Check out boldlybicoastal.wordpress.com for more on my story. My friends asked me to keep a blog when I began this journey. Boldlybicoastal was my answer.
Everyone has a story. Mine may not be extraordinary, but it explains where I have come from and why I have such a passion for helping others. I also share my story because I have accomplished what many of my clients dream of. My story is what drives me to help others. I KNOW you can do it too! I don't have super powers, but I achieved my dreams. I had a clear vision of what I wanted my life to be and I made it happen. I want that for you. So, here it is, as briefly as I can share it. Settle in and take a listen. Thanks for your time!
In the space of two years, I lost my father, a long-term relationship and my job security. Three main pillars of my life as I'd known it had crumbled, leaving me bruised, empty, completely destroyed.
I had always dreamed of returning to Seattle, but had thought that would happen when I retired. Each time I returned to visit, I realized how much I love this city. Even on the rainiest, darkest mid-winter days, my soul would soar just to be here. So, during this time of turmoil, when nothing seemed to be working for me living in the Washington, DC area, I realized I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The longer and harder I seemed to fight to make things work in DC, the worse they got, the more dissatisfied I became with my life, and the more unhappy I was. This was not the vision I had for my life.
I'd worked hard, gone back to school for a master's degree to transition from an accounting career to education and coaching, and for a time, had been happy with life. But with each change, with each new painful loss, I knew I had to do something, and something big! It didn't happen overnight. I knew returning to Seattle was the answer. But here I was, in a full time job with people I admired, near family, and 3000 miles away from the life I began to realize I needed and dreamed of. How in the world was I going to make this work?
Through much soul searching, the support of a great friend and career coach, a wonderful mentor, and a counselor - someone objective who could help me make sense of my fear, anxiety and paralysis - I started my job search. I applied for jobs, reached out to contacts, did what little I knew at the time to secure a job. This was the only way I thought I could make it happen. You see, I was single and the only source of income was my work. How in the world could I make it work without a job? But how could I get a job from 3000 miles away? I tried and tried and failed and failed, on that roller coaster ride of applying, interviewing, and not getting the job. One morning, I woke up with the realization that NOT returning to Seattle was no longer an option. It was a MUST. You see, in order to make sense of your life, in order to be happy, you MUST set yourself up for the life you want. For many people, this transformation starts in a different sort of place. A place of boredom, dissatisfaction, or burnout at work. For me, it really came down to simply living in the wrong place. I wasn't right for D.C. and it wasn't right for me. I was a 'western girl' as one person put it. I belonged in a place of space and beauty that valued the outdoors, where the weather was more conducive to my lifestyle, where people thought the same way I do.
As soon as I reached that point where NOT returning to Seattle was more risky than staying in D.C., everything fell into place. It was like the universe was waiting for me to have this realization. I gave notice at work and my boss hugged me. I put my house on the market and it sold in two days. I found a mover, a friend to drive cross country with and a very good friend even offered me a place to live until I got on my feet. Yes, it all unfolded seamlessly. I still stand in awe when I think back. I asked myself why I waited so long, but that answer is easy. It just wasn't time. I needed to experience the things I did in order to have the strength, the knowledge, the will to pursue my dream.
I accomplished everything I'd set out for within just one year. It was never easy, but I never doubted, not for one second. When people called me 'brave', I was uncomfortable. I felt quite selfish following my heart. But in the end, even my family left behind, while sad for my departure, see how happy I am, how I have made my dreams come true and are proud of what I've done and pleased for where I am.
So, that's the brief version of my story. I share it because I know you have dreams and I know you can achieve them. You don't have to do it alone. I didn't. Without that great support group I had, I would probably still be miserable in D.C. So let me help you make it happen! You CAN do it! Don't give up on your dreams. #dreambelieveachieve
Andrea Cole Coaching | Seattle, WA | 206.658.7919 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: Ingrid Pape-Sheldon Photography