This is a story about losing yourself and finding yourself and living a life on purpose.
She is a white haired girl with an afro, small blue eyes, fat face. An old soul in a youth’s body. Sensitive, curious, introspective, shy. She observes life rather than participating in it fully, she likes to be.
She learns to be an A student, to fit in, to be “normal.” In the process she discards pieces of herself that don’t fit that mold. She learns to fear failure.
She goes to college, likes math and business, and becomes a CPA.
She pushes herself, she’s successful, she achieves and is recognized for that. She finds that she loves mentoring people. She gets married.
She loses a few more pieces of herself.
She births 3 daughters and finds that motherhood is the most demanding and rewarding job yet, and she loses herself completely for many years in that role. She puts her career on coast mode.
Her children grow and change and become themselves. One day she wakes up to realize that she has almost completely lost herself. Who is she? What is she passionate about? Is there anything meaningful in the work she is doing? She is 37 and having her mid-life crisis ahead of schedule. She is not who she wants to be, her marriage is not what she wants it to be, her job is neither meaningful nor rewarding. What happened? Where did all those years go? Where is the smart, curious, fun, radiant, competent person she knows herself to be? She’s gone. She cries.
She has to live her life differently, but she doesn’t even know how. Not one to rush into things, it is a slow and painful process, but she perseveres. She can’t turn back now. She rewrites her marriage agreement, she rewrites her agreement with herself, she learns to feel all her feelings. She starts retrieving those discarded pieces of herself from long ago. Now there really is no turning back, because she likes those pieces and she builds on them. She cries with regret, but is more vital. Her kids start to see her as someone other than just their mom. Her husband appreciates her anew and she him. She reads voraciously, she writes, she does yoga and meditates. She runs, she hikes, she drinks tea. She revels in the sunset and trees. And she volunteers. She still wonders what she’s going to do when she grows up.
Through her volunteer work she meets a coach. She notices right away that something is different about the coach- the way she is in the world, the types of questions she asks, and how she gets to the heart of the matter quickly. She is in awe and curious. She is trained by the coach and in a coaching demo is tricked (she believes) into starting a blog for her writing. She is upset that she has agreed to this because as a person of her word it now means she must do it. She starts her blog and is happy. She realizes that the coach got her to do something she really wanted to do, but was scared to do. She volunteer coaches in groups and one day realizes she is really loving it. Why isn’t she looking into doing the entire program of coach training? She must do a lot of research and due diligence before committing. She talks to people. She looks for any reason not to do it and can find none. She reads the coaching bible and it feels like coming home. She is not alone, there are other people like her in the world (she always thought she was weird).
She signs up for her first coach training module at the last minute and is waitlisted. Since she has been told “no,” she now wants it that much more. Maybe it’s not meant to be? She doubts herself. The day before training begins, she gets in! Yay! Now she is nervous and scared, but she goes. She loves it and leaves with a wonderful new community that she didn’t even know she’d been searching for, but she had. She is excited for the next month’s training. But she doesn’t get off that waitlist. She writes a poem in her sadness on the day that training is supposed to start about wearing a mask of inauthenticity for much of her life.
She waits, does webinars and learning labs and practice coaching to fill the gap. Six months pass and at last it is time to begin coach training again. She is nervous and scared, will this new community be as great as the last? They are. She totally connects to her radiant life purpose and finds her inner leader. She embarks on a journey of turbo charged self-transformation. Despite all her prior work, she has danced around owning her own power for years. She says yes and no and steps into it. She watches, in awe, as others transform themselves as well. She loves her community and is fearless in their presence. They coach her to her best self and she to theirs. She cries. She stops observing so much and starts doing. She starts to feel more complete than she ever has. She goes out in the world and does stuff; it is scary, but also fun and fulfilling. She stops telling herself she can’t. She is happy, she glows. She finishes her coach training. She gets sick and doesn’t recommend trying to make up for years of not doing all in one month. She learns to pace her doing.
She is embarking on a expedition without a real map, but this time she is OK with that. She helps clients with being, with creativity, with creating gaps of unfilled time, with disconnecting technologically and connecting personally. She helps them inform their doing from their being, sometimes through meditation. She is a confidante for leaders. She listens, she loves her clients. She is serving on a non-profit board, she is publishing her writing, she has a tight-knit coaching community supporting her. She is reading, always reading beloved books. She is present, she is mindful, she is excited, she is grounded. She is traveling. And she is still a mom and a wife, as well as a daughter and a sister, and friend, but better at those too than she used to be. She is filled with gratitude. She sees her found self and her life before her and she is fulfilled and she is happy. She continues on her journey.
This is a story about me.