Are you surrounded by people, noise, and constant movement, and yet sometimes you still feel completely and utterly alone?

I remember feeling that way.

Life was supposed to be amazing when I reached the pinnacle of my corporate career.

I had been promoted 5 times at that point.

I had lived in 5 different towns and 5 new houses (and let’s not forget the apartment for 6 months with a mattress on the floor).

Yeah.

Success is amazing.

Climbing the ladder.  Making the money.  Flying on the corporate jets.  Staying in who knows what town in who knows what room number of a hotel, watching your kids grow up via social media.

That’s a life worth envying, right?

So when people told me I should be happy, I should be grateful, I should be blah blah blah blah blah.

I got angry.

Who were they to tell me I wasn’t appreciative enough?

Who were they to tell me that I wasn’t living my life right?

Why was it that I had to make a daily choice . . . career or family?

Why was there a freaking “or” in there?!  I didn’t climb the ladder and have my family to have an “or” placed between the two things I wanted most.

I looked around me and I watched other women live their lives, celebrating their kid’s milestones on social media, looking perfect in their brand name clothing and expensive cars.

Why were they happy and I wasn’t?

What was wrong with me?

How Did I Screw Up My Life?

I couldn’t figure it out so I started beating myself up.

I started telling myself that I had done something wrong . . . that when I was supposed to pause at a certain point in my career, I didn’t.  Or when I was supposed to be promoted at a certain point, I wasn’t.

Surely this was my fault because no one else around me was dissatisfied.  

Even with additional promotions, the people around me were happy and I was just . . . not.

Did I care about my work?

100%.

Did I believe in the mission of the organization?

Completely.

Did I want to sacrifice every part of me, my life, my family, the memories I wanted to create with my loved ones for that company mission?

Absolutely not.

Yet I felt like I was being asked to give it all and sacrifice everything in order to get the work done and stay secure in my role.

You see, if meetings started at 9 am and I gave the company a 7 am start, the company would take it.

If I gave the company my time until 9 pm and yet meetings ended at 5:30 pm, it would take it.

Whatever I gave, the company would take and it would keep taking more, and more, and more.

It was like a life-sucking machine.

Why was I giving so much and feeling miserable about it and the other women were 100% fine?  Did they love their jobs more?  Did they love their family less?

What did I do wrong and why was I the only one?

Then one day I was digging through some boxes and I came across my article.

I call it “my article” because it was the article that literally changed my life.

The article came out in 2001 in the USA Today.  It was about pharmacists and how they were “writing their own ticket.”

That’s the moment I decided to be a pharmacist.  I had graduated from undergrad at that point and was working in a research lab on campus, trying to decide which area of healthcare I would go into; medical, dental . . . I didn’t know.

That article changed my life.  It helped me see a pathway to serve others professionally while still having the life I wanted personally.

So when I was digging through some of my office boxes and found it again over 10 years later, I took it as a sign.

A sign to remember why I chose to go into the profession of pharmacy.  

A wake up call to help me realize that I wasn’t living the life of balance I fully intended on living when I started on my career journey.

In that moment, I didn’t care if I was alone or not, I didn’t care if every other woman on the planet loved her life, I wanted my life!

The life I set out to create from the start.  

If everyone else was happy, good for them. I accepted in that moment that my definition of a life well lived was probably different than theirs and that was not just fine, it was appropriate.

So I got to work and started making changes!

My Definition of Life Wasn’t Unique

Fast forward 6 years with writing this out for you today.

Do you know what I realized?

I wasn’t alone in my dissatisfaction and frustration.

The majority of the women I thought were happy were just as dissatisfied as I was.  We all just kept quiet because we thought something was wrong inside each of us.

So know this, you’re not alone either.

It’s ok to want to help, serve, make the world a better place, achieve and be successful. 

It’s also ok to want a family, have one, spend time with them, and live a life of no regrets.

You can have an “And Life,” not an “Or” life.  

Spend time today thinking about two things:

  1. What pivotal moment put you on the path to create the life you want?  (For me, it was the 2001 article.)   Bonus points if you something tangible you can put in your office to remind you of that moment.
  1. Ask yourself if you’re really ready to take the step forward and get the life you deserve.  If you’re ready, then it’s time to take action! Schedule a 15-minute call and let’s get started.