The last few weeks have been an interesting journey for me. Less than ten days ago I completed a week of soccer day-camp as the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at the University of Illinois Springfield. Later that afternoon I resigned from my position. After nearly twenty years in coaching my decision was a shock to many people.
I have always said I would leave college coaching for one of two reasons. If I felt I was no longer able to connect with my student-athletes or, if I felt there was a larger opportunity of influence for me in the world I would leave coaching. I can say with great certainty that my decision to leave was deeply rooted in the latter of those two options. I had simply reached a point in life where I needed to let go of something that had been very good to me in order to grab on to what I believe will be something great.
A few days after my resignation I met with a co-worker, it was the first time we had talked since I had resigned. I shared with her my hopes and plans about how to develop better leaders. I talked about all the uncertainty, the fears and the very real obstacles I was facing. I also shared the joy in the possibility of being a part of something new and different.
As I walked out the door she stopped me and said, “I wish I could live your life.”
I realized that moment was not the time for a philosophical conversation but my mind was screaming, “Oh, but you can!” While she said she wanted to live my life, I believe she was really saying that she wanted to make a change, to create a new life for herself.
You can live a life where you answer to the things that speak to you, you can pursue your passions, you can chase your curiosity, you can make a difference in the world, you can have a larger circle of influence and you can live intentionally. You really, really can and, you should.
Take it from someone who just decided to live her own life.
But don’t live my life, create and live your own.