As One Door Closes

I’m not quite sure where my heads at with all of this at the moment. I’m hoping that by getting it out of my noggin and onto a page it will start to make sense to me. By ‘this’ I mean the fact that on 9th February I finish work for a year to go on MAT leave.

Now, on the face of it, that’s a big all round thumbs up, and I’d say 99% of me agrees, but I cant ignore that quiet voice that’s a bit scared of all of this.

I’ve worked for 19 years now, very nearly half my life. Its what I have filled most of my time with in that period, and its about to end.

Those that know me, know how I feel about my working life… views on it are not that favourable to say the least.

I don’t really have any passion or drive for what I do, I’ve done it for so long that there are no challenges in it, and the gone off slightly dodgy looking icing on that cake is my hideous commute.

All I need to say is, I travel on Southern. You can then massively sympathise with me and all will be well.

So with all that negativity, what’s with the 1% whisper that’s unsure about all of this? Its the unknown, pure and simple. It happens to all of us. In 2009 a relationship of mine ended, we’d been together 7 years and quite frankly I don’t think we should have made it to 7 months if we were really honest with ourselves. I knew for a long time that the end was coming, it had to, I’d have gone out of my mind otherwise. However, from the day that I realised “you know you are with the wrong person and you cant ignore it anymore” it took another 9 months for the relationship to end. Why? Because so much of my identity was wrapped up in that couple. I’d lost myself in it, and the thought of being out there alone was fucking scary.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong in admitting that at all. I stayed because I was afraid, and that wasn’t the only time that had happened in my life, but that’s a path I’m not going down.

What the hell would I do without being in that relationship? Where would I go? How would I spend my time? Even things like how to do the food shopping as a singleton had me holding off the inevitable.  Needless to say within a few weeks of the spilt, I found my feet, and it was an awesome experience. Yes I had the unnerving feeling of ‘starting all over again’ but whats wrong with that? Everything in my life had stagnated, and this was a push that I greatly needed.

So, back to the present, I guess my feelings about MAT leave are similar to my past experience. Obviously I know this is a ‘no choice’ situation, but in terms of getting my head around it, the process I am going through is the same. All that time spent at a desk, reconciling, analysing, formatting etc….and moaning. Yes, a lot of my time has been spent moaning. You see for all its faults, my current situation serves me, it gives me an income, and something to be pissed off about.

Same with that old relationship, it wasn’t right for me at all, but it gave me a place in the world, one where I could hide away from actually ‘living’ instead of existing.

As I came into London this morning and saw the city skyline, I felt a twinge of sadness. The realisation that the door on this particular chapter is coming to a close hit me hard, because its not just this role, its all the roles I have had since I decided not to go to University and instead get a job as an office junior all those years ago.

So now I have to detangle myself from this ‘identity’ of Finance bod, for its not who I am anymore, its not who I am going to be ever again. There is a new role coming, one that I am hopelessly unprepared for, that throws me straight in at the deep end without guidance, and one that I am hugely excited about. I’ll be the ultimate newbie. With a complete new skills set to develop. My proficiency in Excel isn’t going to help me when I am up to my ears in baby poo.

I’ve come a long way since I was 19, both professionally and personally, I don’t think the younger me would ever have seen herself at this point in her future. She couldn’t see any further than  the next payday. Funny how we all change over time.

12 working days, that’s all that stands between me as Finance Professional and me as ‘Mum’, 12 days until the corporate wardrobe is discarded and the maternity jeans step in to take their place – for the next few weeks anyway. 12 days until I no longer have to deal with (unnamed) people in the office and their last minute demands, 12 days until my soul destroying commute becomes a thing of the past and I get back to the point of finding a train journey enjoyable (maybe).

Almost two decades, and we’re down to the last 12 days………..bring it the fuck on



The Story So Far

When I set this blog up, one of the things I wanted to write about was my journey to being a life coach. Its just occurred to me that so far I’ve not written anything in this area.

