Learning to Change My Own Path in Life

It was around this time three years ago when I first started questioning the path I was on. I was teaching 3rd grade and started thinking “When does this get better? When do I start loving my job? Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life?” I was scared. Scared that I had just wasted years of my life getting a bachelor’s (and half a master’s) degree on a career I might want to leave.  Scared that I had no idea what else I could do outside of teaching...I mean that was what I went to college for, what other skill set did I even have?! I started brainstorming and daydreaming. I loved coaching cross country and track so maybe being some kind of fitness instructor would be good. I had been doing Crossfit for a few years by then and so perhaps coaching that might be a route to take. The first step I took towards making a life change was to get my Crossfit Level 1 certification. I wasn’t overly confident however that I could do that full time. My biggest doubt was that I couldn’t make enough money to survive on just coaching or doing other fitness related jobs.

That following spring, I quit teaching. I finished my last day of teaching and left the school I had been at for three years without any idea of what I really wanted to do with my life other than work at a gym or coach...or some combination of that. So I did what any sane 26 year old female unemployed former elementary teacher would do and joined the military. I thought “I love working out and they have insurance...sounds great!” While waiting to get shipped off to basic training, I moved back home with my parents for the first time since high school.  Anyone who has ever moved back home post college probably knows the emotions and challenges that go with it so I’ll just say I love my parents and leave it at that. However, the amazingly, awesome thing that came from that experience is I found yoga. I started going to classes nearby and fell in love.

Some time passed and I headed off to my military schools for the next 11 of 14 months. While I was training to be a stone cold killer and blow things up, I decided becoming a yoga teacher would be great too. I registered for a 200hr yoga teacher training in Bali, Indonesia as a reward to myself for my 11 months of service. Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m not generally a flowery, peace and love type of person but I admit, I kind of became one at my teacher training. We chanted and danced. We spoke truths and feelings. I’m not the crying type and I’m pretty sure I cried more in those 16 days than in the past 10 years. It was beautiful and emotionally draining and not at all what I expected. I became a better human being and yoga teacher because of it.

I came home from my travel adventures with mixed feelings of excitement and apprehension. I was done with all my training and traveling...so what now? I had to make a living somehow, did I want to try to teach yoga full time? Was that even financially possible? I started picking up as many classes as I could at a few locations and substitute taught a few hours here and there just to add to my income. After about a month of that wonderfulness I was approached by friend with an incredible opportunity to use a beautiful space in downtown Fargo to teach yoga classes.

I have my self doubts...all.the.time. But every day I start to believe, more and more, how strong I am and how I am capable of positively impacting people’s lives. I know I am on the right path for me. I love what I am doing and this journey I am on. If you are unhappy with your life right now, you can change it. You have to power to lead your own journey down a different road. It’s not going to be easy  You will constantly question yourself and make excuses for why it could never work. You will have people in your life telling you to play it safe and stay in your little comfortable bubble. Ignore them, listen to your intuition. Instead of listing all the reasons why something could never work, start to list all the positive outcomes that could come from this change. Be positive.

My hope in sharing this is to encourage others to live out their passions. If you’re unhappy, you can change it. You just need to be bold and stay positive. If you’re struggling to find your path, feel free to reach out to me and we can get a cup of coffee and chat about life. It’s a beautiful life, you deserve to enjoy it.



Danielle Thompson3 Comments