Taking Paths Less Traveled

Joyful Hiker. Mother. Teacher. Adventurer.

The first 6 years after my divorce, my focus was solely on obtaining stability for my children by earning a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential. I put 100% of myself into this goal in an immensely successful way. I graduated with a 3.9GPA, had received scholarships, and began working at a school that ranks at the top of the district.

The next 5 years were dedicated to two goals: 1.) continuing the stability for my children to attend schools that supported their endeavors and 2.) becoming an expert in the craft of teaching.

The first goal has nearly been actualized. My children will be graduating with honors and moving on in their lives being successful contributing adults to our society. I couldn’t be prouder of them.

Goal number two, however, is not going quite as planned. I had imagined having my sh** together in the classroom by now. Imagined myself like the teachers that had inspired me to enter the classroom in the first place. Firm, but kind, singing songs with a classroom humming with learning activities. After nearly 6 years of practicing in the classroom I’ve made gains toward creating such an environment, but keep having to cope with curveballs. Between insanely high class size or students that have a combination of learning challenges and behavioral challenges, I haven’t been able to gain my footing in the classroom.

My children’s inevitable flight from the nest presents me with another change in life that has immense possibilities. I’ve always dreamed of traveling, writing, and living a life that is closely connected with nature. Divorcing left me with a wide open future, but one tied to taking care of my children.

The future is wide open. (Cue Tom Petty) And it’s a little scary.

As I have begun to prepare myself for this next season of life I’ve found several inspirational leaders that have shaped my current journey and illuminated paths that make the journey easier. Authors and speakers such as Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dallas Hartwig, Rachel Hollis, and Stephen Covey are just a few people that have articulated life changing ideas and concepts that lead toward the life that I would like to create.

Brene Brown has encouraged not only to be be vulnerable and brave, but also, in Rising Strong, she highlights how to get up again when you’ve been knocked down in vulnerability. We can’t give up when our attempts toward self actualization are knocked down and we aren’t alone in this struggle.

Rachel Hollis directly speaks to women in both her books, Girl, Go Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing, to illustrate that we aren’t alone in our struggles as women, mothers, and aspiring entrepreneurs. Life is messy, but this is a journey, not a destination, and achieving goals means articulating audacious goals and finding the small steps needed to get there.

Finally, it hasn’t just been these popular best-sellers in the self-help section that are supporting my transformation. Friends and family have been incredibly supportive and inspirational. I’ve found camaraderie in joining hiking clubs and webinars focused on optimal health. My health coach has encouraged me and offered words of wisdom when I stumbled on my journey. The small community on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter bring encouragement and support as well.

My journey is far from over. I haven’t yet reached a level of optimal health that I hope for. There have been hurdles and canyons to cross along the way, but today I am confident that I’ve got what it takes to reach for the stars and achieve my dreams.

What are your dreams? What hurdles do you see in front of you? Do you have a plan in place?

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Taking Paths Less Traveled

Joyful Hiker. Mother. Teacher. Adventurer.

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