It was the first time I knew—really knew—that the life I was living was not the life I wanted. A high school drug raid had grabbed the attention of the major networks, and I had the chance to tell the story on the national news. It's the kind of opportunity young journalists dream of, but instead, it shined a spotlight on my own truth: I don’t want to be here, I thought, moments before I was set go “live”. But how could I let go of a career that I'd worked so hard to build? If not this path, then what?
I asked myself the questions that I'm sure many women face at some point in their lives: once you realize you’re somewhere you don’t want to be, what do you do? How do you get to a place that feels authentic? Not knowing the answer, I didn't quit. Not wanting to fail, I kept showing up and kept trying to make it work. Each day, I convinced myself to stay.
It took my husband telling me that he was ready to have a baby and my tearful response, "No. I can't," to realize I couldn't keep pretending, living a life that felt like a lie. It was killing me, inside. I wanted a child, but I knew I wasn't mentally or emotionally ready.
Something had to change.
I confronted the fear that had been ruling my life, and I began the slow process of coming to terms with old wounds... pushed down pain from childhood that I thought I'd dealt with. It took some time, but I finally got to a place that I felt ready... ready to trust my heart, wherever it may lead and whatever the outcome.
That's what authenticity is to me. It begins with being honest with myself and others. And it ends... well, it never ends. Over and over, I have to check in. Am I being honest? And then, I have to make choices.
Recently, I was interviewed by Parenting Coach Bonnie Compton, and we had a wonderful conversation about this journey to authenticity, in our work, and in parenting. It's heart work, soul work, doesn't-necessarily-pay-the-bills kind of work. But it's worth it, I think.
If you're on your own journey to live a more authentic life, I hope you'll listen in. You can play it now, or click here to download the conversation and listen on your own time.