Fear Less (or Why I Quit My 'Dream Job')

“I regretfully inform you that I will be leaving the company effective Tuesday, December 3rd. To say that this was an incredibly difficult decision would be an understatement. In fact, I embark on my next big adventure knowing that my future coworkers will have some very big shoes to fill! After nearly five amazing years with the company, this has become like a second family to me and I’ve learned a lot working here. I’ve enjoyed working in a variety of roles within the company, from Web Development Intern in Human Resources to Technical Trainer & Web Social Media Coordinator in IT. Throughout everything, the work environment has been rewarding and supportive. I write code & content for websites each day, yet I find myself struggling to find the right words today when saying goodbye. Thank you very deeply and very sincerely for the opportunities for personal and professional growth that you have provided me. I wish you and the company all the best, and I hope we’ll stay in touch.” –Brittany Thompson As Danielle LaPorte says, you’ve got to “live by your own design.” There’s no roadmap for life, as much as we sometimes long for one. Alas, there’s no manual or handbook we can read to help us make the best possible decisions for ourselves. Most of these pivotal moments are purely guided by our own instincts, “gut feelings” and intuition — which far too many of us still tend to ignore. I hate to be cliche’ here, folks, but… dreams don’t reach themselves. At some point, you’ve got to: make the leap; take the risk; and...

Tough Times Don't Last. Tough People Do.

Listening to the Kosair Children’s Hospital fundraisers while watching a blind woman try to cross the street at a busy intersection today, I found myself inspired by the courage of others who are dealing with tests of bravery beyond anything I’ve ever known… and simultaneously, I find myself grateful for the gifts I have been given in my life — rather than feeling sorrow for the things I do not have. It’s all about perspective. New activity to try today: I heard that some children who are fighting cancer at the Kosair hospital are doing this to help keep their spirits up, and it struck me that this is a symbolic activity we all could be doing. These kids are really onto something! Each time they have a hospital stay, the kids choose a bead. Any bead, any color. I heard that one of the kids even chose a bead with Captain America painted on it because it is his favorite superhero. The kids take the beads and run a string through them, tying it around their little wrists. Each day they are in the hospital, they add another bead and then another and another. Some of them go home with only one or two beads, but many go home with an entire bracelet. If they have too many beads for a bracelet, they start working towards a necklace. Now, this doesn’t just occupy their minds and keep them from feeling sad while they’re in the hospital. It’s more than that. It isn’t about the actual hospital stay; it’s not meant to depress the children. Instead, the beads become...

Do You Have a Poverty Mindset? (Scarcity vs Abundance)

The “poverty mindset” came up in a blog post that was shared by my yoga teacher today. Immediately, I realized it is something I’ve always done subconsciously, without even knowing what a “poverty mindset” is. I find excuses not to do things because they are “too expensive.” I save pennies (literally). I’d much rather receive gifts that I can use over and over again later; I always considered the joys of flowers or jewelry to be “too fleeting.” That’s always been me. I grew up in a lower middle class family in a poverty-stricken neighborhood that was, at many times, a dangerous place to live. As my family’s financial situation continued to decline, we found ourselves facing a lot of very real fears and uncertainties towards the end of my teenage years. By the time I entered my twenties, I had learned the importance of financial stability — and the painful knowledge that, if I got myself into financial trouble, it was up to me and me alone to get my money back on track. This has affected my values. I learned to believe that a successful career meant having a high salary and plenty of bank account funds, and I valued this so-called “career success” (as misguided as it was) higher than just about anything else, including my love life, my relationships, my health and my own happiness. I certainly valued it more than enjoying the youth of my college years, and I cut my university education short to join the workforce early. Indeed, I had a deeply held belief in scarcity versus abundance. Lately, I’ve been working...

Accept the moments when you're stretched thin!

“Life’s too short to spend it in between where you want to be.” — a very wise (and happy and content) friend That same friend says: “If you’re not being stretched, you’re shriveling up. Accept those moments when life stretches you thin!” The insights and inspirational, self-transforming journeys of friends, mentors and acquaintances have been so wonderfully insightful for me. I’ve gained a lot of perspective through reading the stories of others on Facebook and on their blogs. My own journey to health and happiness this year continues to be longer and much more difficult than I ever could have imagined, but it is not without purpose. When I step back to view my life this year, I am shockingly able to find inspiration in the struggles I’ve had. It’s beautiful, even when I mourn my old life and who I was before or what I was capable of doing… The fact that I am grieving tells me that I felt very passionately about those things. I identified with them as part of who I am, at the core. Therefore, losing the ability to do those things feels like losing a piece of myself. It’s like a barrier between my mental self and my physical self, or between me and all the other kindred spirits who enjoy doing the same things. As my chronic illness prevents me from being able to run, or hike, or swim, or spend time outside in the sun, or even do yoga at the moment, I am aware that my peers continue to do these things and continue to find joy in them without...