the lives of your children and you.

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No One Is Like Me

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