I’m not sure if thats been intentional, you see, my coaching is like my baby, well my other baby as opposed to the actual baby thats currently cooking nicely in my tum. I’m very proud of my coaching already, and feel quite protective of it. It feels very precious and I am truly very lucky to get the opportunity to do this.

The only reason I am able to do this is because I had coaching myself, my coach is a wonderful person who quite frankly helped me to change my life. I got the chance to meet her in October, and know she will be integral in my developing career.

Its through my work with her that I had my lightbulb moment to make the move into coaching, I knew I wanted to do something meaningful, I knew that I wanted to stop people from getting in their own way, and help them get to where they want or need to be.

I am a huge advocate of coaching, and I genuinely believe its something that everyone could do with in their lives, the wonderful thing is, its such diverse role, there’s room for everyone to have their space, there are so many different shapes and size of coach out there. So there is bound to be one thats right for you.

My coaching course started in October, I had been to an introductory day a few weeks prior, and left there feeling on top of the world. I knew that finally, I was on the right path. My husband said he had never seen me lit up like that before, I guess that says it all really.

The course is pretty involved, theres a lot of work that has to go into it and its very time consuming, but I don’t begrudge that at all, its all time well spent, and as tired as I am, I am also loving every second of it. Its so wonderful to be learning again, my brain is engaged and focused for the first time in a long time.

I’m training with an awesome group of people, seriously I feel very lucky to be on the same ride as them, they are all very supportive, as are the guys running the course. I honestly think they will all be great assets to the coaching profession.

And it is a profession, I know that a lot of people look down their noses at coaching, as many people did with psychotherapy in the 50’s, but it is becoming more widely recognised, even some universities are adding coaching qualifications to their curriculums.

Prior to coaching, I had been through two lots of counselling at different times in my life, and while it helped, I don’t think I got anywhere near as much out of it as I did with coaching. That may not be the case for everyone, and I salute all counsellors out there for doing wonderful work. I’m simply saying that there are alternatives.

Part of my course involves me coaching practice clients for a total of 40 hours, I am 15 hours in and can already see and feel such a  big difference from session 1 to where I am now. I see it as a huge privilege to work with my clients, I care about each one of them, and I really want them to get as much out of this process as possible. Its truly amazing to see the changes in them week after week, as we explore different things in our sessions. Its also amazing that they then go away and put in the hard work in their free time.

Feedback so far has been really positive, I don’t really do airy fairy, I’m a bit more, well ‘potty mouthed’ and bare bones in my approach. I am very comfortable with whatever my clients bring to the table, and even though its early days, nothing so far has phased me.

Thats one thing about coaching, its a collaborative experience. Its not a case of giving answers, its a case of peeling back the layers and finding those things that are holding us back, stopping us from moving forward and keeping us rooted to an unhelpful spot. If I can do that with someone, if I can be that space where they can really open up, really deal with their own shit and put it to bed, then I’ve done what I set out to do.

I’m just at the beginning of this stage of my life, I have learnt a lot already, but there is so much more to learn. Its a bit of a ‘sponge like’ time for me at the moment. I’m doing full weekend study once a month, coaching in the evenings, participating in coaching webinars, and also reading as much as I can to help complement my training.

I’ve noticed differences in me as well, I am listening a lot more, really listening. My thought processes are changing, how I deal with and react to things are so different to how they were a few months ago. I’m incorporating mindfulness into my coaching and I think this is also key to those changes.

I want to be the absolute best at this that I can be, I am full of ideas for my coaching practice, I try to visualise it as much as possible as I believe thats a really powerful tool. I have unwavering belief that the people that come to me have the ability to be who they are, change what they need to, and move forward to a more fulfilling life.

Before I had coaching I was so afraid of so many things, and I know that I never would have got to this new place of learning, creativity and change without it. So I am living proof that it does indeed work. I am looking ahead to my future with buckets of enthusiasm and hope, and I can’t wait to see where I am this time next year.