Choose Your Own Adventure

It’s summer vacation in our house for the kids, and I anticipate daily trips to the library to feed their voracious reading appetites. When I was in early elementary school, filling out summer reading logs, I loved “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. At the bottom of each page was an instruction: “Turn to page 32 if you want to look in the cave; turn to page 65 if you want to return to the river and look for Tom.” After a few reads, I had tried every conceivable plot, but I never tired of being able to choose where to go and what to do next.

Years ago, in my own “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, I saw this at the bottom of a page: “Turn to page 145 to work from home as you raise teen and pre-teen kids.” Perhaps the words weren’t quite so specific, but the vision of this life I am beginning was clear. I had attended a workshop focused on shaping my life’s work, and in a visualization about the future, I could not get out of my house. I didn’t feel trapped in any way, but initially I felt confused. I had never worked from home, and despite not having children in “real” life, in the visualization I had two, a daughter and son, growing rapidly toward their teen years. I understood my work to be multi-faceted, focused on serving women individually and in groups, and I was deeply satisfied. I can still picture the sun shining in the windows of the house as I moved from room to room.

In December, when faced with a decision to apply for an on-going role in higher education (my field for 20 years) or try something entirely new, I decided to flip to page 145. I decided it was time to make my long-held vision a reality. In truth, I had been moving toward it for years. First and foremost, I had those two children–a daughter and son–and I selected positions, institutions, or both that focus on women as their primary mission. I received training as a life coach, and I put this training to work from within the institutions I served. Now I have entered a life where my office key is my house key, the institution I serve begins and ends with me (and you!), and the sun shines through the windows in spectacular fashion.

It all began with having a visualization–a dream–and believing that my subconscious knew something that day that was worth remembering. When was the last time you gave yourself permission to dream? Or remembered and shared a dream you once had? It’s time to choose your own adventure.

© 2014 Jennifer L. Sanborn. All Rights Reserved.

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12 thoughts on “Choose Your Own Adventure

  1. I too loved the “choose your own adventure” books. Looking forward to your blog and hear about different aspects of your journey!

  2. I loved the “Choose Your Own Adventure Books”! These books were the beginning of my love of reading. I was just telling my niece and nephew about these books and how awesome they were. And to top it off, following the conversation with the kids I journaled about these books and where my “adventures” are taking me. I am so happy for you and this new adventure.

  3. I love this idea! I am on my own path to change the direction of my life. I like the idea that it is an adventure! Your own journey makes you a great role model to all who follow. Great work, coach. You guel my own prep for the adventure. Oh, wait! I am on it already!

  4. Jennifer I love this!! I am getting ready to make a huge transition medically for my health. And I am nervous excited and scared all at the same time. I am sure I will be reaching out to you for some advice and insight if that is okay. The one thing I know for sure is that it will be an amazing adventure and yes I chose it myself. I look forward to reading more of your blogs!

  5. I also love those books, like you, they were my favorite reads, with the infinite possibilities. I am delighted that you decide for this new path and a career in coaching. You always have been an inspiration and now this new career path will surely bring new choices for women who are a bit lost in their paths to a fulfilling life. Onwards!

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