If you have ever, or are currently needing too, make a big life change, you need to listen to this open and honest conversation with Jenna Hyde. Jenna is a member of the Living in Sunshine community and recently had to harness all her confidence to make a pivot in life and take an extended leave from her school counselor job. In our conversation today, Jenna and I talk about making decisions in the moment and the difference between staying stuck and doing what’s best for you. She shares her story candidly and gives a fresh perspective on confidence that I think you will need to hear.
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Maddy 0:08 Welcome to the living in sunshine podcast if you don’t know who I am, my name is Maddy. And I am so excited to have you tuning in to our weekly podcast episodes, where we chat all the things from tips and tricks to funny stories from my life that have helped me to truly live in the sunshine. In this space, we are all about encouraging, inspiring and giving you the tough love that you need to hear sometimes to realize that you are totally made for more than what you currently have in life, and that you hold the power to make the changes that you need to level up and live your best self. So buckle up, grab some water, and let’s get into it. Good morning. Good morning, my dudes. And welcome back to the living in sunshine Podcast. Today is such an exciting day because we have a very special guest, a fellow living in sunshine, a community member gentle on the show today to chat with us about confidence and how to confidently make a step in life that is kind of a big pivot from what you’re currently doing and having the confidence and the courage to do it scared and to do it without having all of the steps figured out. So if you are currently in a season of life where you need to make a change, make a decision or make a big pivot. Tune in listen to today’s episode because it’s a good one. And we get real, raw and honest about what it looks like to live life confidently, while also doing things that make us a little bit scared and a little bit uncomfortable. So let’s go ahead and dive into my chat with Jenna. All right, so we are gonna go ahead and dive right into it. Hello, Jenna, and welcome to the show. I’m so happy to have you. Jenna 1:46 Hi. Hello, Maddy.
Maddy 1:48 Okay, so for those of you who don’t know, Jenna is actually a part of the sunshine squad community. She’s a follower of me over on Instagram. And a few weeks ago, before recording this podcast episode I posted out there said, would anyone want to talk about confidence. And of course, Jenna came through and she’s like me, I want to talk about this, I have things to say let’s chat. And that to me, screams a confident human being. And I just feel like you are such a great fit for today’s episode. So thank you so much for for being here. And for sharing your story. Jenna has a really great story to share that I think a lot of moms are going to resonate with because she is a mom, I think it’s also going to resonate with those of you who are trying to approach or confidently choose to make a big pivot in life. And we’re going to talk about this in just a few minutes. And I think it’s really going to resonate with my our listeners who are in the field of education, which I know a lot of us are. So before we dive into that, though, Jenna, can you just share a little bit about yourself? What you do now, and what you used to do, just so everyone can kind of get to know you a little bit more.
Jenna 2:56 All right, it’s kind of a complicated story. I’ll try to keep it a little bit shorter. So I used to do way, way back in the day I worked in healthcare, but I made lots of pivots as you use the word pivot. Yeah. My son likes to quote that pivot. Yeah. I’ve made lots of pivots in my life. And I feel like they come from a place of I want to always live true to myself and who I want to be and who I am. And I want to continue to grow. And yeah, do things that feel good to me, rather than just what society thinks you should be doing. Yeah. And I know that you talk a lot about that, as well all the time. Like, you don’t need to conform to what society thinks we need to be doing. And I feel like my story fits a lot with yours where I know you had like, wanted to go into teaching, you went through all this school, all of the teaching stuff. And then one more thing ever. It never was actually a classroom teacher. And I feel like that’s kind of where I’m at right now. So I like you had done a VIP kid. And that was a good little good little segue into me thinking okay, I really do want to work in education. So after healthcare, I had my son and then I quit working that job after about seven months of trying to work and have a newborn at home and there was a bunch of health stuff going on with not only me but my mom and just some things going on that I felt I’d be better suited to be at home and not being paying for daycare constantly. Well, yeah. Yeah, when there are other options, so I did VIP kid and an out school as well. I talked her out school. And then I just started thinking like, how else can I use like what I’m interested in like outside of the home because I know a day will come where Thomas my son is in school and I’ll be at home And I’ll be like, What am I doing with my life other than just still sitting in front of your teaching? Yeah. And I wanted to branch out. So that’s where I decided to see like, what else I could use my bachelor’s degree in psychology for. And my mom was a teacher. So I kind of always had like a little bit of an educational like, hole, I think towards education. Yeah. So I decided I would dive into counseling. Yeah, that’s what I did. And I got my masters in school counseling. And when I started that path, it was well before COVID. So what I wanted to be as a school counselor, when I started, it is not what it is today, right? It’s changed a lot in the last like five years. And I did my internship and my practicum last year, which is like, right, post COVID. Yeah. And this is my first full year as a school counselor in a public school, public elementary school. And that’s where we’re at right now. I am employed as a school counselor. However, a little caveat there is that it’s not what I originally went into, for the job I’m doing right now is not the job I went into school counseling for and it’s, I’m not happy. Yeah. I love a lot of the aspects of it. But there’s just a lot of things that are not, are not it for me. Yeah. Yeah. I ended up having lots of health issues this year. And I’ve from talking to my therapist, because I go to therapy weekly.
