“Everyone told me I was nothing, but I didn’t listen, because
I knew I was something.” — Margaret Norton
For several years I’ve been saying, if you want to know who Margaret is, read my book. It tells everything you could possibly want to know about me. This is a condensed version.
As a child I was painfully shy, had a speech impairment and felt that I was different from everyone else. My father was a minister and my stay at home mom struggled with mental illness. I didn’t appreciate it then but years later I’d be grateful for the values my parents instilled in me. I married young, to get away from home, only to find myself in an abusive relationship. The best thing about this marriage was the two beautiful children we produced. After my first divorce, at the age of 27, I enrolled in college.
I think this pattern repeated throughout my life – not doing things like everyone else, either arriving early or late but never feeling like I was on time, taking risks and pushing myself hard – some people would say maybe I was a slow learner, stubborn, or just didn’t know when to call it quits.
In college, I met my second husband, one of my professors and decided to marry again. He was 22 years older and when things got tough he emotionally shut down. He had children from a previous marriage and we were a blended, though very unevenly, family. I came home one day from an out of town trip to find he had moved out. My first husband took my innocence. My second one took my self confidence and bankrupted us financially.
During this time I lost one of my sisters to breast cancer, followed by the death of my father. Death has a way of putting everything else in perspective. You don’t worry about money when you’ve just buried your father. But you do expect your family to be there for you, not expel you from the family, as my brother did to me. This was when my real pain began. For seventeen years I’d struggle to put my life back together and mend things with my family. It was during this time that I discovered who I really was.
Though I worked many jobs in the corporate world, my greatest joy came from volunteering with nonprofits, church work and the personal relationships that I built along the way. My father was the perfect example. His whole life was devoted to helping others. I tried to follow in his foot steps but often lost my way. Divorces and bad choices forced me to work jobs I really did not like rather than following my heart. Self improvement became my constant companion, almost to obsession. I completed the Dale Carnegie Course and then trained to be Coach. It was rewarding watching others who were shy like me overcome their fears.
In 2004, the year of my brother’s death, and seven other people connected to me, I completed training to be a Stephen Minister. It was then that I started to write. Initially, it was just for me and my healing. Then I shared it with others who encouraged me to turn it into a book. The rest is history as they say. By now my heart was leading me away from the corporate world to jobs that involved more direct contact with others. I wanted to develop my creativity, not just my mind. I had learned much in my life that I knew I could use to help others. I loved mentoring and coaching others, becoming a Personal Life Coach was a natural choice for me.
Thus my business, Life Transitions, was formed in 2007, for the purpose of helping individuals deal with change. I suspect, I have experienced more change in my life than most people. This, along with my professional training, qualifies me to work with others. My passion is helping individuals overcome the obstacles I struggled with for so many years. When looking for a coach there are many choices, but I challenge you to find someone who cares about others as much as I do. Pain and struggle are good teachers. There’s probably nothing you’re going through that I haven’t experienced at some point in my own life. To learn more you’ll want to read my 260 page memoir, When Ties Break.