Podcast Episode #59
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Extraordinary Life Podcast from the creator of the Extraordinary Life Tribe, Crystal Obregon the self-development podcast propelling you forward toward your goals, using science backed high performance habits. Reach the next level in your physical and mental health. See new heights in your relationships.
[00:00:18] Gain clarity on your purpose and live your extraordinary life. Welcome your host writer, speaker and coach, Crystal Obregon.
[00:00:29] Hi there. This is Crystal of Crystal Obregon Coaching with Episode Number 59 of the Extraordinary Life Podcast. Lately I've had several opportunities to reflect on my young adult life. Much of it is because I'm watching one of my kids navigate her young adult life in college and also seeing how my son is weaving his way through his high school years.
[00:00:59] Both [00:01:00] college years and high school years can be difficult and confusing at times. Plus a lot of fun, of course. Instead of minimizing the hard parts and the confusion, I've been looking back at how my own young adult life unfolded and where a mentor could have been very helpful and changed the trajectory of my life.
[00:01:24] I don't have room for regret at this point in my life. I do believe everything happens for a reason. And if my life didn't happen the way it did, I wouldn't live where I live, be married to who I'm married to, or have the kids that I have. I mean, you never know, it could have all happened in a different way than it did and ended up with the same result. In any case regret
[00:01:51] really isn't very productive. What I do like to do is to look at the choices I made and how I made them, [00:02:00] especially the decisions I think I would make differently now. By examining them, I can make sure that the lesson is internalized so that I can avoid similar mistakes now. Of course, it looks different 30 years later, but some of those decisions are similar.
[00:02:18] Often in my coaching, I will ask if a client can remember a time in their life when say they felt really productive or energetic and think about how it can apply to their lives, now. My line of thinking on what I wish I would've done differently in the past is coming from a different direction, but it's still useful.
[00:02:40] As long as you don't get mired in regret. Going through this process also helps me to demonstrate compassion to the young adults in my life now: my kids and probably their friends too, and guide them if that's what they want. Lately, the last couple [00:03:00] weeks, I've especially been thinking about my last year or so of college.
[00:03:05] That's because I may have an opportunity to advise graduate students in a department I did research in when I was a student, because I still live near the university I went to. Because of that opportunity. I was looking through the requirements for both applying and earning an advanced degree, ocean sciences.
[00:03:29] I do have feelings. I always have bordering on regret from not pursuing at least a master's in that department. Although back then, I don't think it was its own department. And if I'm going to be completely honest and I am, looking through the requirements for that program, brought up some big feelings.
[00:03:52] And this is why. When I was in college, I was pursuing a double major in [00:04:00] both biology and chemistry. I really enjoyed both those subjects. I was also working about 30 hours a week to put myself through school and also training for triathlons and bike races. Most of that time, I was able to balance everything.
[00:04:17] It was one of the most productive times in my life and the time I think of, if I'm to ask myself that question about the most productive time in my life and how I can apply it to my life. But sometimes I would fall out of balance in when are all directions we always do. I think the balancing act is a little bit of a myth. Things shift around.
[00:04:43] The most common way to fall outta balance was probably my finances. I was either working too much or not enough to pay my bills depending on which way that was. I may have been studying not enough or training, [00:05:00] not enough, probably it was usually my studying that suffered. I was very excited then about my studies in the ocean sciences department, as biology and chemistry naturally came together and I was working on thesis research with one of my favorite professors.
[00:05:22] It was challenging to spend that time in the research lab with my work schedule, but I managed during that first spring quarter. I planned to work on my thesis research throughout the summer, but I was a little unrealistic because summer was a time when I was able to make more money in my restaurant job because it was busier and I could also work more hours without all of the school commitments.
[00:05:50] This is the first place where I would do things differently. I would communicate to my professor that while [00:06:00] my research and thesis were important to me, I also had work commitments since I was paying for school and all of my expenses. I remember not communicating that because I didn't want my professor to think I was making excuses or whining about it.
[00:06:18] And, honestly, I was also very shy and I didn't really want to stand out. I didn't know how to communicate that. Well, I gradually did become more confident in speaking up over the years after that. I don't think I fully learned how to communicate what was happening in my life, my boundaries, and being clear about what I really needed until the past 10 years or so.
