Detroit. Spring 2015.
A little over a year ago, I was working 4 jobs. Yep. FOUR. Just take a wild guess what my energy level was like. Whomp.
What were they?
If you know my story, then you know I never really choose easy paths. I choose what I feel makes the biggest difference at the time – the greatest impact. So, upon graduation I applied for and was accepted to Teach For America – Detroit. I was placed in a first grade classroom of what I’ve been told was the lowest school in Detroit at the time. Our school was part of the turnaround effort of 2012. Teaching in this kind of environment is still something I struggle to put into words, but I did my best in a recent post. It’s just kind of one of those things — unless you do it, you don’t get it. And that’s ok.
I also began working as a phone interviewer for Teach for America. After applicants pass the initial application screening, they move to a phone interview. It was actually super empowering for my work in the classroom – to hear and feel the energy of the fresh blood looking to make a difference. This was my 3rd year of teaching. I knew why I was there, but the energy had definitely fizzled.
Yes. Concessions. I worked booths at the Lions Games, Tigers Games, and Red Wings Games, and came home smelling like french fries and sticky from spilled soda. I’d be there all day on Saturday or Sunday. Sometimes even nights after school, and zombie on in to work the next morning. They were volunteer basis — meaning I chose when I wanted to work. I chose to work often. I even chose to work on Thanksgiving when I couldn’t afford a plane ticket home.
The only game I went to for fun – with M+D.
I needed the money. That’s pretty simple to understand, right? My rent got raised, my salary didn’t. Juniper had allergies that had us in and out of the vet. I was in a long-distance relationship that I traveled for almost every other weekend [6 hours there, 6 hours back] and fuel wasn’t cheap. AND I was getting ready for a move to Tennessee. It was on me to pay for everything despite living with two other people — first month’s rent upfront, security deposit, moving truck for my furniture, and even food. I was leaving my job early, which meant I had to have enough cushion to keep us afloat [which didn’t work out by the way — I STILL ended up in CC debt].
And it was scary.
It was scary not knowing if I’d make it. If WE’d make it. Would I have enough to cover Juniper’s $400 vet bill AND feed myself? Would I have enough to keep gas in the tank AND pay my student loans?
And thoughts like that – that elephant on my chest – led me to serious unhappiness, worry, anxiety, depression. And then, number FOUR came around.
It feels a little weird to lump in coaching with other jobs. Cause it’s more than a job. It doesn’t feel like a job. I so easily became enamored with it that it never felt like work.
I started the crazy journey with MY coach despite everything.
- It cost money, but something inside me just said that I owe it to myself. So, I paid. Pennies compared to the value it brought to my life.
- It took time, but I knew I had to prioritize me, or there would be no me left. So, I got up earlier and put in 30 minutes of exercise and 10 minutes of personal development. The meal planning actually ended up saving me time in the evenings though. 🙂
- It was scary, but being unhappy and unhealthy. That was scary too. And I was LIVING that.
Then everything changed. I was a new freaking person. My IBS was regulated. My heart was happier. I felt more joy at school, like I could truly believe it when I said was doing the best I could do. And I couldn’t imagine not paying it forward. I didn’t even think I’d get paid actually. It was just something that I loved – that changed me – that I knew other warriors would need.
Because I was already a WARRIOR before my first challenge with our community. I was already duking it out every day for my kids. But there was still an elephant on my chest or two. There was still shite that I was trying to get over. And I couldn’t do it until I became a wellness warrior for MYSELF.
It was THAT little nugget that allowed me to drop Jobs THREE, TWO, and ONE [in that order]. I feel compelled to note that no – I’m currently not making the same salary that I made as a teacher yet. But I BELIEVE in myself. I believe in what we do. I believe in our team. I believe in my mission — to help YOU believe in yourself too.