My name is Shannon and I’m on a journey to figure out who I am. I’ve spent the last 10 years in Corporate America “living the dream.” But wait a second. What is that dream anyway? Had I ever really defined it? Or did I just get on the Corporate America escalator and ride while standing still and not evolving? I just kept getting tapped on the shoulder with people saying: This way to your next job! To more money! To more prestige! To more external validation! But then the day came where they put me in charge of my own destiny saying: Ok! Now YOU get to pick what comes next now in your career! Quite frankly – I FROZE.
I realized for the first time that I had no idea what I really wanted. Somewhere along the way I had lost that clarity of vision. I was swirling questioning everything about who I thought I was, what I had prioritized in life, where all my real friends had gone, where my health had gone, what I actually wanted my hobbies to be. I had gotten so used to everyone around me telling me what to want, who to be, how to act to get to that elusive thing that I (or was it what they) wanted. I was starting to feel the daily burn of realizing the career I had just given years of my life to couldn’t possibly love me back at the level of love I was giving it. Yikes. Sound the alarms, right?
But I still didn’t get it. So God laid me off from my dream job at my dream company in March 2015. But God was still met with a brick wall of determination in me to NOT listen. I rebounded quickly to another company only to find myself back at my original dream company that laid me off. But this time I had the added boulder on my back feeling like I wasn’t good enough to be there. My confidence was shattered from the layoffs. I placed this burden of proof on my shoulders feeling so worthless from the “Dear John” letter they had given me previously. Every day I walked in lugging around a literal ton of baggage thinking–
Am I really good enough to be here? Have I just totally duped them all into thinking I’m better than I really am? When are they going to figure out that I’m not as good as they think I am?
I felt like I had to show my worth to this company that left me feeling totally worthless just 6 months prior and keep my mask on at all times. So again, I was too distracted doing that to see what was really going on inside me or around me.
So God starts screaming louder:
- June 2016. A 28 year old former coworker of mine that was perfectly healthy drops dead on a run.
- Feels like God saying to me: Hey you. Are you in there? This is your wake up call. That could have been YOU. Are you proud of the life you’ve lived?
- July 2016. My sister’s 65 year old father in law dies tragically in a farming accident.
- God again: Hey. It’s me again. Have I lost you over there? Are you listening? That could have been YOUR DAD. When’s the last time you talked to him or stopped working long enough to answer his phone call instead of hitting IGNORE?
- August 2016. A friend’s brother passes away in a freak car accident at 27. Why did this have to happen?
- God: Can you hear me NOW? That could have been YOUR SISTER. Call her! She’s about to give birth and you haven’t talked to her since the 4th of July! What are you thinking?!
- September 2016. My husband’s 37-year-old former boss, dear friend and mentor dies suddenly from a massive heart attack leaving a 2 year old son and beautiful wife behind.
- God: LAST CHANCE to make a change. That could have been NATE. YOUR HUSBAND. Did you even tell him you loved him when you came home from work at 9pm? You forgot to even call to say you were working late like he’s asked you to do a million times before. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
The alarm bells are now deafening. I’m diagnosed with depression and told I should quit my job because its situational as each day God’s voice in my head gets louder now screaming–You’re not where you’re supposed to be anymore. But I’m too scared to face it. To face that voice in me saying:
It’s time to explore. It’s time to face your fears. It’s time to do something that scares you again! That pushes you outside of your comfort zone. It’s time to find your confidence again. It’s time to be more selfless toward others. It’s time to start over.
Whoa. Ok. God. I hear you now. I hear you.
So I quit my job giving 2 months notice. I walked away from major financial security, personal comforts and clear future advancement opportunities. I said goodbye to a lot of people that I genuinely admire the heck out of and learned from daily. This felt incredibly insane. It still does! But what feels even crazier is continuing to stay as selfish as I had become. Continuing on the escalator without a clearer sense of what I wanted my purpose to be…continuing to place so much of my self-worth too narrowly on how I was performing in my career instead of how I was performing as a WHOLE HUMAN BEING. Walking around without my own clarity and larger life definition of WHO matters, what matters and why, what I enjoy, what I’m actually good at, what my purpose is or how I’m going to SERVE OTHERS (my one true calling).
So this is my mission. To figure out who I really am and find an answer to the question everyone asks—“So what comes next?” I’d love to hopefully help YOU too in asking yourself the big questions–who are you? what do you value? What made you that way? What do you want your life’s mission to be? It’s not about what your family, friends, mentors, society, etc. tell you it should be. It’s about finding it for yourself.
I’m honoring that God has called me to question, to reevaluate and to serve others. Want to answer life’s big questions with me?
TODAY’S QUESTION: What is your purpose? Your mission in life? Take a stab with me! It’s a starting place! My working idea is simply to serve others. To be a source of love, compassion & joy for others. To open doors for others who otherwise would not have access.
Caveat: I’m crazy scared to take the mask off. By doing this I think I’ve essentially sealed my fate that Corporate America will never take me back after this level of vulnerability and honesty is laid forth. But it’s a risk I’ve got to take to be whole again.