I don't talk a lot about this but I have a lot of regret about the way I lived my life in my 20s and 30s.
I didn't think for myself. I didn't question anything.
I didn't even realize that was an option. I mean, why would I? My path had already been laid out for me by my parents who I'm sure were guided by social expectations.
I applied to the college my older sister attended. My parents just assumed I would want to go there too so we never even discussed me going anywhere else.
When I was doing my undergrad, what I studied didn't really matter because I was going to marry someone who would be smarter and more capable and would be the *head* of the household. I don't think my parents ever actually said those words but at some point in my upbringing, that is the message my young mind received - loud and clear.
I was raised to think the man makes the money and the woman raises the children.
Don't get me wrong-if that's the way you choose to live your life because it makes you happy and feels deeply fulfilling, more power to you sister, but I never spent a second questioning whether that made me happy or not.
I didn't even realize it but I spent 20 years at least trying to live into this expectation. Find a man. Let him take care of you. Don't pursue your dreams. Hell, don't even bother having dreams because your life is already planned out for you.
When that didn't work out so well, I tried again. And again. I literally spent decades trying to live into someone else's expectations for my life.
Thankfully, millennial woman aren't receiving that same messaging today but the message you are receiving as a young woman in America is even more complicated.
Get a great education, land an amazing job, get married, buy a house, have kids and try not to kill yourself from the exhaustion.
I've been coaching women for over 5 years now and the one question I ask all of my clients is this: "what does your dream life look like?"
The responses I receive are heart breaking.
The women respond with tears, anger or embarrassment. They have no idea what their dream life looks like. No one's ever asked them that before and they have been so caught up in the pressures of life that they have forgotten how to imagine a life that's different, bigger and even better than their current reality.
And this is why you - my dear, smart, high achieving millennial woman-are my why. Why I am a coach. Why I get up everyday and tell my story and shout my message to anyone who will listen.
If I can save one young woman from experiencing decades of regret, I will have fulfilled my purpose.
You get to design your life exactly the way YOU want it.
I wish when I was your age I had someone in my corner reminding me to make choices that made me feel happy and proud of the woman I was becoming instead of choosing things that I thought would make others proud of me.
I am here for you. In your corner. Reminding you to be authentically you. Always.
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