Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Leap Of Faith and Changing Paths

I don't know about you guys, but I have always pictured my future a certain way. It was never that I envisioned driving a certain car or having lots of money. I pictured myself happy. Not just happy
the way my life was going but generally happy.

My personal life, ie relationships has always been the most important to me. I have an awesome husband, a great family as well as my in law family, and amazing friends. I work very hard at these relationships so they're successful because having those people in my life is so important to me. It's also very important to me that I'm there for them if they need me.

I think maybe because I focused so much on the relationship aspect of my life, my career aspirations just slipped away. I found myself on a completely different road than the one that I wanted to be on. I really, really, wanted not to care that I was on this road. After all, I had everything else, what did I need a job that I enjoyed for? All I had to do was get through my day and my week and I'd have more time with the ones I love.

After Leigh and I got married, I barely had a a chance to think about what I wanted to do for a career when I was offered a temporary job at an office in Downtown Vancouver. I thought, "Perfect! Time to figure things out and I'll make money in the meantime." A month turned into longer and longer and I was offered a permanent position at this office.

The people were kind and caring at this office, especially my boss. She was one of the best managers I've ever met. She knew how to talk to people about anything in a compassionate way. I wanted so badly to be one of those people that you see on the train. Elegant, put together, sipping their perfectly prepared coffee in a nice travel mug. They seemed calm and satisfied and I wanted that.

So I took this permanent position. I won't say much about it other than it involved investments. People that know me probably just laughed out loud reading that. I hate math, and I always have. Thankfully, this job didn't require math. It just required paperwork. A LOT of paperwork. I was drowning in it. But all I had to do was get through the day, get through the week, then I could be with my friends, family and husband and have fun. Time went by so fast doing this. You'd hear that a lot around the office. "Crap, it's already 3! How did that happen?" "I don't know where this day went!" and "I can't believe it's Friday already, this week was insane."

I felt like when I sat down at my desk to work, I switched off the human part of me and just became a robot. I'd wake up at 4pm and have no recollection of what I did that day, just knew that I'd paper pushed all day.
At first I thought, this is great. The day goes by so fast, it never drags on. Awesome!
The job was going well, I was getting the hang of it quickly. I was making better money than I'd ever made anywhere.  But I still felt like I was just surviving the day, not living it, and that bothered me. One day I realised that if I stayed on this path, I'd wake up one day and be 40 and never have realised any of my dreams.

A long string of events happened at this point, but basically I was sick one day, and the next day my boss called me in her office. She shut the door and said "Taren, what is going on with you? You've changed since you've gone in investments. Your not happy, you don't smile anymore, and you keep getting sick."
There's a lot of things I could have said at this point. Like "I'm just a little burned out" (which I was) or "It's nothing." I could have perked up and tried harder. But it wasn't nothing. I wanted to spend my 40 hours a week doing something I enjoyed. Period. I'd been trying to put a square peg in a round hole my entire life, trying to become one of these successful office people, when inside, I loathed it.

I took a deep breath and told her the truth. It felt so amazing to tell someone that I didn't want to settle for a job, I wanted to find something I was passionate about. To my shock, she completely understood and said she wished she'd done the same when she was my age. I suggested they move me back to a temp position, where they currently had the perfect person to take over my job in investments. So we did a little switcheroo.
That was one of the best days of my life. It sounds silly, but it will always be the day I freed myself from this path I'd gotten on. When I left the office in January, I was given a huge bouquet of flowers and a card, where everyone in the office wrote things like "follow your dreams" and "find your passion". It was amazing. I will never forget that experience. This was the push I needed to get going on something I really enjoyed.

I had started thinking about becoming a Personal Trainer years and years ago. The owner of Health and Fitness Alliance, where I'm taking my courses, has inspired me from a young age. I remember being maybe 14 and going to her Tae Bo classes. After high school, I pursued this way of living and I couldn't believe the difference it made me feel. My energy, my self confidence and my mood were all improved. I want to help people to feel the same way.

I will be honest with you, I have always been scared of becoming a Personal Trainer. I worried about silly things, how it would work out, if I could do it. For this reason is the reason I kept accidentally on purpose getting lost on my path. But now I am on it, and I'm staying here. Which is why I'm telling the world, well, at least my world, on this blog. This is also why I created my other blog, Revive Your Life, to talk about how I'm getting there.

My husband is a very no nonsense guy. He will tell me if I'm being a whiner and to suck it up. I appreciate that so much because without him, I would go back to bed and put the covers over my head. He said to me the other day "You realise that you've done all these things you wanted to accomplish for years in a week? You just have to get off your ass and do it!"

I'm writing this post because I know that many people go through this. It may not seem like an option to leave your job and find your passion. You might have kids, or a mortgage, or whatever! But there are ways. Talk about it, figure it out, find out what the first step is. I had always heard that the first step is the hardest. Well, I'll tell you, the first step for my journey has taken me years to take. Once I did, it was the most amazing feeling. Like my husband said, I just kept going and kept accomplishing things. Success breeds success. That one first step is what will get you on the right path. I am so glad I took it and I'm so grateful for the path I'm on.



  1. That was me, too! I was a people pleaser and my decisions for 'my' life were based on what I thought others would be o.k. with. Took me 30 years to figure that out. Today I am back in school and doing what I have a passion for and hopefully will get paid for it someday soon. I have discussed and shared this experience with younger people, some have got it and some haven't and that is alright. I am content and peaceful today!

  2. Taren,

    Congrats on this, it is so nice to hear that my friend are doing the things that make them happy. Starting my own buisness expecially in light of being pregnant was the scariest thing I have ever done... what if I couldn't do it... what if it just failed... ect. but I have to tell you that all of the sacrifices that I have faced and that I will face in the next year to get things going have been worth it 10x over! Follow your dreams cause money doesn't mean anything unless your happy! You are also so lucky to have such an amazing husband as I do that not only supports you but kicks your ass into gear. Just remember how amazing you are as well!


  3. What a great post! I head tears in my eyes while I was reading it (yeah, I'm super emotional, lol); I loved that you wrote with such honesty :)

    I wish you much success and happiness in your new career path, although, it seems that you have already found it!

  4. Taren!
    I'm so proud that you are doing what you believe in! The last few months between school and actually finding a teaching position have been tough. I had a lot of self doubt and wondered if I should have gone a route that required less school and that would be easy to find a position in. Now that I am actually working at what I have dreamed of doing for years I know that those few months of stress and struggle were nothing compared to what I could have faced if I decided to take a different path. I say don't hesitate and go strong at what you believe in, because every day I wake up glad I worked so hard and sacrificed a lot to be where I am. In the long run happiness is what matters most when you look back and reflect on your life.
    Love you and you can be my trainer one day again :)

  5. Wow Taren, that was truly an inspirational read. Congratulations!

  6. good for you! This is a really inspiring, and a gutsy move on your part! bravo.