Updated: Feb 9
That was the story I told myself for years. I was constantly looking for external solutions. Something to fix me.
It sounds like the start of one of those X-Factor sob stories doesn't it? I don't have a sob story. Not really. I fully acknowledge my privilege but I also don't want that to detract from how bloody hard I've worked too.
Let me explain. Hi, I'm Jen - The Direction Coach. Northern lass turned Southern softie. A self-confessed mid-lifer on a journey to support other mid-lifers. Brought up in a relatively middle-class but hard-working family. Followed the "shoulds" as a good little girl does.
You should go to school and do well.
You should get your A-levels and a degree.
You should get a job for life.
You should find a partner and settle down.
Hell, I even embarked on the stereotypical "gap year" thinking it was breaking the mould a bit. I could have made a career out of carrot packing you know.
Fast forward 22 years having done all the "shoulds" and I'm sitting in my dream studio/office AKA The She-Shed as a trained coach. Coaching people to explore what life really means to them and planning how they want to spend the second half.
In those 22 years, I've trained and worked as an Engineer, been engaged, cancelled that wedding, moved 250 miles from "home", lived by the sea, became a single mum, took redundancy from Engineering and re-trained as a DT teacher, met my husband, had another son, survived a pandemic, exited education, became an ICF accredited coach, set up my own business, enrolled at Uni to do a masters in psychology *and breathe*!
I've changed direction more times than my new puppy has pooped on our rug in the kitchen (a lot). And every time I felt lost. Every time I felt like something wasn't right because it was going against the "shoulds". Now I realise that I was following my heart. I was doing what felt right in that moment and it felt difficult and I felt lost because there was conflict.
Conflict between expectation and what I really wanted. Sound familiar?
All of that has shaped me into who I am today - Jen, The Direction Coach, who totally gets that feeling of lost, who understands the "juggle is real", who has been shackled by the "shoulds" and always looked for someone else to get her back on track. I'm now on a mission to empower any mid-lifer who's ready to take control of the second half because I know exactly what it's like to be there.
Feeling lost sucks and the mid-life crisis doesn't have to take over.
I can't wait to share the rest of my journey with you.