Chasing Dreams, Choosing Happy

by Shannon Talbot

A smile stretches across my face, ear to ear. Butterflies flutter in my stomach. Am I doing it? Is this really happening or am I going to wake-up soon and realize this was all just a dream? I pinch my arm. Yup, I felt that. It’s happening! I am officially chasing my dreams and choosing happy.


I am entering my last week in the Corporate World.


I feel thrilled, yet nervous. I am trading in certainty for uncertainty. Certainty of a guaranteed paycheque. Certainty of knowing what my work week looks like ahead. But this uncertainty is more than worth it. This uncertainty means I am going after what I really want – to be an entrepreneur! A dream that was born out of stillness and calm; guideposts that Brene Brown describes as essential to living wholeheartedly. In other words, living in a world where you embrace your imperfections and feel enough. Where you believe you are worthy of love, belonging and joy. And damn right, I am worthy. I worked my butt off to get to where I am today.


I have had an incredible career in the corporate world. A career that afforded me a great life, the making of life-long friends and mentors and invaluable experiences I couldn’t have gained anywhere else. I got to travel North, Central and South America, lead projects and teams that both inspired and pushed me, and most recently I had the pleasure of being in my dream role in advertising, in the Corporate World that is.


But the thing is, even towards the beginning of my career I felt something missing. I enjoyed my work a lot but there was this hole inside of me that wanted more. I wanted to make a real difference in people’s lives. I wanted to make the world a better place to live. A year or two ago I would never have shared this dream publicly. I thought it sounded ridiculous. How could I help make the world a better place? I’m not a doctor or a teacher or the many other careers out there that directly help people. But I wrote it down and believed it could happen. One day.


Then I had a period of calm and stillness. Two things very rare to a working mom who has always been busy chasing her kids, next goal or achievement. A period of calm and stillness that brought to light this reminder of not feeling fulfilled. I set out on a journey and declared my goal in life was to start my own business of helping people live happier and healthier lives. But how? I still had no clue! But I knew one day it would happen. I continued working hard and bringing more joy into my life as best as I could while I waited for the how. I became a volunteer at Sick Kids Hospital to help fulfill my need to help people. I read a lot of personal growth books and I prioritized my well-being for the first time in my life, physically and mentally. I sought therapy. I worked with coaches. I started running. I went from a highly processed diet to a more whole foods diet. I worked on becoming a calmer, more present parent.


Then the strangest thing happened. A second wave of calmness and stillness hit me unexpectedly. We were at a cottage on vacation when the wind literally knocked the chair on the dock over into the lake with my phone on it. I had 4 days of no texts, no email, no social media. It was pure bliss. I could be fully present without distractions. I’d always envied people who would go away on vacation or to their cottage and turn their phones off. I could never be that person. Now I had no choice. It was the most relaxed and present I had been in years. It was a different calm and stillness than the first time that came about at Sick Kids Hospital when my eldest son, aged 5 at the time, spent a total of 31 days for a perforated appendix. That calm and stillness had fear, sadness and exhaustion scattered throughout. This calm and stillness had pure peace. The anxiety I typically felt being away from work melted and I felt a shift in myself.


My husband, sons and I returned to the city with another two days left before I returned to work. I opened up my laptop for the first time in a week and saw a course to become a Health and Life Coach. My how to help people live happier, healthier lives was right in front of me. A smile stretched my face ear to ear and by the time my husband got home from the park with the kids, my business plan was written.


I enrolled in the program, studied at the crack of dawn and was on my way. I started coaching on the side to test the plan and it worked. Now more than ever people are looking for support in how to live a healthier, more balanced life. I needed to live a healthier, more balanced life. I gave my notice at work.


I want to be healthy for my kids. I want more time to spend with them and pick them up after school. I want more control over my calendar. I want to be an entrepreneur full-time.


I now help busy professionals who are burnt out from trying to juggle it all. I help them learn to prioritize their well-being so they can have more energy and patience to do the things they love, while still being successful, personally and professionally.


I have 3 more days in the corporate world. I am officially chasing my dream!






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