In the months before I started college, I was in the adviser's office at the University of Florida and she asked me "Have you selected a major?" I responded, "Which one pays the most?" She pulled out a list and Computer Engineering was at the top. This is how I made an important life decision as an 18 year old.
Five years later I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a programming job lined up at Microsoft in Seattle. I had worked hard and achieved my goals. My life was wonderful; At work I was on the fast track, my long term boyfriend and I got married, and our social calendar was bursting.
Being smart enough to excel at something that didn't satisfy me on a deep level was both a blessing and a curse, and it could only propel me so far. I was working hard toward a vision of happiness I held in the back of my mind, but what was never clear to me was how my current path would take me there. Still, I worked hard believing one day it would all magically connect. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, my 10 year anniversary at Microsoft was on the horizon and I had a deep sense I needed a change but I had no idea what to do.
At the same time there was a lot of strain in my marriage and I felt like I was holding on so tightly to something that was slipping out of my grip. One grey morning around Thanksgiving on a walk by the waterfront, my husband announced he was going to spend 3 months on the other coast for his new job and asked what I would do while he was gone. My unconscious spoke up and we were both surprised to hear me say, "I'd travel the world solo." Strange, considering I didn't even like going to the grocery store without him.
Through a series of small and large steps, I organized a 3 month leave from work and set off on my first trip around the world. I created a set of Guiding Principles to help me have a focus during my travels because it was more than a vacation I was interested in. These encouraged me to expand my comfort zone, showed me I was capable of more than I ever imagined, and (although I didn't know it yet) set my life in a direction to live that dream of abundant happiness. I came back a changed person with stories and lessons and my friends, family and coworkers were interested to know how I did it and if I could help them make a change too.
In this way, my new profession found me. I discovered I have a love for seeing people thrive and coaching them to transition to live the life of their dreams. I draw on lessons learned from challenges in my own life, 10 years of excellent training in the corporate world - including the opportunity to study under authors and coaches including Steven Covey, Marshall Goldsmith, and Michael Gelb - and that wise voice of intuition that has so reliably guided me on my own path. I am also trained in Functional Nutrition through the Functional Nutrition Alliance and practice the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.
All of this adventure was useful in reconnecting with myself after getting divorced in 2013. I now live half the year in Bali, Indonesia and play in the snow at a ski resort in the Colorado Rockies during the winter. This is my dream life that I created only by stepping off my previous path and toward an inner voice encouraging me that I could hear so faintly at the time. My boyfriend, Jon, is a passionate learner and teacher. He's a ski pro, golf pro, surf coach, musician, and an all around good soul. Together we combined our passions and built an adventure travel business which aims to provide inspirational and transformational experiences for our guests. We both love to coach in our own way.
If you have a deep desire to make a change like the one I made or if you feel successful in some parts or your life yet lacking in others, a good coach is a good investment. I understand that so much travel and living abroad does not appeal to everyone and I have coached many people to find more happiness without having to move or give up anything they love. Happiness, love, success, gratitude, and money are infinite resources and you deserve it all. It is your destiny to thrive.