In middle school and high school we are taught the necessary skills to get into post-secondary institutions. While many schools would like to say that they prepare you for the ‘real’ world it is honestly not very true. The fact is, what they teach you in high school is nothing like the ‘real’ world at all. The inspirational posters on the walls that always say, “Do or do not, there is no try” or “Follow your dreams” are a heck of a lot more loaded than they appear to be. From Day 1 everybody tells you to follow your dreams; your teachers, your parents, your friends and you even manage to convince yourself to and then the ‘real’ world throws every single reason at you why you shouldn’t. You’re broke. You can’t advance. That’s a terrible career. No job security. You’ll get rich and have no one.
That was the crux upon finishing a season of work that changed my heart and entering University, something which I had desired for myself since Day 1. Move-in day was awful. It was raining outside, everything was so gray, I had just finished a summer where I hardly slept but would do it all over again. It was a terrible transition. I got into my blank, white room and dropped all of my things on the floor and walked to the cafe a block away. I started thinking, mulling it over a cup of Chai tea and a date square that I never actually wanted but convinced myself to buy. What exactly did I want? I wanted a degree in Law & Society. Why did I want it? Because I thought I would make a good lawyer? Because others thought I would make a good lawyer? Because I could secure myself a decent job with a great income? Then the ‘real’ world threw a question at me, “What is one thing you cannot go a day without thinking about?” And it hit me, I could go days without thinking about school, but I am always thinking about coaching. I see little motivational phrases of graffiti art and I snap a picture and send it to the kids. I walk into the book store with posters reminding the world about “International Girls Day” and all I think about is what I could do with that as a recruitment strategy. I write up essays only to find myself finishing the evening looking up coaching grants and club development grants. I sit in seminar rooms completely uninterested in what’s going on. Everybody tells me that first-year University courses are boring, they’re certainly not wrong.
I compiled a list of what I wanted in my life. Had you asked me ten years ago what I wanted and I would have said I wanted to be the most educated girl in the world and be as rich as a veterinarian. Ask me now and I honestly just want to be something with purpose. I want to struggle to be successful but I want to be happy the whole time while doing it. I want a job that earns me enough to live on my own but not necessarily a mansion and I want a job where I can build relationships and watch my work make a difference. I always want there to be a threat or a risk, so I know that I always have to stay fresh and updated. Four years from now I may be educated, but will I be happy? I’ll say it now because it is becoming the very true reality. Undergrads with BA’s are not what they used to be. They’re not getting careers, instead they’re getting jobs to pay off what was supposed to be their entrance into a career. It’s old fashioned to think otherwise and while some end up lucky, most do not. It is the reality of a constantly growing world with many technologies taking over what were once useful jobs and professions. So where does that leave me? It leaves me thinking about what it is I want to accomplish and how I plan on getting there. At this point there are no shortcuts, and to be a coach there are no shortcuts. There is risk. For example I cannot be too picky if an opportunity arises, I have to go and get it-wherever it may be. Being someone who finds separation and leaving behind the old a difficult thing to do, I certainly picked a profession that will test my emotional power over anything.
I catch myself thinking several times a day what it is to live a life of a coach. I began coming up with a list of reasons why I do coach but also why I do not:
Coaching is a profession of love. You cannot coach people unless you love them. -Eddie Robinson