Design Your Life

Author: Naomi Mamiye

This Is Not How My Life Is Supposed To Turn Out

My imagined fairytale future jolted to an end when at the age of 10 my mother got sick with cancer. A mole on her back that she hadn’t noticed grew bigger and bigger, and slowly spread underneath her skin. Two years later I found myself with a stepmother that wanted to start a new life with my father without old “baggage”. I was sent to live with one set of grandparents, then another only for them all too to succumb to cancer. I wasted my teenage years crying to Air Supply songs, wishing a man would come whisk me away and save me. Because I wanted a family of my own, I got married young to someone that was not the right fit. I made my mistakes being young and out of desperation. I didn’t have parents to guide me or have my back. Years later, because of my foolishness I found myself divorced no one to lean on or help.

When I designed my own house twenty years back, people took pictures and asked why I did not do this professionally. I never thought about it because my children were still young. Now I had the chance to use my God given creativity to support myself. My ex-husband laughed that I will never make money off my “arts and crafts”, but I did not let that deter me. I did my first few jobs free of charge to show what I was capable of. One restaurant I designed called his friend who had just bought a rehab center in Florida asking if he needed a designer to update the facility. A person is put in the right place, at the right time, meeting the certain person for a reason. I believe there is no such thing as chance. Today, I am considered a leader in this field with over 80 healthcare projects alone. I travel across the United States designing hospitals, rehab centers, assisted living centers, drug rehab centers and corporate offices. I have a constant flow of large-scale projects. I have never once advertised or looked for work. I taught myself building codes and as experienced as I am in this field, I am constantly asking questions to installers, why they are doing things a certain way, trying to learn more.

When I catch myself singing Cher’s “If I could turn back time”, and I change it quickly to Elton Johns “I’m still standing”. I have come to learn that the only way to get by, in this trip called life is to march forward on. I remind myself again and again that there is no point in analyzing the past, nothing can be fixed or changed. Even mulling over yesterday is unproductive. To dodge getting down, you must put on those horse blinders and look ahead. All these years I could have complained life’s not fair, I have no parents to go to for a shabat or holiday meal or anyone to even call before a holiday