Growing up...school was my worst subject.

As hard as I tried, I could never get anything but terrible grades. When I would try taking notes...they inevitably turned into doodles. I just couldn't sit and focus the way everyone else could, no matter what pills or methods or extra time I was given...and my doodled notes were THE proof my teachers needed to remind me that I just wasn't cut out for school like the other kids.

but after a while...

After years of struggling, bad habits, self-sabotaging behaviors, and getting held back, I was diagnosed with a learning disability...and switched to an alternative learning structure.

"Wait what? ...There are other ways to do this whole learning thing...?"

This system encouraged me to embrace my doodling habits:

 

“If that’s how you remember what’s being said in class, doodle away!” 
Shocked and confused....I was skeptical.

 

"This can’t be right. If it feels good and natural to me, something’s gotta be wrong."

Why would everyone be doing things the same way if other ways were possible?

 

it turns out...What I was made to believe was a disability, was actually my super power.

When I graduated high school, I went on to go one of the best art universities in the country, received numerous scholarships, was selected for the most competitive internships, and immediately joined the workforce with top internationally recognized brands and institutions. Not to toot my own horn... ok fine, toot toot.

I had unique ways to problem solve...and when given the space to explore what worked for me, 

I was able to thrive in my own way. And I'm willing to bet...you don't do things like everyone else either.


 

but despite how hard i worked...I still never felt like i was enough.


 

I overworked myself to feel seen. I worked for things I didn't agree with but it looked great on paper, I worked on projects that made me feel empty. I felt like, the more I work, the more in demand I am! The more in demand I am, the more successful I am! I was in a hamster wheel of seeking validation from everyone who ever made me feel I wasn't enough, and would never say no to a work opportunity if it meant I could prove myself.  *Ahem* limiting beliefs picked up from childhood...anyone?
 

I followed a path that "should have" lead me to a secure future, yet was affected by company-wide layoffs 3 times, I was trading my time for income, was putting work above everything else, and was too exhausted on the weekends to do much of anything for myself to grow emotionally, spiritually, creatively.

But one day, a medical scare shook me awake. I was forced to slow down and look at everything I was doing, and it all felt empty unaligned, not like ME. I finally realized didn't matter how hard I worked, or how "successful" I was, if I didn't have time to be with my family, to rest, and to just be a human BEING. I was valuing my worth on being a human DOING.

 

Having hit burn out, I took the plunge and invested in my first life/business coach. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew I wanted something drastic to change. I discovered that I felt so burnt out and uninspired because I was living within the confines society had built for me, and not by my own values or ideas of success and happiness.

 

But most importantly, I realized I had fallen into the trap of doing what everyone else expected of me, not I truly wanted.

Can you relate?

curious? Let's connect!

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Photos by Pablo Merchan