Maddy 6:45 We love a good therapy session. Oh, yeah.
Jenna 6:48 I mean, that’s how we’re all really everyone
Maddy 6:50 needs to go to therapy at one point in time, like, you just gotta go.
Jenna 6:54 You just have to do it if you’re going to survive. But after talking to my therapist, and talking to other people in education, and knowing like, this is not what the school counseling job was even a few years ago, it just made me realize that okay, I went into it for one thing, and I’m getting a different thing out of it. And what I’m getting out of it is not something that I’m passionate about right now. Um, yeah, hearing that there’s, there’s so many people that are in the same boat made me realize, like, if I do decide to quit school counseling, that’s okay. And yeah, yeah, maybe I did work for four years, getting a master’s degree in it and thinking that that was going to be my end career retire in education. But yeah, I will. We’ll see you what happens in the future because now I’m actually on medical leave. Yeah, that’s, that’s where I was going back to the point of working with a therapist and with a neurologist because I have complex migraines, and they’re brought on by stress. Yeah. And you can imagine being in being in a public Well, the stress level is through the roof. So yes, I’m currently on medical leave for chronic migraines and then I started having panic attacks and it was 0% fun to be having Yeah. During the day at school, so yeah, we’re just kind of we’re pivoting right in the moment. We are we’re still in the middle of the pivot.
Maddy 8:25 Yeah, yeah. So share with us then I love how you said we’re pivoting in the moment and we’re we are we are in the pivot right like we are in it we are figuring it out. So share with us if you can kind of how you’re navigating those constant changes are those those thoughts or those especially those feelings that come from from realizing that something that you wanted so bad in your core? is really not what you were hoping it would be how are you kind of dealing with those those feelings and how are you navigating them just because I know that there are people out there who are in the same situation probably not with school counseling but with their job or a relationship or you know, a health situation how are you how are you managing that? You know what I mean?
Jenna 9:10 Um, so I will say so this is my fourth week on leave and the first two weeks were for about lack of better word they were health I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing but I felt like I knew I was doing the right thing taking a leave because my health needed it. My family needed it my son and husband were basically just like background thoughts as for the past like five seven however many months we’ve been in school I felt like I would come home every day and just I would I would just be like a shell of myself like they weren’t getting anything of me other than like yeah, you know one word answers or I would be taking a nap for like three hours when I got home and then I woke up and and then it was bedtime to get my son ready for bed because I didn’t have the energy to even stay awake until then. And yeah, just knowing that that was not the way I wanted to live was enough to say, Yes, I put all this time and effort into becoming a school counselor. And I still feel like that’s where my strengths are. And I know that I was a darn good school counselor, when it talks when you like, go about, like what a counselor does. Yeah, all of the other stuff that gets added on top of that, though, it was just so draining. So yeah, the first two weeks of being on leave, were awful. And you’re, you’re you my therapist, and my husband are the first. The only people that have heard this so far. Because yeah, I’ve kind of kept it, you know, just within my family, because it is kind of one of those things where you’re like, maybe feel a little bit of shame or guilt. Yeah. And I was having a lot of reservations of like, well, am I going to go back? When my leave is up? Am I going to resign? Will that affect my certification? I mean, there’s a lot of things to worry about. But ultimately, I kept telling myself that, how are you feeling now? Versus how do you feel when you’re at work, and when you come home, and I kept telling myself, like, I’m feeling a lot more, a lot more. Like, my nervous system is feeling a lot calmer. Yeah. And even though I’m worried about how things are going to go in the future, my nervous system is starting to come down. So now that I’m in the fourth week of being off, I’m handling it a little bit better. But like I said, I’d be therapy therapy. Yeah, yeah, hearing, hearing other people’s stories and hearing. Hearing that I’m not the only one that my therapist is working with at this moment with other educators, you know, that’s totally, that’s really confirming that I do think I’m making the right decision, regardless of whether it feels it feels icky to be giving up. It feels like I’m giving up, but I am not. Yeah, I’m doing what’s right for us, my family and meeting you. Yeah.
