What happens when your plan goes off the rails?
I never imagined that at this point in my life I would be asking: “Where am I going?” “What am I doing?” “What do I want to do?”. I actually had a plan. In fact, by now, I was supposed to be living that plan full throttle, able to choose projects that I was passionate about, living my “idea” of success.
Well, my plans didn’t go in the direction I had pictured. The career track I thought I was on, fizzled away, my beautiful family took center stage, and the self developed some very real doubts. Here’s the thing; the change wasn’t causing me the issue. This wasn’t the first time I’ve switched gears. I went to college with a pre-med focus and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. However, medical school was no longer in my plan. I was turned on to broadcasting my senior year, and once I said it out loud, there was no turning back. I decided to go home where I was able to start my career in Fresno, California. Broadcasting later moved me from California to New York to Connecticut. I’m not new to change, but for the first time ever, I found myself unsure of what my next move should be.
So, I started seeking answers. I had in-depth conversations with trusted family and friends, I joined a women’s professional group that while I think was a great space for some, did not suit me. I began reading professional development books and biographies that showed how struggles could be turned into triumph. I began doing the self-work, and that is really hard, especially when you aren’t sure what you are looking for or working towards. During this time something else was happening and it was a bit discouraging… I was getting lost while trying to so-called “find myself”. More questions started forming rather than answers coming.
This is where this podcast comes in for me.
I needed to start taking action. I needed to start moving forward. Instead of just listening and reading, I needed to actively participate in conversations where women were supporting women and sharing ideas on how to get unstuck. I was also reminded that this was my chance to help women in the early stages of their careers navigate a road I have already traveled.
Clearly, I am still finding my place (again) and by no means is this forum answering all the questions that I have (at least not yet), but what a fantastic starting point. What an amazing space to re-establish one’s voice as one discovers what she has to offer this world and what she WANTS to offer this world. There is plenty on my mind that we will delve into and I do hope you get a feeling of “can do”. I hope this space gives you the incentive to stand up and say “yes” (or no”) depending on your circumstances. If you are also feeling stuck, I hope this gives you the push you need to create your own forward momentum.
I am excited to join this wonderful podcast. It’s helping me rediscover and redefine my professional aspirations. But this isn’t only about career discoveries. This forum will also serve for women to trust and believe in themselves and their desires in any area of their lives. In episode #34 you heard the story of Stephanie Barnhill and how she and her husband made the conscious decision to be child-free. I know more than a few couples who made this decision, and it never ceases to amaze me how some people think that choice makes their lives less than. That decision goes beyond figuring out the career you want, to determining the life you want to live.
We have a lot happening in our lives today, especially in the last several months. We are in the midst of bonafide civil unrest that has been a long time coming. As a black woman in America, I am in a unique position to address some of that, to give this forum a safe space to answer questions, or even challenge you to ask yourself questions and do your own self-search. This time in our history has led me to have discussions and address feelings that I didn’t realize I had. It has also helped me begin to find out what I want my voice to say to the world. What I want my legacy to be.
Think Tank of Three wants to hit that first word hard…..”Think”. My brother had a t-shirt once that simply read “Think, it’s not illegal yet.” We want to encourage that here. Think: Think about what you desire for yourself, for your family (whatever that family looks like) for the world around you, for the world you think is out of your reach. The one common thread in all of it is YOU. What can you do to take forward THINKING steps?
I won’t sit here and act as if I have all the answers. I don’t, I am in a very deep space of self-discovery, both in a professional sense as well as emotionally, but I have to start somewhere. I have to put that first foot forward.
The cool thing is you will be taking this journey with me and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
Image by: Michael Gaida