Six years ago, today, was a REALLY bad day. (ETA – This post was written on 9/11/15)
I know it doesn’t compare to 14 years ago today, but indulge me a little. This is the first time I’ve really talked about this publically.
On 9/11/2009 I was fired/let go/laid off/dismissed from my last professional science job. It was sudden but not entirely a surprise. My 2 friends in the lab had seen my job description up on Craigslist the day before so I had a bit of a heads up. I had just come back to work from getting married over the weekend. I had spent the summer leading up to my wedding working weekends, committing time card fraud at the request of my management, all the while being told I wasn’t doing enough. My work wasn’t good enough. If I worked harder, spent more time, did more, maybe the powers that be would be appeased.
They were not.
I had wanted to be a scientist – no joke – since I was 9 years old. I pursued it with single minded determination. Science fairs, after school activities, my choice in high school, taking EVERY SINGLE science class my HS offered – these were my preparation steps. I finished my BS in 4 years. I started working at the premier genetics institution in the country out of college. I loved that job. I killed myself for that job, having a miserable personal life, getting ill for that job. All to be… guess what? Fired.
So although I’m very good at what I do, I was fired from my first professional science position and my last professional science position. It wasn’t a difficult take away to think “I must suck!” (Despite excellent job experiences, and graduate school in between.) That pretty much colored the next 3 years on unsuccessfully trying to land another science job. My confidence was broken.
I started to think – what is it I love about science? Of course I find Biology fascinating. The body is AMAZING. Our systems are gorgeous and perfect in how they work. I get a thrill problem solving. The basic reason I had my passion for science was I wanted to help people and make the world a better place. Maybe it wasn’t that I’m a terrible scientist. Maybe it’s that a typical scientific atmosphere doesn’t not suit who I actually am.
I will always be a scientist. It’s a part of how I approach the day. But now I’m a coach. My lab is my body. The people around me are my professional interest.
I love human beings and I thrive connecting with people in real ways. I am an extrovert. I want to make their lives better. I want to make a difference. And I can’t do that by working myself into an early grave. I can only do that by taking care of myself and showing other people how to make their time better as well.
Fitness and health are now my passion. It’s still science! THIS is how I’m making the world a better place. It’s not just figuring out the gene behind something, it’s impacting individuals in whatever way I can. I’m not sure where this is going to take me, but being a Beachbody coach has been the catalyst for changing my life, making peace with my past failures, and realizing that they weren’t failures, they were just trips I had to take to get to where I’m meant to be.