[00:06:50] But back to my story, I didn't end up doing any research at all that summer had other things happen in my personal life too. For one thing, I [00:07:00] didn't get the shifts I needed that summer, because of the misunderstanding and ended up by the end changing jobs. But between that, some health issues, moving to a new house and relationship trouble
[00:07:17] I did start school that fall, but because my head wasn't in it, I ended up dropping out that quarter. I was really in crisis mode as a young adult of 23 years. I was too embarrassed or ashamed to really seek any kind of help with somebody that was older and could have given me some guidance. I did manage through those few months to pick myself back up because when I had to show up for work and it's always a good idea when you're having some kind of crisis to have a place to be.
[00:07:58] And I also [00:08:00] had exercise, which was always an important part of my life. So that almost always makes you feel better. Between the two of those, I did feel better emotionally and summon the courage to talk to one of the college advisors and enroll back in school for that winter quarter. But I made a decision that I really just needed to finish school, finish my degree.
[00:08:27] And that I would just graduate with my biology degree only, and then take the comprehensive test. That was an option instead of completing my thesis research. However, I never went back to the lab in Ocean Sciences and never talked to my professor about my decision or my default decision as it was. And I've have always regretted that,
[00:08:55] because he was, probably still is, a kind man [00:09:00] that quite likely would have either helped me to make it work, or at least given me some closure on it. Even though it was nearly 30 years ago, it still seems like yesterday because of that missing communication piece. Back to the opportunity for advising graduate students in that same department.
[00:09:24] As I was looking at the requirements for completing the master's degree in ocean science, I realized that I had taken most of the classes I would've needed for the master's. It would've been very easy for me to continue with my research. Since I already had a professor that I was working with and to get my master's.
[00:09:49] I don't think that I knew how close I was back then. Yes, it would've taken me several more years to complete the research requirement, but I don't think [00:10:00] I knew that my tuition would be paid for, and that I would also get a stipend to pay for my other living expenses. And I only would've had to be a teaching assistant for a few classes through the span of that two years.
[00:10:17] So seeing that last week, I was definitely feeling all the feelings. I realize, and I hope, you know, and I'm sharing that sometimes you really have to feel the feelings to move through them. Just realizing that on the one hand, I do wish I would've communicated with my professor, perhaps tried to seek out some other guidance as well.
[00:10:43] But on the other hand, I know that I can be proud of myself because I did persist and finished my bachelor's degree. I was the first person in my family to do that. And it's not easy to do that when you're working your way through college. I also had a [00:11:00] whole lot of experiences that I wouldn't have had if I would've continued in that direction.
[00:11:05] All of your experiences in life, good and bad do make you who you are. So I can be grateful for those and recognize that. Whether I move forward with this opportunity to advise graduate students or not, I do feel like I have in my head been able to create some closure on that time in my life. I've also been able to share with my kids, this experience I had and how I might have handled it differently.
[00:11:36] By sharing that with them, I hope that they will come to me when they're uncertain or confused about their path forward, because they know that I've had these experiences. And I'm also sharing this with you because I hope to inspire you to accept the times in your past when you did make difficult [00:12:00] decisions or in my case decisions by default, you know, you could have done better in those times. Forgive yourself because it's hard to completely move forward
[00:12:11] if you don't. Also make sure you have a support network. Sometimes that can be a group of friends and sometimes it helps to have a coach that can be objective and ask you the right questions to guide you towards the answers that are right for you. And sometimes it can be both. Hopefully it's both. If you want help from me, please do make an appointment for a free consultation to see if we are a right fit to work together.
[00:12:44] I have one on one coaching spots available. We'll also be starting a new group coaching program this fall, so if we meet together and that's a good fit for you, you can be sure and get on the waiting list. There will be [00:13:00] a link to make an appointment in the show notes or you're welcome to DM me and I'll be sure and get that to you and remember that
[00:13:09] no, one's perfect. We're all doing the best we can and I'd be happy to help you do the best you can. It's why I do what I do. So that's it for now. Have a great rest of your day and I will see you in here next week. Bye for now. Thank you for listening to the Extraordinary Life Podcast with writer and coach, Crystal Obregon.
[00:13:34] We'd love to connect with you outside of the podcast, too. To find more helpful insights, show notes and more about crystal. Go to Crystal Obregon.com that's O B R E G O N, where you'll also find info for the Design Your Decade Workshop. This workshop will help you to stop drifting and start creating. Until next time,
[00:13:53] be extraordinary