Maddy 12:05 I love that. I’m going to say that one more time. It’s not giving up. It’s what is best for me. And I’m serve. I’m doing what’s serving me, my family. And my friends. I love that so much. Because I think that that’s what people need to remember when they decide to make such a big change, or even a small change, right? Like, am I giving up? Am I quitting? Or am I just changing directions to do what’s best for me? You know?
Jenna 12:05 Yeah, absolutely.
Maddy 12:10 That’s really powerful. And I think that there is a very specific community of people, educators, who are very much the kind of people loving, caring, empathetic people who don’t do that. Write it out, because they put other people first. Yeah. And this is part of the reason why I wanted to have you on the show, because I’m a huge advocate of saying, Be selfish, do what’s best for you like, what do you want follow through on that. And, you know, there is that very specific community of people, women, people in service based jobs, mothers who suck at doing that, like, we’re just really bad at doing that. Because we’re, and taught to believe that we need to put others first, right? Because that’s what makes us a quote unquote, good person, you know,
Jenna 13:25 and I’ll say, like, even so the first two weeks, I was still diligently checking my email, like, Yeah, over and over again, like I was still working, I was on leave. But I was, I was all in so working. I was just working from home, even though I wasn’t leaving, I wasn’t being paid for it. Like I, I was just doing it because it was so hard for me to break away from it. And then last week was like, the first week that I didn’t actually like, check my email on my computer, it’ll still pop up on my phone, which my husband was like, Why do you have it on your phone still? And I’m like, well, it’s easier to see if it’s an important email that I that I need for all statics just like, you know, ignore it. Right, I have my phone versus like getting on the computer and checking my email and seeing if there’s anything that I’ve missed that I really actually need to like forward on to somebody else. Right. So um, yeah, last week was the first week that I didn’t actually check my email on my computer. And then I didn’t go in and like, check on certain little things here and there. Yeah. Take away from that. Yeah. And I miss my students so much, like so much, but also like, my son was missing me so much like, yeah, I just kept putting it into perspective of like, yes, there’s these 200 Some students that are probably wondering what the heck like, Where is Mrs. Hyde? Like, where did she go? She got here all sudden, because I did leave on a Friday after school and then on the weekend, it was a really rough weekend. And I took the next Monday off. Then I had a couple of different appointments with them. My doctors and my therapist, and then that was when we decided all together as a team. Like you’re not going back. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You’re pushing yourself too far. So yeah, I just, it’s like, it’s so hard to say. I’m doing this selfishly, but why not? Because it’s my life like, yeah, why? Maybe Why would I be putting myself in a position to, to? Like, constantly be? What I feel like beat it beat down over and over again. And then like, what’s, what am I gaining from that? Like, yeah, yes, I’m helping kids. I’m helping their families. I’m doing things but at the expense of my own family, and I’m not living my life for other people’s families and loving my life for my family. Yes. What am I bringing to the table to my family? Well, last five months, nothing. Yeah. Well, that was it. Like, making money, but I’m not happy. Yeah. So yeah, it’s it’s one of those things where I think you also start to see other people doing it and other people leaving when they’re not happy. And I feel like that has been empowering as well. Yeah. Because I think those of us in our generation, our parents worked the same job for 35 years. Yeah. And then, and I watched my own mom, she was a teacher. And she she did the same job for 33 years at the same building. Yeah. Like, great for her, like, Good for her. Like, I’m glad she was able to Yeah.
Maddy 16:41 Not for me.
Jenna 16:44 Expensive her family, sometimes I remember that. And I don’t want to be that for my son. Yeah.
Maddy 16:49 So share with me, you know, it takes a lot of confidence. And it takes a lot of courage to step into the role of, of asking for help in the first place. Right. Like, that takes a lot of courage. And I’m also gonna say it takes a lot of confidence to be able to do that. And I know, based off of conversations I’ve had from people questions I get from people, that people even struggle to get to that step of saying, I need help. I need guidance, I have a question I need someone to talk to. So can you share if you if you feel comfortable doing so like, what was kind of your line in the sand, if you would, when you thought I need to ask for help, like I am struggling? I am not doing well. My family is not getting what I want to be able to, to provide them. What was that moment? And how did you kind of find the courage and the confidence to step into that ability to say, I need help? What was that?
