Picture this, a 20-something living in a new city, making a salary 5 years more advanced than her work experience, working 50+ hours a week in a predominantly nightlife setting, marketing for one of the largest, century-old, brands on the planet.
And then it all stopped. The company resolved the market.
Then came decisions: jobs in New York, Atlanta and Denver awaited answers. Another job, though, in the city she just claimed home, made an offer. The other, though, that would pay (roughly) the same salary, enough to keep life similar to what she had just built. The other, though, that she felt a strong, God-like, calling to say yes to. There were no words to describe the decision for yet another career shift to a new industry, other than ‘It felt like I needed to say yes’.
Despite the Olivia Pope gut-feel, within weeks there was a “well, sh*t… something is off” feeling that began the spiral into a second onset of depression, raging anxiety and overall loss of hope in the whole ‘life’ thing.
Then came yet another decision: fight or give in?
Oh, hey.. if you haven’t guessed, the 20-something year old is me. Big shocker, I know. Let’s catch up to the post Olivia Pope feels.
Simply put, life got weird. I didn’t know what to do.
In the moments leading up to the best decision of my life, I felt:
Like I needed an outlet;
Like I needed someone to help me figure it out;
Guilty for feeling happy for this life; and
Like I had nowhere to go.
I wanted a quick-fix for feeling like pure hell. I wanted to get back to the happy, wine-drinking, caffeinated career woman the world saw me as; the surface-level me who played the part really well.
I wanted a quick-fix to 20+ years of internal issues I had set aside in pursuit of ‘a successful life’.
There was no final straw that lead me to my next move, but the move was made. I began researching terms like “career coach”, “life coach” and “spiritual teacher”. The ones that caught my eye, I found them all via Instagram. I was randomly following each for a while, even attended a webinar or two and snatched their ‘freebies’. Looking back, I see that my subconscious knew something I didn’t.
Once I realized what I was actually searching for, I was reluctant, to say the least. I didn’t even know if I believed in the whole ‘life coach thing’, but I was desperate, so I did the dang thing.
My first chat with my coach: we talked one Saturday, early afternoon, she was about to go on a hike, I was about to meet up with friends and we both decided to squeeze this ‘thing’ into our mornings. Again, I was very reluctant to speak with this human, but all it took was the 30 minutes she graciously gave me and I was sold.
(Fun story / not my finest moment: I remember a conversation with my mom, telling her I was going to make this investment. Though her eyes were piercing and skeptical, I allowed the two margaritas at that point to be my confidence booster as I stated, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to hire the coach. It’s either this or therapy and the life coach thing works better with my schedule”.)
I hired a life coach because:
I connected instantly with my coach. This is pretty crucial. I felt I was talking to a friend. We shared similar views of the world, life and both have a genuine interest in human spirit. I felt we were friends, the kind that call your bullshit and help you along the way. The good ones.
I felt her honesty. And man, was she honest at times. I remember one gem of wisdom, “You’re kind of acting like the desperate guy who can’t get a date at the end of the night. Don’t be that guy”. HAHAHA. But really, her honesty came from love and mutual respect. It was something that comforted me because even when I couldn’t see through my own mess, she helped me pick through the rubbish through honest conversation.
I felt instant relief. I knew I would hire her the second she said, “you’re not crazy for feeling this way”. Up until that point, I had a few of my closest humans laugh off my current life state — it was ‘something I was going through’ or ‘omg, that’s just being in your twenties’. I knew better. She validated that. My transformation began with that statement.
I saw the hard work and challenge ahead. She was going to challenge me. I knew that. She me that expectation every single time we spoke (and sometimes in between visits).
I was excited to try. I literally had no other ideas on what to do… so why not lean in?
I felt hope, again. I saw something ahead. I didn’t know what, but it was there, and I just knew it was worth working my ass off to get to it.
In the moments leading up to my bursting point, I had no idea where to turn. I didn’t know it was ‘ok’ to invest in yourself, to pour energy into figuring yourself out; I truly thought this life thing would unfold in front of me and I would just keep doing what I had been doing.
It was the moment that I realized “nope, that’s not what this is about”, that I truly felt a connection to who I am and who I really want to be. I recognized my coach as an outlet to begin that process, to re-connect with myself and figure out how to move forward. She helped me gather and tap into resources around me, allowing me to discover me.
Wherever you are in your journey, know that there are always options. You deserve to live the boldest life possible and sometimes that requires hitting ‘reset’. Do not give in. Keep fighting. Keep pressing forward.
My story re-launched the day I made the investment. It required a serious self-inventory and months of ‘radical self-inquiry’*. I met with my coach bi-weekly for three months. I cried, laughed, learned and aligned. I quickly became a believer in ‘the whole life coach thing’ because I was lucky enough to find one that is a true God-send and pro at opening hearts.
My advice? Explore. Do research. Host conversations. Above all, though, seek something more. I know, without a doubt, 99% of the time when you feel like you are stuck in a funk or in a dark place, the answers lie within you.
peace and love,
If you want to know where my journey has lead me (because wow, I 180’d like crazy), present day, follow along through my words or through Insta-world. Let’s be friends. No, really, I want to be your friend. That cool? Hope so.
*Credit goes to Jerry Colonna of Re-Boot for the term ‘radical self-inquiry’
*Madison Hedlund is my bad ass boss babe coach (who just won International Coach of the Year, nbd). Check her out.