In moving forward you always have to leave something behind.

This is something that I've spend some considerable time thinking on over the past few weeks.

For those who hadn't heard already, I am now heading in to my final week working in my day job as a lawyer before I take time out to focus on Searching for Serenity, myself, and take some time to breathe for the first time in, well, ever.

This is the first time in my life that the next few months, next few years, are unclear.

Isn't that crazy?

But isn't that what everyone does?

From the earliest conversation of 'what do you want to be when you grow up' (note: does anyone ever answer 'happy' or 'excited' rather than a functionary job?) we spend our lives on treadmills.

From learning to tie our shoelaces, to going to school, to completing secondary education, going to university, getting a job, every single step of the way there is someone there telling us what we should do next. What we ought to consider. What the right thing is.

My personal journey has had some twists and turns, as has everyone's.

I set out to be a barrister specialising in criminal or family work. It was a reflection of how far I had come and I suppose in some way the closing of a circle. My first contact with legal professionals was following the breakdown of my parents' relationship and the intervention of police, solicitors.

I didn't make that my career though.

Luckily, unluckily, however you want to consider it, I didn't achieve pupillage (as the funding cuts to legal aid slash deeper and deeper I can't help but feel that that was a lucky escape).

So I did what anyone in my position would do. I took a filler job, something that I thought would help tick the boxes, fill the criteria. I became a paralegal.

I worked, I grifted, I struggled. I took second and third jobs to pay the bills because, despite paralegals undertaking so much of the work that anyone outside the industry would expect a qualified professional to do, paralegals are woefully underpaid for their contribution.

I put my hand up for every overtime role, extra-curricular, position of prominence, that I could. Want me to give up my lunchtimes to sit on a committee around working hours, there. Spend weekends and evenings supporting the victims of domestic abuse, I'm in. Work 12 hour days, 24 hours on call, me me me!

Oh, please don't start getting out the violins. I loved it. I fucking loved every moment of it. Oh I would complain (because that's what you do when you want people to know just how hard you're working but don't want to appear pushy or showy. It's called the humblebrag for a reason) but I wanted more.

I wanted to be recognised, to feel powerful, to earn enough money that I could hand over my debit card without the clenched throat moment of 'oh god will this go through' at the checkout.

It worked. I let go of my identity as a barrister to become a paralegal. I let go of my identity as a paralegal to become a solicitor. I changed area of law. I re-evaluated my strengths and stepped in to areas that I had never anticipated.

I became a lawyer because I wanted to help protect the vulnerable. I wanted to make a difference.

I guess I wanted the struggles I'd encountered as a child to be validated - like all things happen for the best, it was all worth it.

Spoiler alert: when you base your career on the unfulfilled needs you had as a child it's not going to end well. I'm lucky that I haven't exploded or imploded or given up completely.

Looking back at the words I've just written I'm already aware of just how much I've let go, or mostly manage to.

I am also acutely aware of all the things I've already walked away from.

I have been making mental lists of things I will and won't miss about working in an office.

I won't miss the enforced start and end times of office life.
I won't miss the personalities that you would run screaming from in your personal life but are forced in to dealing with because you happen to be employed by the same people.

But there is so much that I will miss.

Those moments of insane camaraderie, only this week I was crying with laughter over something so ridiculous, but it was a special moment.
The support network. I have been so so lucky over the last 11 years to, with very very limited exception, work with an amazing group of people who would pull together, support each other and be there, no matter what.

In leaving those positives behind I have to trust that what lies ahead is better again, still with its own challenges, but something that can truly match my goals, my desires, my strengths.

I have SO much planned for you over the coming months. From in-person retreat days, to challenges and workshops and intensives.

This week alone has taught me that my own clients can make huge changes be actively choosing what they will leave behind and what they will focus on and nurture to grow.

I see you making huge changes in your life and I am so proud to be a small part of that journey.

I am honoured that you would take time from your busy day to watch my video, read my (lengthy!) blog posts, to message me and share something big and exciting or tiny and interesting and awesome, to commenting on each other's questions, to lifting up others in the Private Members Club or one of our paid content groups.

As I step forward in to this next phase I am consciously letting go of the judgment, the fear, the regrets. I am taking everything as an experience that I needed to have in order to learn and grow.

What do you choose to leave behind, to let go of, in order to take the next step forward?

Pictured: my mum and I on the day I was called to the Bar in 2007.