The Past is Prologue

By Sharon Munroe

I came of age in the 1980s, an exuberant time in international business. My aspirations were to jump on the corporate ladder and quickly climb it as my father and grandfather had done. I was inspired and motivated for career success. I chose a joint challenge of doing this in New York City first and as a woman in a Japanese multinational company.

My boyfriend during those early post-collegiate years had similar aspirations though a very different background. Our common ground was that we wanted to move fast and gain great business experience in New York; his chosen field was executive search. We excelled at work and got rewards for our achievement. After four years together, we decided to marry. Marriage at 27 was a compliment and not a deterrent to our dreams.

Few people who knew my husband and I very well ever asked if we had kids or were planning to start a family. It rarely came up. We were living in New York, New Jersey and Southern California, moving for better job opportunities and gaining rich experiences. We worked hard and played hard, traveling to Europe and South America when we had extra time and money.

It was only when I was asked did I offer my personal life plans. None of them included having kids. We never wavered in this choice and I felt this way until age 38 when we grew apart and separated. No regrets. I was glad of our decision when we divorced. I never looked back and was ready to start a new chapter of my life. A new journal was waiting to be filled. That’s where this project comes in.