A couple weeks ago I wrapped up my life as I’ve known it for the last 11 years. Technically, 11 years is how long I have been a teacher. But if we are going to be really technical, I’ve been working with children with disabilities for half my life. And now it’s over. So why did I decided to leave the best job I’ve ever had? Because I’ve actually been following the wrong dream. Is that actually possible? I’ve been struggling with this idea for a long time. People will say “you are exactly where you are supposed to be”. And I believe this. But I also believe that somewhere along the way, I lost my way and followed the wrong dream, the wrong passion.
When I was a senior in high school, I took a psychology class. At least, I think it was a psychology class. Honestly, I have the worst memory, especially of high school. It could have been a social science class or a philosophy class. What I do remember is studying the behavior of people and groups of people and absolutely falling in love with it. It lit me on fire to study it and learn about why people did what they did. I followed this love in college and became a psych major. I loved every aspect of it! Ok, that’s a lie. For some reason, I had to take psychology of statistics class (twice) and hated it! But I digress. The parts of psychology I loved were the aspects of observing people and trying to figure out why they did what they did. After I graduated, I thought I would eventually go back to school and become a therapist. But I floundered. And I listened to other people’s opinions. I kept hearing that I was too sensitive and would end up taking my work home. That I would struggle listening to people’s problems all day long. So I stopped. I stopped following that dream. But my love of it didn’t stop. I continued reading psychology books, self-development books, anything I could get my hands on that talked about behavior. So much so, that my librarian at the school I work at, knows my love of psychology and has set books aside for me. I used to sit in the psychology section of Barnes and Noble and just read books for hours (yes, I realize that I just aged myself cause it’s almost impossible to find a Barnes and Noble now)
So, what was I going to do with my life? The only thing I knew and was good at, was working with children with disabilities and helping shape their behavior. I started working in group homes. I worked with children who had been neglected, abused, abandoned and stabbed (yes, stabbed). These children had serious aggressive behaviors and often times we would have to call the cops. I knew I had the patience and compassion to work with these challenges but what I didn’t have was the bank account to survive on $9.00 an hour, living in San Francisco. So, I followed the money trail, and decided to become a teacher. Hahaha!! Actually, what really happened, was that I had a friend who was entering the teaching program and she convinced me that I should do it with her. So I did. And she didn’t. She dropped out. But I was committed. I figured this was my dream. This would be the perfect job. I could still use my psychology degree, still help people and get summers off. (Ha!!! Clearly, I was naïve) While I was getting my degree and trying to find a full time job, I was a substitute teacher. I always found myself in the special ed classes and the teachers always requested me as their substitute because they knew I got it. To be honest, I went to a private school up through high school, and didn’t even know special ed classes existed (I seriously hate admitting to that) so this type of classroom and teaching was totally new to me. When I finally got a teaching job, I started off as a kindergarten teacher. I loved those children and how sweet and innocent they were. But, I didn’t feel the challenge. I knew they would learn what they needed to learn, whether it was from me or another teacher or their parents, they would figure it out. I missed the challenge of the students who REALLY needed my help. I ended up losing that kindergarten job (blessing in disguise?) and ended up getting hired as a special ed teacher for an intensive autism program. I truly loved that job. For a year. I swear, I feel like a bad person admitting that I didn’t love teaching. Aren’t you supposed to have a deep passion for teaching if that is the profession you choose? I did love the students. I loved helping them learn. I loved the challenge of figuring out what it is they loved to work for. I loved the challenge of discovering why they were showing certain behaviors. I loved creating lessons that would reach all my students and their learning needs. So what happened to my teaching passion? I didn’t actually get to work with the students as often as I would have liked. I was constantly in meetings, writing reports, writing IEPs, responding to parents and administrators. And honestly, it was exhausting. When I was young, unmarried and didn’t have my own family, I was able to commit myself entirely to that job. But after getting married and having my own family, I found that I didn’t have energy when I got home. And when I was in my classroom, I was so tired from 3am feedings and diaper changes, that I couldn’t give my all to those students. I switched to a less intense class, hoping I would be less stressed, but I still wasn’t happy. So what was I supposed to do now? I had spent years on this road and it was the only job I knew.
Everyone always talks about following your passion, but I didn’t know what my passion was. I don’t have talents that are obvious so I wasn’t sure what I was good at. I had to do a lot of soul searching and talking with my own life coach to find what energized me, what made me vibrate inside. Turns out I have a lot of things I’m passionate about but two of these stood out as things that I’ve always been interested in, psychology and writing. While listening to a self-development podcast, I realized how much I still loved psychology. I realized that my talent is analyzing (some people, like my husband, friends and family members might say my talent it overanalyzing J). Seriously though, I love to research everything and figure out why we do the things we do and then use that information to help others. But I knew I didn’t want to go back to school to become a therapist, I wanted something different. As I was reading a book written by a life coach, it hit me. I could be a life coach! So, of course, I researched this idea and realized how much I wanted to do it.
Along with psychology, I’ve always had stories running through my head. I’ve always narrated and authored my life. It dawned on me that I actually liked to write. I wasn’t sure if I was good and I wasn’t sure what to write about, but I knew that I needed to do it. But here’s the thing that kept nagging at me, I knew I had to use our grief from our miscarriages to help others. I knew there was no way we went through all that pain just to let it go and let others suffer without support. So through a lot of talking with my own life coach and a lot of meditation, I realized that I needed to use all of these passions to help others through their grief and provide a place where women could go to feel supported through the hardest times in their life. And that’s when I decided to create a blog to show women how I got through the hard times. At the same time I decided to become a life coach and specialize in grief support. Bang!!! The moment I figured this out, it was like something in me lit on fire! I knew that was my true calling. Every time I sit down to write, it energizes me. Everything about it lights me on fire. And through this blog, I’ve had people reach out to me about miscarriages and infertility and I’ve had the opportunity to help them and give them a shoulder to cry on. I love being able to support them and be there for them when they need it the most because I know, from experience, just how important it is to have someone who understands the pain that goes along with miscarriages.
So, am I sad to leave the only profession and the best job I’ve ever had? Yes, a little. After all, if it weren’t for that job, I wouldn’t have met my husband. I wouldn’t have met some of the most incredible group of ladies that worked in room 408 and who became life-long friends. I wouldn’t have been inspired by some of the best special ed teachers and behavior analysts one could ever work with. Do I believe that you have one path? Yes and no. I do believe that I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t detoured (off roading, is more like it) off my path. But I also believe that you have a passion. It might be buried deep in you and it might have been ignored for a while because you listened to other people’s opinions, but it’s still there. You just need to find that thing, the thing that makes you vibrate inside. The thing that lights you on fire and gives you energy. Now I finally feel like I’m back on the right path. I have a feeling of happiness and excitement about my future that I haven’t felt in a long time.
I'm an average girl who has discovered her passion for self-development after warrioring (yes, it's a word) through 6 miscarriages. I took that passion and applied it to helping others find their passions through High Performance Coaching. Boy mom to two "energetic boys" and navigating the art of being a step mom to a teenage girl, all while working daily on maintaining an authentic relationship with the best husband around. Sometimes mindful. Sometimes a runner. Always a little crazy!