After graduating from college, I was offered my dream job.
I still remember bouncing into the office during those first few months, ready and willing to share my expertise, work ethic, and energy with colleagues and customers. I couldn't wait for the weekend to be over because who knew what possibilities were next?
My light was shining brighter than ever.
Except, where was everyone else's?
I observed the guarded body language, the defeated faces, the sluggish "it's only Monday" conversations in the elevator each week (sound familiar?). So many of my established colleagues were utterly miserable. It showed not only in our office interactions, but it showed in their work.
Leaders were spending frivolously, bad behavior ran rampant and unchecked at all levels, and there was a clear "us vs. them" mentality. I started to notice that our customers were suffering. I remember asking a colleague if he was so miserable, why not find another company to work for? He said, "It's easier to stay here than put in the effort to find something else."
That was the day my eyes were opened. I can tell you I didn't
look forward to Mondays so much anymore.
My light almost flickered out.
Growing up with military parents, and having a rather independent personality, I've always had high standards for myself and others. This apathetic, jaded, collect-a-paycheck thing was never for me.
It took two years of perseverance, fighting, and burnout for me to leave my dream job. What was left of me was not pretty. You know the story: anxious, irritable, over-weight, and so stressed I was a regular in my doctor's office at 23. And don't forget unhappy. Completely unhappy even though I had everything I consider to be part of a "checklist life" (six-figures, loving partner, luxury car, luxury apartment, luxury evvverything, and totally unhappy).
Despite my condition, all I knew was that I could not spend the next 40+ years working or living like that. Wait, does everyone else expect to live like that?
It's wrong. It's inhumane. It's bullshit.
Three years later I emerged.
I would never be writing this today if it weren't for the people who helped me along on that journey. So many mentors who guided and shaped me. You know who you are; you've changed my life in ways I can never repay. I am so grateful.
I started 1Light because I am going to rewrite this story.
I cannot stop seeing the world as it works. I believe in working on purpose, a positive mindset, and with intentionality. It's time to stop pretending; it's time to acknowledge that we all hunger for something that's real.
I am also humbled and proud to be a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator. While my background and education started in agile software development, I've been facilitating teams across enterprises for over five years.
Teaching others and giving them permission to be their best selves at work (and everywhere else) fulfills my sense of purpose. More importantly, I know this work can change lives; it changed mine.
We all have a light inside of us, and I'm here to help you shine your way.