You know those people who have always known exactly what they want from life? They knew from the beginning what they wanted to be when they grew up, where they wanted to live, what hobbies they enjoy, etc? I couldn’t have been further from that. I always envied those people SO much!
I had big dreams of “success” but never quite knew what path would get me there or what that would even look like for me.
I’ve always been pretty efficient at anything I tried (except for those math and science classes in high school, NOT COOL). But I tried LOTS of different things growing up. From the time I was 6 years old, my interests spanned all over the place — from horseback riding to gymnastics to cross country to drama club, I tried it all.. And I loved a lot of it! Not many hobbies or interests really ever stuck for very long because something different would spark my interest. I was constantly flowing through life, wanting to try new things. I rarely had trouble letting go of activities that were no longer serving me.
Somehow, this trend made me feel like something was WRONG with me because my interests varied and changed so frequently.
This stood out for me even more once I got to college. I changed my major 4-5 times. I transferred schools and then I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree, got a job in that field and absolutely hated it. I felt tied to a desk with a lifelong sentence of misery. I couldn’t swallow it and I started freaking out.
There’s so much pressure to have your life figured out from such a young age. I wanted so badly to follow a “traditional” path — to feel successful, have a steady income, a long term relationship, a healthy lifestyle, a reliable plan for the future, the clear cut career path, etc. etc.
I found myself in therapy because I was terrified of adulthood and what life would look like post college.
From the time we’re 5 until age 21 (for most of us) we’re told what comes next. Elementary school, middle school, high school, then college.. But what happens after that? And more importantly for me, what happens when I had graduated from college and still had no idea what the heck I wanted to do? That transition was HARD and absolutely terrifying for me.
For me, these months in therapy were absolutely invaluable. I asked all those big picture questions. What’s next? What’s the point of life? What do I really need to be happy? Who even am I? How do I want to show up in this world? What do I value? How will I keep/make friends now? Make my own money? AGH.
All of a sudden my type A tendencies were my biggest downfall because there was no “right” next step. No clear plan to guaranteed success and that felt overwhelming and daunting.
All of a sudden my friends were moving to all different places — some for jobs, some moved home, some went on to grad school. I had to take on lots of new responsibilities like paying rent, starting to support myself and finding the path that felt right for me. Life suddenly looked very different and completely unknown.
Throughout the first few years post college, I learned so much about myself, who I want to be in this world and the life I want to lead.
- I found solace and peace in trying things and allowing myself to fail. I’d learned to go all in, sometimes fail, but then pick myself back up again.
- I trusted my gut and followed a path that felt really aligned with who I am as a person.
- Most importantly, I let myself take things one day at a time.
I moved from one state to the next to the next. Got married, finished grad school, started new jobs and then eventually started my own business.
Lots of big life changes on constant rotation have brought me to where I am now. Confusing, scary, & uncertain life transitions are my JAM with clients these days.
Through all of these big transitions, I’ve learned lots about myself and the world. I let go of old habits and rigid beliefs that were only bringing me down. I did a lot of exploring on the inside to change my days dramatically.
Here are some of my biggest takeaways that have improved my quality of life tremendously!!
- Realizing that life doesn’t have to be as scary and painful as we make it up to be
- I learned to love myself regardless of my external situations (game changing!!)
- Accepting that sometimes growth takes much more time then we hope it will
- It is ALWAYS okay to ask for support and guidance
- Accepting that most things in life are temporary and will get better
- I get to choose how I nurture my body, health and well-being
- It’s okay to not rush things. There’s truly NO race.
- Comparison is a waste of time. Get rid of it ASAP.
- It’s ALWAYS okay to change your mind and let go of things that just aren’t working. No shame.
- There is SO much strength that comes from trying new things and putting yourself out there.
- Oh, most importantly, no one is perfect and really, no one knows what the eff they’re doing (but we all just pretend). It’s okay to love your imperfections, actually it’s really fricken liberating.My mission is to help support you through this icky, confusing life transition. I want to help you show up as the most confident, joy filled and loving YOU you possibly can be. Ya with me?!
THE MEANING BEHIND THOSE MAGICAL LETTERS — Chelsea Connors, MS, LPC-A, NCC, BCC
I received my Master’s Degree in Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and am registered as a National Certified Counselor (NCC). I am a Licensed Professional Counselor-A in the state of South Carolina. I also completed my Board Certified Coach (BCC) credential through the Institute for Life Coach Training.