The ticket stub on my refrigerator reads “Sat 12/28/2013.” It all began that day during the 1:05 pm showing of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. In the movie, Walter decides to leave his mundane job and daydream world of adventures to step out into a real-life quest and discover his passionate, authentic, courageous self. On December 28th, 2013, I too decided to step out to discover my dreams and passions. Over the next 18 months my life underwent a significant transformation as I set out to discover the secret life of Diane McLean.
My 25-year career in education had taken a toll on my health, my anxiety was at an all-time high, and my executive functions were taxed beyond the limit. At an executive functioning conference, I met Barbara Luther. Her presentation on ADHD coaching struck a chord for me and the training she spoke about sparked my interest. As a school counselor, I often found myself unable to help students within the confines of the traditional educational structure and coaching sounded like an opportunity to do what I loved with fewer limitations: help people realize their true abilities.
During the fall of 2014 I made the decision to leave my job by the end of the school year. I enrolled at the ADD Coaching Academy (ADDCA), beginning with the courses “Simply ADHD” and “Personal Transformation.” I soaked up every second of the teleclasses and discovered I had every single trait of ADHD and, more importantly, I had some amazing and surprising strengths. My life became focused on using my strengths and taking action to form my business and follow my dream. By the first week of January, I registered Odyssey Learning LLC with the state of Kansas. By March 15, I moved into an office. And by April 1, I had my first coaching client.
When I finished Basic ADHD Coach Training in mid-June, I felt confident with my new skills, gratitude for the years of experience I was bringing into coaching, and a sense of belonging with my classmates, ADDCA instructors, and the greater ADDCA family.
My days are now spent helping individuals with ADHD lead successful lives. I am also blessed to have a very ADHD service dog, Digby, who enjoys being with my clients as much as they enjoy being with him. Digby shows us that we all have to work hard to discover strengths and dreams but, by using interest as motivation, the work pays off.
While The Secret Life of Diane McLean may never make it to the big screen, my adventures are not locked away in my daydreams anymore. My dreams are coming true, one step at a time, and new adventures are around every corner if I only dare to be my very own passionate, authentic, courageous self.