Well, friends, let me start this blog post by saying one thing: I’m still alive!
I know, I know. It’s been…like…forever.
Or more accurately, it’s been almost a year. A YEAR! I can hardly believe it. And yet, I can believe it because so much has happened.
Here’s a quick overview of what’s been going on (and then I promise I’ll get into the details):
- I endured a painful (though ultimately incredibly necessary) break up
- I sank into the darkest depression of my life—so deep, I was terrified I might not recover
- I recovered
- I released a handful of people and habits that no longer served me
- I embraced a handful of people and habits that serve me in a way I never knew possible
- I took my own advice and evaluated my career path…and decided it was time for a change
- I started a full time engagement as a corporate trainer
- I was promoted from corporate trainer to program lead in three months
- I started a new, exciting relationship with the man of my dreams
- I woke up one morning and thought, “Wow. I’m alive. Probably more alive than I’ve ever been…if such a thing is possible. And I’m so, so grateful.”
In short—it’s been the best of times and the worst of times. Looking back on 2014, I see that old adage is true: “This too shall pass.” Everything—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly—everything is temporary.
Things change and thank God they do. I never would have guessed this time last year that things would change this much, but that’s the beauty of life. Not knowing where you’ll land. And at some point, just learning to trust that wherever it is, you’ll land on your feet.
In truth, my list above offers only a shallow look at what has been, essentially, a dramatic (and at times traumatic) transition in my life and career. Beneath these highlights and lowlights, there were many, many hours spent wallowing in personal reflection, fear, anxiety, confusion, self-pity and indecisiveness. To share it all here would be impossible, but I will address some of the key things you may be wondering.
First, let’s talk work.
I started this business in 2009 and truly loved every minute of it for the first two years. I was absolutely inspired and overwhelmed with excitement for the opportunities that lay ahead.
However, when I moved to Denver in 2011, something slowly began to shift. You see, I’m not exactly the type of person who is naturally cut out for self-employment. Sure, I have a million great ideas (SQUIRREL!). I love being my own boss and making my own schedule. And I truly love my work.
But there’s a whole lot more to it than that. Things like taxes and bookkeeping and selling. (It makes my head hurt to think of it all.) And at some point, all of those things I used to love—the ideas, the flexible schedule, and even the work—those things became double-edged swords. I had too many ideas and not enough time or money to invest in making them happen. I missed not having an office and a steady schedule. I missed doing the work I loved, because the work that paid the bills always got priority.
I’ll write more about my self-employment experience in the future I’m sure, but for now, let me just say this: I worked very, very hard in my business. I believe I probably could have worked even harder—toward the end I certainly slacked—but I just wasn’t willing to do what it would take to keep it alive. I had a great level of success with it, with television appearances and exciting speaking gigs and more, and I’m absolutely thrilled that I had the experience. I could, quite possibly, jump back into it again in the future. I would definitely do things differently if so—and it won’t be tomorrow—but for now, I’m confident in my decision to make this change.
The decision came sometime around April of last year (2013), after many months of painstaking reflection. Once the decision was made, however, I sat on it for about two months, determined not to be hasty.
In June, I started aggressively job searching. Again, I took my own advice and activated my professional network. My very first official interview resulted in a job offer, which I declined (with great anxiety!). It wasn’t a perfect fit, and I wasn’t willing to settle.
By early July, I was submitting resumes through online job boards sporadically but still relying on my network to create the kinds of connections I thought I would need to get a real foot in any door.
Surprise, surprise—the ideal position came from an early morning resume submission through Indeed.com. The job looked absolutely ideal. So good, in fact, I thought I was missing something. An hour after hitting “send” on my application, I got an email asking me to come in that day for an interview. A week later, I was asked to present a short training as a means of “auditioning” for the job. Two days after that, I had an offer.
When the stars align, things just click.
I am firm believer that the right things come along at the right time. And when they’re right, you know it.
I had no hesitation whatsoever about accepting this position and I haven’t regretted it for even a day.
I was hired as a corporate trainer. My role was to design and deliver training courses for internal staff at my new company. (Yep, this is the part of my business I loved that I didn’t get to do enough.)
Three months later, I was promoted to Program Lead. I now create and oversee our entire Personal & Professional Development Learning Program for the company, which currently consists of 5 individual, ongoing projects.
When it’s right, it just clicks.
So that’s it for the work update (for now). Let’s move on to the personal stuff…a far more difficult update to put on paper.
I’m not one for airing my dirty laundry, so I’ll be somewhat vague while still hopefully satisfying your curiosity.
I’ve suffered from depression for the majority of my life from the age of about 14. I’ve experienced several major episodes over the years, and this past year was probably one of the worst. When I say “major”, it’s no joke. If you haven’t ever experienced such a thing, imagine this:
Waking up in the morning and wishing you hadn’t…like really.
Crying yourself to sleep in the middle of the day.
A sense of dread washing over you when you realize there’s no food in the house, and that means you have to get dressed and go outside and be around people.
Believing nothing will ever feel good, taste good, sound good, or look good again.
Knowing you’re hurting your friends and family by pushing them away, but being unable to stop yourself.
Worrying that life as you know it has permanently shifted, and this new life just might not be worth the effort.
I’m sure this isn’t easy to read. It’s no picnic to write either. I’m not ashamed of how I felt, but it does feel strange to share it so openly here.
Still, I can’t ignore this part of what happened this past year. It matters, because it changed.
That worry I had—that the pain was permanent—that was my disease talking. It’s not the truth.
I don’t know what happened exactly, but something sparked me into action. I think I just scared myself so much, I could no longer pretend what was happening was normal or acceptable.
I shifted into action at that point. And this, my friends, is what I know: Action is the key to change. You can’t think yourself into a better place. You just have to take action. Doing the right things—talking to people, changing your habits, asking for help, being decisive, facing your fears—these are the things that shift your thinking. You just have to wake up in the morning and do it, even when you don’t want to. Especially when you don’t want to.
I’m proud of where I’ve been and where I landed. And today, I’m excited for the future.
So let’s talk about that, shall we? Where do we go from here?
This website is my baby. I’ve nurtured it from infancy, and many of you have witnessed its growth through the years. I can no more abandon it than I could a real child. I’ve taken a long, re-energizing break, and I’m ready to re-commit to it.
So, here’s the plan:
I have over 250 articles in the archives on this website. My passion project now—the thing that really gets my wheels turning—is writing a real, in-print, full-length book. In the meantime, I’m going to continue writing about personal and professional development topics (with my own unique spin of course) regularly for you here. This blog feeds my creativity and keeps me connected to all of you, my dear like-minded fellow professionals. I hope that when my passion project is complete, you’ll want to read it.
I also still have a few (okay…MANY) ideas I’d like to continue playing around with. I truly love personal and professional development and I love helping others explore the same topics that excite me. I also love the freedom and autonomy that come with running your own business. So, while I’m currently on a break from it, who knows what the future holds. When it’s right, things just click. So we’ll see what clicks.
Finally, I’m still doing the occasional speaking and training event for corporate clients. So don’t hesitate to contact me with opportunities. I’m certainly not closing the door on anything. I’m merely following a new path to see where it leads. I hope you’ll choose to continue walking with me by visiting this blog.