Jenna 17:52 Yeah, I think there’s a couple of different things. Number one, it was never a conversation between my husband and me because he is so supportive, and anything like I didn’t, I didn’t feel any pressure from him one way or the other, like you need to quit because this isn’t good for you, or you need to keep going because you need to keep working like there. There was never that at home. So it was very internalized, which we do a lot. I think that women internalize everything. And I, I kept thinking like this, I’m not good enough for my husband and my son. Yes. Where I know, they were feeling like I wasn’t president, but they were never well, my husband was never saying like, you’re not doing enough, or you’re right, whatever. I could notice it in my son a little bit where he would be like, asking to, like, have a slumber party with me like every single night because he didn’t get to see me, like all day, and then wanted to like close at some point. So it would just be like, while we’re sleeping, he was like close to me. The only time he saw me, I wasn’t taking him to school, picking up from school, like I was getting into work at 738 o’clock every morning and then not getting home sometimes until 6:30pm. Yeah. And people are like, well just don’t bring work home, but or just just leave it there. It’ll be there the next day. But I think the difference between certain roles in a school and a counselor is that there’s a lot of time sensitive stuff. Yes. Then if you don’t do it, then you’re like violating certain laws about it, like with my five oh fours and making reports and bullying reports and things like that they all have to be done within a certain timeframe. So you can’t just like leave it. Yeah. After like, stay on top of it. So what what came to what made me come to the realization like I really need to, like, do something different was I had had some talks with my principal, and we had come up with some different things that we thought would work to kind of lighten the load a little bit. Yeah. But in reality, like those things are gonna take a lot longer than just like a few weeks to help lighten that word. And yeah, you can put the best plan into place that you think is going to work wonderfully. But if it is going to be a long term plan, and you’re suffering in the moment, yeah, that long term plan doesn’t mean anything, because you can’t even see past like what’s going on in your head right now. So there’s, there are things that I was like, Okay, maybe it’ll get better, you know, maybe next year, it’ll be a different, you know, there’s these different things that we can have in place, and it’ll take time to get there. But, you know, like, I was still trying to stay positive about it. But in the meantime, I’m like, having this internal, like, I’m going to snap, I’m going to break I cannot do this another day. And I had gone on a Friday. So this was like, what, four weeks ago on Friday, and I was driving into work, and something, a couple of things that happen like that, that we that really kind of like all build on each other. And they were there were scary things. They were sad things. They were terrifying things that all happened within like my role. Yeah. And I like was having like chest pain and tightness. And I was driving and I was shaking, and I was like, starting to cry. And I got to school. And then of course, like all of the things, you know, like everything that you’re doing at school, like your brain just like shuts off all in motion, and then you start diving into your job. But then once once I had like, one little moment of downtime, like literally like one minute of downtime, all of those, like panic feelings coming back. And I was like, this is not any way to live. Yeah. Yeah, it’s ridiculous. Like, I, I don’t like this, like, I don’t feel like this is, this is a service to anybody. So that’s when I really was like, Okay, I have got to do a little bit more than just like talking to my principal or talking to other people, like the psychologists and the sociology or the social worker that were on my team. Like, we were trying to come up with different ways to like, spread out the load a little bit. But yeah, we’re both, they’re just both part time in my building. So I was the full, full time counselor, and they’re both part time. So doesn’t matter how much you try to, like, split the load that it’s another school to go to. So all of these different things that we were trying to come up with to like, make everybody’s job a little bit easier on each other, when in reality, they’re not. They’re not really possible like that. And that’s the that’s the reality of education right now. There’s not enough people to go around. Yeah. And all the stuff falls on everybody. Way more falls on each person than it should. Yeah, and that’s too bad. Yeah, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick it out at the expense of your own health. Yeah, I could, I could feel that that’s where I was headed was just like, you know, like, I’m either gonna stay here and be in a horrible mood and be like a really terrible employee and co worker because I going down this like slippery slope of really bad mood and, you know, constant like stress level, I think you could start like feeling be like ramping up and being more emotional than I usually had been. Yeah. So just just knowing like, that’s not who I want to be that that made me feel like, you really do need to just Yeah, to just seek out more guidance on this. Yeah. Yeah. And I called my therapist. I’ve talked with my neurologist because she’s trying to help me with my migraines and their stress induced. So
Maddy 23:46 I think it’s one of those things that we all get to that point, right. Like, we all get to a point at some time, where we say, I don’t want this, or I can’t live like this, or this can’t be all that I’m ever going to have. Like we all get to that. But the differentiation and the thing that is different between you V and all of the people listening to this episode is when you decide to take action on it, right? You can hit that point at any time. You could you can cross that, you know, metaphorical line in the sand at any point and be like, is this seriously what my life is like? Is this seriously the relationship or the job or the headspace or the lifestyle that I’m going to be in for forever? Are you kit like, seriously? Right? But what people how people differ, I think is how soon they take action on that. Right? And it’s one of those things and I heard it in your own story where it is an accountability thing, right? It’s a personal responsibility thing where you have to decide that you have to make a change, right? Like you said, your husband, super supportive guy, which I love. I have a man who is like, I stand behind my woman no matter what, I love that, yeah.
