A year and a half ago, March 2017, I made a decision.
I'm not going back. Ever.
That was one of the BIGGEST decisions I've made in my entire life. It was a conscious declaration that I was never going to be a part of Corporate America again.
You see, in March of last year, I was laid off.
And it was a blessing.
I've come to see it as a final, uncomplicated severing of my old life and the fresh beginning of my new life. From that moment, I decided that I was going to work for myself. Honor myself. Do meaningful works. Help others. And maintain my independence and self-sovereignty from that day forward.
Sounds magical, doesn't it?
It is! But magical does not equal easy. It has been a convoluted, sometimes rough road discovering how to make this work.
I grew up in a typical world dominated by social views and norms. Suppress creativity, fall in line, let others make decisions for you, go to work, work for the man, fit into that world, find your place, keep your head down, be content, don't dream too big.
I actually did really great in that world. I was an academic from a very young age, and I loved succeeding in that environment. I was smart, and I made that work for me.
When I "graduated" to a regular corporate job in a large company, that mode of working hard and pleasing others by solving problems continued to serve me well. I had a high-paying job, status, opportunity, the admiration of my peers, and employees that worked for me. I had the ear of leadership and a place at the table.
What I did not have, and could not see clearly until it slapped me upside the head with crushing anxiety and panic attacks, was happiness. I did not have happiness.
And as often happens in this scenario, I didn't realize what I didn't have until I gained new perspective. I couldn't see the walls of my cage. I couldn't see what I was missing.
In August of 2016, on a complete whim (cough promptings of the universe cough), I decided to drive to Glacier National Park. By myself. Just me and the dogs. Several thousand miles. To a place with grizzly bears. Alone. Did I mention I went solo?
It changed everything.
I spent two weeks planning, that's it. Then, as Labor Day crept around the corner, I jumped in my car and started a journey that would change everything.
For the first time, I did something completely and entirely for myself. I wanted to be inspired. I wanted to see grandeur. And Glacier did not disappoint!
That trip opened the door to dreaming. Yes, that sounds incredibly cheesy. And maybe it is. But it's also true!
I began blogging, here, about my experiences. My dreams.
I connected with new people that never would have entered my world without that experience. And those connections lead to new creativity.
My dreaming led me to a life coach, and Laura helped me to see things I couldn't see on my own. With her help, I was completely prepared for the day I got laid off.
Instead of that being a crumbling of my world, it became the launching pad for my new life.
I dove full-time into my dog training business, High Spirits Dog Training, and finally lived my passion. Helping others. Coaching. Changing other peoples' lives.
Has it been unicorns and rainbows? Hell no! It's not supposed to be easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it!
For a year and a half, I've been scraping by. Making half as much money, but being twice as happy.
Instead of being conservative and holding every dollar closely and living in fear, I've invested in myself. I've gone to dog behavior conferences, life coaching intensives, and cross-country road trips. I've continued to grow.
And now, I'm being called back to Glacier.
But for a different mission.
Now, it's your turn! :)
It's time for you to take that first step of self discovery. Of freedom.
In September of 2019, myself, my adventure dogs, and three (maybe four) other amazing people and their dogs will set out from Minnesota to see the beauty of Glacier National Park.
We'll craft new friendships. We'll discover freedom on a new level. And I'll help them take the first step towards changing their lives to be the most fulfilling possible.
The right people will reach out. They will be called to this. No salesy crap (I mean come on, you've been reading this blog since the beginning, and you know I don't do that).
If you're an introvert, if reading that makes you excited AND nervous, if you think it might be your time, reach out.
Tell me what's going on in your world. Tell me what you're not happy with, what you're afraid of, what's holding you back, and what you yearn for.
You, too, can make the decision to never go back.
I look forward to showing you this, in person.