After spending 2023 focusing on myself, my family and assessing my career to date, I realized two things: One, I never took enough time for myself; I never prioritized myself or my family. Two, I allowed the strain of a harsh professional sports environment to affect who I was on the inside.
From a professional standpoint, I am a planner – meticulous, hardworking, and a creator guided by very strong values of integrity, accountability, and transparency. My growth as a clinician in the professional soccer world has always been driven by my capacity to outwork everyone around me, absorb information, and learn quickly while making smart and educated decisions. The biggest challenge in the women’s game has always been resources, and, therefore, many staff take on a lot more than they should. With that comes a heavy burden that slowly takes over your personal life and soon turns you into a voluntarily overworked member of the sports world.
Being able to step away for a year has really elevated this perspective, which helped me re-assess my work-life balance. This is where comfortability with change comes in. It is hard for me to do less. I kept wrestling about my worth, my value, and if I worked less than I used to. I had this sense of guilt if I enjoyed too much time with my family because I should have been working harder to earn more and to be respected.
It turns out I have grown to embrace change, to embrace a new rhythm, a more composed rhythm where I value the quality of my work over the quantity of it. More importantly, I have set my non-negotiables with regard to spending time with my family and enjoying life.
Nothing is worth more than that.
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