On March 26th, 2020 my life as I knew and understood it to be prior to this day, changed forever. On this day my Mom took her last breath. My Mom could easily be described as the single most important person in my life. I had spent at least half of my life trying to keep her well, something that proved to be impossible. I was asked recently in one of my therapy sessions why I felt this was my responsibility…to take care of her. The answer I thought was simple. She had always taken care of me, is that not what I was supposed to do? Take care of her back? But it proved to be deeper than that. The answer turned out to be because no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the problem, no matter what had happened, my Mom always chose me. When I came out and told her I was not going to ever have a traditional relationship for the rest of my life and crushed her soul, not right away, but eventually, she chose me. Over family, over friends, over all of it. She chose me. And once she did, she never looked back. If she did she never told me she regretted it. She would choose any of her kids over any of that, any day of the week. Taking care of my Mom was an honor and a privilege even if it was the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life and even if the end result meant I failed.
It took a year of intense self reflection, a lot of therapy, practicing mindfulness and gratitude, just a lot of inner work, to process this grief. It will never, ever go away, but it can become more tolerable. In the middle of that work my wife urged me to take an online college course called The Science of Wellbeing. (I can officially say I passed the course and have a graduate certificate through Yale!-if you knew my Dad you would know what a great time he would have had spinning THAT tale.) It was during that course that I had many major epiphanies. The most important being, I am not doing what I was put on this Earth to do. Do any of us ever really truly know what that is, probably not, but I knew for SURE it was not what I was currently doing. So I went to work, albeit very quietly, to become what I was truly destined to be.
My last day at my current employment is this Friday, May 28th. In a decision that I am sure will stun and shock some, I am giving up a well paying job with excellent benefits to pursue a career as a Life Coach. I have been coaching for several months now and trying to do that outside of my 40+hours a week was becoming too overwhelming. I want to devote all of my time and energy into completing my certification. While certification is not mandatory to start a practice, it is important to me to complete one and I should have that done by the end of this year. I am accepting new clients with the caveat that this business is a work in progress and it will only continue to grow! If you would like more information about this, please don’t hesitate to reach out! After the 28th, my personal Facebook page will have plenty of information!
I am not a person who is into burning bridges unless I am using them to light my way, so you will not find me bashing my current employer or saying negative things about them. The job no longer served me, it is that simple. I worked very hard at it, I gave it every ounce of myself and more but at the end of the day it brought me more heartache than joy. I decided to choose joy and therefore chose to let go of something that was secure, that I was familiar with, that I could rely on. It is a giant leap of faith but one I know my Mom would say, this will work out. A very, very good current classmate of mine said to me “take the leap…the bridge will appear after you jump.” It was and is 100% true.
Yes I am scared, yes I may be a little crazy, but I have never been good at being in a box. When I am coaching my clients there is a fire in my soul that has maybe never, ever existed. It is an incredible feeling to be able to help someone else sort out their own roadblocks and stuck thoughts to help THEM move past an immovable moment or situation. I feel alive again. And there really are no words to explain that, I just know a part of me died when she did. And for the first time since she passed, I believe the part of me that died is the part that was holding me back from living a life that honored me and my own integrity. We spend an awful lot of time living our lives for other people…our spouse, our children, our friends, our employer. It takes a lot of work to realize no one is living ours for us…so we have to. We are truly all we have. I just know that when I work with a person and truly learn how to walk a mile in their moccasins or what it would even be like to…it makes me realize I made the right choice.
I look forward to answering any questions about this change and am prepared to hear a little bit of everything, just know I am right with myself and very happy and at peace with this decision. I also want to thank my wife, in ways I will never live long enough to thank her for, for her unwavering support in this decision and her always making me believe I had something more to give the world. Without her I doubt I would have ever even entertained this idea. Thank you Kristina, I love you to all of the beaches (and mountains) and back!
Tiffany Buckman Life Coach