Who am I?
I am a wife, mother, and the 5th daughter of 6 sisters. I have a fraternal twin who hates that I tell people that we are fraternal as if they wouldn’t see it. Most of all I love God and without Him I am nothing. I consider myself a foodie who loves traveling, spending time with family and friends, and shopping of course! My absolute favorite thing to do besides spending time with my husband and daughter is sitting around the kitchen table with my mom and sisters laughing, talking, and eating (our drug of choice). We occasionally allow husbands and children to join our conversations, but the husbands have to take on a female name (I’m talking to you, “Charles-lene”). I am currently the manager of Benefits and HRIS for a corporate organization moonlighting as a blogger, pseudo-life coach, and
speaker when I’m not at work. I would also consider myself to be a socially awkward pragmatic realist. Though I may have a false sense of self because I can be really sensitive and when I was a child, family members would say, “Don’t look too hard at Tonya; you know she’ll start crying!” (Thank God I grew out of that!) Nevertheless, my philosophy on life is “It is what it is.”
On my journey, it is important for me to continuously grow and develop in all areas of my life. Therefore, I am becoming…
Growing up, each year I changed what I wanted to be when I grew up. My career aspirations were to be a pediatrician, interior designer, fashion designer, secretary, author, astronaut, civil engineer, psychologist, physical trainer and counselor. So, when the time came to declare a major, I chose Computer Science. Talk about not knowing what I really wanted to do. I always knew what I did not want to do and I learned during my internship in my senior year, that being a Computer programmer was not it. So what did I do? I graduated and became a programmer for 8 years! It was what I was encouraged to do. I needed to find a job with good benefits and lucky me found a good ol’ government job.
In the first year of my career, I found myself on the verge of a nervous breakdown. “Is this it,” I frantically asked myself. Day in and day out, from 8am-5pm I sat behind a computer listening to conversations of my co-workers passionately speaking about the work they were doing. I felt completely out-of-place especially since I hated it. I felt like a con artist who pretended to be good on the job and it would eventually catch up with me. I often found myself daydreaming about finding a career that I loved like my co-workers, hopefully before I was fired and escorted out of the building for not loving my job and giving it my all. I truly was paranoid about this happening. Hence, I began thinking of ways to change my path. The only problem was that I didn’t know the direction.
What am I passionate about? I had no clue. Remember, I was the one who changed career ideas every year as a child. I decided to take various personality and career assessments to figure out my options. From the Myers-Briggs personality test I learned that I was an INFP (The Idealist) and I would be good at counseling, teaching, physical training etc. As a result I decided to journey down the counseling path. I applied and was accepted to several different Masters of Counseling programs but did not follow through until several years later. I guess I didn’t mention that I suffer from fear of failure, lack of commitment, and procrastination. I’m not sure of the name of this diagnosis but I suffer from that…oh and the occasional excuse too! I finally started a Master’s of Professional Development with a concentration in Counseling program and will be completing it in May 2015. Throughout my career and during school, I went from job to job hoping that the next job would be more fulfilling….NOPE!
During my matriculation in the master’s program, I realized that I didn’t want to do one on one counseling and preferred working in a group setting. I still was very unsure of my passion and the whole notion of “finding one’s passion” can be daunting. How do I find my passion? I began to look for common themes over my life and reflect on times when I am happy and/or excited.
As a child, the careers I had chosen aligned more with the creative world. The Myers Briggs was correct in suggesting that I could be a teacher because I loved sharing knowledge and helping people to become self-sufficient. However, the career path suggestions were a bit limiting. Also, personality tests showed me that I was an introvert but I love being around small groups of people and bringing people together. I’m very shy but for some reason people argue me down that I’m not. I am a good listener and people feel comfortable sharing intimate details of their life with me knowing they wouldn’t be judged and their information would not be shared. Additionally, I realized that I express myself better through writing. Constantly praying for clarity, I vacillated many times on what I would do because I did not want to be limited to only one career. I needed options and in my opinion change is good! My husband says that I’m a walking paradox. I take that as a compliment.
The common theme and what I am now considering as my passion is helping others on their path to becoming through the birth of this website. As I continue to evolve, “becoming Me” holistically (mind, body, and spirit). I hope that this movement will grow and evolve helping all to aspire and achieve their ultimate goals and that this could be a safe place for dialogue, creativity, and inspiration.