A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, I was on a young alumni panel at my college - an event for seniors to prepare themselves for life after graduation. As the six of us panelists gathered to walk up to the stage, I felt my heart fall down into my shoes. I realized that the panel makeup was this: banker, entrepreneur, med student, banker, smartphone app inventor, and me.

As we began to introduce ourselves, I started to feel like I was speaking a completely different language from everyone else. I grasped my notes, looked out into the crowd of professionally-dressed and ambitious seniors, and told my post-graduation story even though it felt completely wrong. When I asked for a show of hands of people interested in nonprofit work, five hands out of a hundred and fifty went up. I nervously listened to the other panelists tell their stories. They spoke in generalities, with lots of "you know's," even though their work environments and daily lives sounded to me like something from an alien planet. I don't know! Should I? When I left the auditorium afterward, I wanted to completely melt into the ground and disappear.

At the time, I felt like everything was wrong. Like I was on the wrong path, or worse - that I wasn't on a path at all. I was wasting my education and, measured against my peers, unaccomplished and small.

How true was that, really? It wasn't true at all. But it sure felt like it.

The truth was: I needed that kick in the butt - that feeling of utter lostness to kick me into gear, and to make me think about what I really want, what is important to me, what my values are, and how I can best share my gifts with the world.

So I did. I spent months reflecting, talking with friends, and asking questions about my truest skills and interests. And that's when I discovered life coaching.

Coaching encompasses all of my favorite things: reflection, goal-setting, creativity, and self-care. It's about working with people one-on-one to help them envision and become their best selves. It makes me feel useful, confident, inspired, and excited. It's what I was born to do.

A year ago today, I was feeling low and lost.

Today, I am at my final weekend of training to earn my certification as a life-purpose and creativity coach. And though I feel a little bit uncertain about what happens next - how coaching will unfold as a piece of my life - I am sure that I am on a path, and the right one, at that. And that all of this - the low and high feelings - were a part of that process.


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