Are You Living the Life You THOUGHT You'd Be? Part 1
Or is your reality misaligned with your dreams?
Hey, hey guys!
I'm super excited to be writing this blog post - it has been so long……I mean, we're talking months since I’ve written a blog post because I have been experiencing so much change - amazing and transformational change!
But it has really taken me awhile to process it, which is kind of strange because I always thought that when you get the change you asked for, you would go Bam Bam Bam to the different phases of your life! Especially when it's something you wanted, something you dreamt for, asked for, and worked for - that you could just kind of go seamlessly into the next phase of your life.
And that's just not true. I'm not gonna lie, I've been kind of vegging out for the past few months. Honestly, since I stopped working at the beginning of June, I've almost been hibernating, going in and out of my shell processing the fact that I was handed everything that I asked for! After taking a HUGE leap of faith that is!
So what I have been pondering lately is - Are you living the life you thought you would be?
Because this was the biggest realization for me over the last year, honestly the last two years - I was definitely NOT. I struggled with it for awhile - trying to force myself to be happy with what I was give - but it really hit hard this year, causing me to make some drastic changes and take some leaps without a safety net, hoping that when I took the leap the net would appear.
Luckily it did!
So - are you living the life that you thought you would be? And I'm not talking about your childhood fantasy or when you were in the fourth grade and told the class you wanted to be a Doctor/Astronaut/Superhero….
In fact, I want to throw job titles out the window because one of the worst things that we can do is focus on job titles. That's really what got me to where I was six months ago……. burned out, beat down, stressed out, and with zero life outside of my job - because my entire life I was focused on the job title instead of what my actual life would look like.
Case in point: For years I worked to finish my PhD. At the time I was a teacher and I had these pipe dreams of being a superintendent one day. And to be honest, it was a very, very egotistical desire. I wasn't actually thinking about what my life would look like. I just wanted to be the boss. My entire life I've wanted to be the boss! I don't like having anyone tell me what to do……. So I believed that if I could just climb the ladder of wherever I was, I would finally get to the holy Mecca of what made me happy.
What I'm asking you to do is to really check and see if what you want for your life, what you thought life would be like now, aligns with what it is that you're going after.
I always thought when this is done, I will be happy. It will be my ticket that will just blow open all these doors for me. I never sat down and said, “Kenzie, what do you want in your life?” Like, what do you want your life to look like? Every day I was so focused on this achievement, I wanted to be a PhD. I wanted to be called Dr. Bond and I wanted to have that on my resume. And so I did.
These titles are very ego driven and don’t get me wrong - I was probably the most achievement driven, determined person that you would ever meet - so I'm definitely not casting judgment.
I walked the stage in May of 2015 and received my Doctorate in Education. In conjunction with that achievement I also got my first campus principal job! I was ecstatic! But it was only temporary….. soon I was over stressed, on anti-anxiety meds, and nearing burnout.
The campus that I took over had been in “Improvement Required” status for several years. If you know anything about the Texas Accountability System this is not good - they were in danger of losing their public school accreditation from the state of education agency. We were able to turn it around in a year, thanks to every single teacher, student, and staff member involved.
This didn’t come without a price however, every year I was burned out and beat down -working about 60 to 70 hours a week because we had not only the regular school day, but also ALL of the extra-curricular events that come with a Junior High/High School.
I missed out on so many family activities one day my mother told me, “Kenzie, you moved back home to be closer to us, but I think we saw you more when you lived three hours away.”
Something had to change.
Before I go any further let me make something clear - this was an experience that I will FOREVER be grateful for, for so many reasons. It was an opportunity to move back home, to truly help a school and community, and to be a part of something bigger than me. But at the end of the day what I want for my life cannot be found in an academic achievement or job title.
The day I started approaching everything from what I wanted my life to look like, it has completely changed in ways that I never thought were possible for me.
If you have read any of my stuff you know that I’ve had a series of coaches, and about a year ago I joined a career coaching program. I went through all of the modules and group calls and on my very last call my coach asked me “What is your ideal day? What is your ideal job?”
Not job titles - throw that out the window. What does your dream job and day look like?
I can remember her saying to me “I don't want you to think of titles or what's out there, what's not out there……What do you want your day to day life to look like?”
What a concept.
“Well first of all, I want to at least work part of the time from home. I don't mind if I have to travel at times or be onsite a certain amount of time, but I want to wake up in the morning, drink my coffee and let my dogs out, get on the computer or open up the laptop and start working when I want to. I want to go meet my mom for lunch on days that we want to and I want to get a full day's work done, but I want it to be on my terms.”
And I kept wanting to say, but that doesn't exist in public education. She said - don't worry about that right now. Don't worry about the how. Yet I kept getting very focused on titles, I'd been a principal for four years and I felt like it was my time to be an assistant superintendent or maybe a superintendent in a smaller district.
But when I realized that what I've really wanted for my life had nothing to do with a title, there was nothing in that title that described what I wanted in my day to day life.
None of that comes in the job description of campus principal or assistant superintendent or Superintendent or whatever your field may be……maybe you’re currently the VP of operations and you're looking to be the CFO or the head of operations - is what you want for your daily life in that title?
Again - What I'm asking you to do is to really check and see if what you want for your life, what you thought life would be like now aligns with what it is that you're going after.
What is it that you want in life right now? Please throw job titles out the window. No “I want to be the CFO” or “I want to be the VP of operations or the president of the company”
What you want is not a title.
Life doesn't come in a title. You may want more money. Absolutely. You may want more time off. You may want more creative freedom in your job, but what you want isn't a title.
So take a minute right now to write it down. For me it was complete and total autonomy in my day to day life, freedom to do what I want to do. I took it a few steps further with my own coach and described how I wanted to be working from home, waking up when I wanted to, meeting my mom for lunch etc……..
Get clear but do not concern yourself with the HOW.
See you in Part 2!