It was clear as a seven year old foster child that the life philosophy my foster parents were trying to beat into me did not work very well, even for them. If the world was going to make any sense to me, it would be because I had figured it out for myself.
I set to figuring.
By the time I hit young adulthood, I had created much of Stoicism for myself.
I decided that virtue was the highest good. I could not enumerate the virtues, but I could recognize them when I saw them and I set my life up in support of them.
I realized that some things were not in my control and to try to control those things was folly. I drew the line of what I could control a little too close to myself and ceded some of my control to the world.
My happiness suffered because of this, but I did the best I knew to do.
I arrived at midlife with some things on the plus side and some on the minus side.
Then, my boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to Stoicism and I realized that someone else had been there first.
I began to read and study and discuss with like-minded folks. With better articulation of the ideas, I was able to find what worked for me, and what didn’t, what made sense, what was less helpful.
I am grateful to Stoicism for helping me to thrive through some very difficult times.
Now, I work as a primary care doctor to support my writing habit. I write about philosophies of life and medicine.
My name is Mary Braun Bates and this is my #PathsToFlourishing story.
I’m Mary Braun Bates and this is my #PathsToFlourishing story.
Follow Mary Braun Bates on Medium.
This is a #PathsToFlourishing story published as part of a series of stories inspired by the Stoicon-x Women 2021 theme: Practical Paths to Flourishing.