Tag Archives: career

authenticity

Be your authentic self.  Buzz words.  Everyone is saying things like this it seems these days.  But what does it truly mean?

I’m sure we all have our own take on what it means to be authentic.  But without spending time alone with yourself, how do you truly know if you are your own true authentic self, or if you are picking up on pieces of stronger personalities?  How do you know you aren’t just being what you are expected to be?

In this world, being authentic is hard.  There are expectations out there.  Go to University.  Get a high paying job.  Get married, have a family.  Don’t get divorced.  But where in all this does it fit to be truly authentic?

It doesn’t.

I have lived that life.  I was who everyone wanted me to be.  I did the education, I had great aspirations and hopes for a career.  I had the six figures.  I had the marriage and the family.  And all the illusions I had to maintain to keep up that façade.  I was miserable.

I got separated.  Parts of the false me started to fall away.  I opened up about the horrors of my relationship and people were shocked and stunned by what I had kept hidden.  But this is part of my story.  The true me.  I looked at my life and realized I wasn’t happy in that career.  I wasn’t truly interested in doing research or the other things I needed to do in order to be successful in that world.  I dropped it.  And I can tell you, it felt good.  It was a burden lifted off my shoulders that I didn’t realize I was carrying around.

I started exploring who I felt I was.  It was a redefining period of time.  I explored things that made be happy.  I sat.  I meditated.  I did yoga.  I went and spent time with just myself.  I was lost for over two decades, but somewhere in the silence, I found me.

Not everyone likes the me I am today, and I am ok with that.  I have been passed up for opportunities that I am more than qualified for simply because I no longer follow the corporate rules, and that is ok.  I forgive the people and the situation.  I thank the Universe for the experience and go forward knowing that I am exactly where I need to be, because where I am, is where I am accepted for who I truly am.  I am welcomed and encouraged to be my own authentic version of myself.  It has turned out better than anything I have ever expected or imagined.

That feels better than all those goals I had been chasing.  I wouldn’t say that I didn’t enjoy pieces of that time because there are many parts that I loved and would do again.  But knowing now what it is to be fully me, I will not sacrifice my authenticity for any of the chairpersons, department heads or managers that think they have control over my fate.  They don’t control anything.  I am free.

And I am very happily and authentically me.

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inspiring youth

I don’t get star struck with actors or people on the big screen.  To me, they were just in the right place at the right time, or born into the right family. Those who have forged their own way and created their own success are the ones that I am in awe of.

Chris Hadfield spoke to a rather small community last night at their Equinox Festival.  This was a free event dealing with dark sky and celebrating the fall equinox.  Appropriately enough, last night was the equal hour point between daylight and night. Very fitting.

Chris Hadfield is a phenomenal speaker.  He chose questions from the audience, and really just focused on the children.  I like that.  He came off the stage and into the crowd.  He asked the names of those asking the questions.  All signs of a charismatic leader.  He is grounded even though he has done some of the most amazing things of anyone on our planet.  I mean, he not only was an astronaut, he was the commander of the International Space Station! You don’t meet someone like that every day.

This man didn’t do all of this for himself.  That is what impresses me the most.  He knew going up into space that he had the opportunity to do more with it than just be the cool astronaut in space.  He found a way to create an interest in students.  He performed science experiments requested from those on earth, recorded them and posted them on YouTube for the world to access.  He co-wrote a song with one of the members of Barenaked Ladies, recorded it, and distributed it to all the school music programs.  Then, once on the ISS, he sang it LIVE with students all over!  Amazing.

Back on Earth, Chris Hadfield authored and published several books.  Assuming this is an income generator for himself based on his unique experiences, I was sure he was able to retire on his royalties alone.  I have even greater respect for this man after learning that all the profits from his books go to designated charities.  And he told us what they were.  The Red Cross was one of them.  He didn’t write those books for himself.  He wrote them for us. So we can experience what he experienced through his words and images.  And so the money those books made could be put back into community programs where they are needed.  An absolutely incredible individual.

But I think I am still in awe of the fact that he came to this small community that probably most of Canada has never heard of.  The fact that sitting there right in front, being able to see him so very clearly at an event that I didn’t have to pay any money for.  I didn’t even have to pay for parking!  This.  This is what makes him worthy of awe.  He came to a place so very small.  For an event they were hoping might draw in maybe 6000 people.  And he said yes.

Respect.  On so many levels.

So thank you, Chris Hadfield.  Thank you for coming to Nowhere Alberta.  Thank you for being down to Earth.  Thank you for the inspiration and the motivation you provided so many children and adults alike last night.  And thank you for being ever so patient and gracious, greeting all those who wanted their 30 seconds to meet you and say hello.  Thank you for inspiring our next generation.

growth 

I have spent this past week in an intensive course with strangers from many different backgrounds and disciplines. I have connected with a number of individuals that I likely would not have met if it were not for this course. 

I cannot tell you how incredibly grateful I am for this opportunity. 

I walked in completely unsure as to what to expect. I had an open mind, but still wondered what would they tell me that I didn’t already know. Turns out, there was quite a bit, and it was amazing!  This course carries on for one more week, and I am looking forward to the rest of it. 

Behind the learning, I am looking forward to seeing the others in my cohort. And I am hoping to be able to forge some long term friendships with many of them. 

Keeping an open mind is a start to growing as a person. I am enjoying the journey and I hope it never ends. 

transition and gratitude

Here we are.  I am now at the eight week mark, and said my goodbyes to the career that I have worked for so many years. Two decades worth.  While not a complete shift, but more of an alternate path within the same general field, this transition is welcome, so very welcome.  I have spent two months being grateful for the people I worked with and for the successful career I have had. Thankful for the opportunities and doors that have opened for this next chapter in my work life. Thankful for the friendships and opportunities that arose socially during the past eight years. 

Thankful. 

I don’t think I have been as thankful for so many people and events as I have been with this transition.  Or at least not as consciously. Perhaps it’s because this transition is so key in my life right now, or perhaps it is because I am more intimately connected with my life and my inner self to see how valuable all my experiences were and how truly valuable this new adventure is. 

It is a gift. 

I have said it for the past two months. I have been given a gift. It is not just being handed to me. I worked for this. I will continue to work for this and at it. I will continue to prove that I was the right choice for the position. That I am capable and confident. That I can do more than expected. I will continue to earn the position every day. 

And I will also continue to be grateful for my past experiences. For they have helped to shape my perspective and helped me to grow. They have provided the people in my tribe and given me the support I needed. They have shaped me. I am who I am because of my past. 

Thankful. Thankful. Thankful. 

the new path

This week I silently began to say goodbye to a career path that I have been on for the last fifteen to twenty years.  As I watched careers begin for others, I began to say goodbye to the one I have known for so many years.  It is not a sad goodbye, just not known to the world yet.  It is merely a new path; a vector if you will.

Yet, it feels right.  I am happy with this new path.  I feel like this is somehow where I was meant to be headed, and instead of being wrought with stress and fear of never being enough, I now feel valued and at peace.

This will be a long goodbye, I will do it right.  But as I do so, I look forward to what this new future will look like.  I am inspired and I feel my creativity surging yet again.  I feel the weight and heaviness of the old career melting away as I embrace my new endeavour.  And I’m happy.  I feel my energy returning.  I feel my posture beginning to straighten metaphorically (and perhaps physically), my eyes feel brighter, and my mind sharper.

I am ready.