My Journey to Coaching:

My Own Story of Empowerment

After graduating from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and certification in women’s studies, this small-town Ohio girl—always close to my family—moved to the greater Washington DC area to work for the government. Things were going well. I married young and had a career full of opportunities. But, then, when I was just 26 years old, my beloved father died tragically. Between this great loss and later being shocked by a divorce after nearly 15 years of marriage, I developed a true understanding of the power of grief. And I wasn’t sure if I knew how I would face the future on my own.

I remember feeling like I was in the darkest of places, facing a crossroads, and asking myself, “Which path are you going to take?” Tapping into a strength I knew I had but couldn’t feel at the time, I chose positivity. I chose to have faith that life was only going to get better and that I had many things to learn from these emotional life experiences.

So I started. I started moving forward, with the support of family and friends, to rely on that strength. And that new-found, positive energy empowered me to take on challenges I might not otherwise have considered when I was living in my grief and status quo. Others noticed, too, and they started coming to me. They came to me on the heels of tragedy or because they just wanted my insight about a career move and to be challenged to think differently. They trusted me with their grief, their joys, and their most private concerns.

One day a colleague emotionally came to me to tell me her husband was leaving. She didn’t know what to do. I struggled in that moment with what to say and do. I did not shy away from her pain. But I also realized that I did not have the training to truly help people through something like that. That was my turning point. Unafraid and feeling strong and inspired, I knew I wanted to help people help themselves and overcome their fears. And so I became a certified professional coach.

Coaching and being coached helps me work through personal and professional issues. It helps me strategize how to get out of my own way and taps into my truest calling. It forces me to reframe when self-criticism rears its ugly head. It emboldens me to push out of my comfort zone. And it empowers me to do things that truly make me happy. I am a coach.