Jenna 25:07 Just have a little bit more of an opinion.
Maddy 25:10 I have to I’m like, please write me like, Please, can we please fight about this? And he’s like, I’m like, Oh my gosh, anyway, I think it’s one of those things that really differentiates, you know, human to human is when you decide to take action. And I think the message here is that you can decide to take action, any kind of action Big or small, right? Like, for some people hearing you say, I called my therapist, I called my doctor, I was having conversations with my principal, that’s a big step for some people, like, that’s a really big thing. And I want everyone those of you listening to this story and hearing this and being like, oh, my gosh, I’m in the same spot to know that your action step doesn’t need to be that big, if that feels big to you. If that feels small to you, and you need bigger change, you’re allowed to take that step whenever you want. And you have that power and that confidence already within you to take that step and to to make that action for yourself to get to where you want to be like you are allowed to do that. And I think that that’s what people forget, is that they hit that line. And then they’re like, Oh, well, I guess I’m stuck here forever. When in reality, it’s like, no, you’re not like, you can change in any kind of, you know, shape, size, form or fashion. Whenever you want. Whenever you are ready to you can do that. And I love that you did that for yourself. I love that.
Jenna 26:34 I, from my perspective, and what I just like notice, you know, when I’m like scrolling Instagram, yeah, like looking at other people’s other people’s like view on when they, when they feel like they need to leave a job versus like, if they’re able to, a lot of times I feel like it comes down to like, can you afford it? Yes. And I can say right now we can’t afford it. Like, we cannot afford me to not have a salary like that. We just We can’t. Yeah. And that’s scary. And we don’t have like a whole, like, we don’t have like backups, like, like things that we’re like, oh, well, maybe we could do this. And then that would make up for it or whatever. You don’t have that. But what I do have is like a passion to find something that I thoroughly enjoy. And it brings me like fulfilment rather than like draining me. And I think also like, in education, especially people think like, well, if I’m a teacher or this or that, like my skills don’t transfer transferring to anything else. Yes. But it’s like, no, they absolutely, like skills you have you have more skills than most people on the entire earth if you’re a teacher, educator, whatever. Because you’re doing so many different tests. Yeah, all the time. So just knowing that you can, like find other things out there. fairly easily. And, and like just also don’t be afraid to take a job that’s like Starbucks, or, like, yeah, you know, I have a neighbor who was in between jobs. And he was looking for, like, the perfect fit. And I was like, why don’t you just like, get something like, in the meantime to just to bring some money and like even a little bit of money, it doesn’t have to be your forever job. And that’s how I’ve always viewed things and like I I have no problem like stepping down from being a school counselor to like, working at target if I need it. Yeah, like, I that’s fine. That’s fine.
Maddy 28:35 I would love to work at Target
Jenna 28:38 in high school, and I didn’t love it at the time, but looking back and like oh, man, what why did I not like it was wrong with me then but you know, and and just even. I keep making like little jokes here and there like, well, I could just maybe I could be like in school suspension para, like, I feel like, whatever, actually kind of fun because like those are the students that are often the students that school counselor sees anyway. Anyway, I have to say some time in suspension. Yeah. So like, who cares? If you’re going from like this certified roll into something less like, yeah, if you’re happy, and it’s a better choice or a better option, then why not? And I think that’s where a lot of people get stuck, like, what am I going to do? I can’t afford it. I’m never gonna find another job. It’s like, you can find another job. You just have to like, open your mind to it. Something that maybe you didn’t have in mind for yourself.
Maddy 29:34 Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I love it so much. All right, Jenna, I have one more question for you. And this is a question that I always like to ask. What would be your biggest piece of advice that you would give to someone who’s listening and thinking, I wish I could be like them? What would you tell that person here? Well, I’m
Jenna 29:54 not special. So you don’t have to be special to make these decisions. Like I’m not it not like some like breakthrough person that’s like, oh my gosh, she did it like, but I can’t like No, I’m the person it’s like other people are doing stuff and I don’t think I can do yeah at some point you just have to take that risk because if you’re not taking the risks then you’re just wasting your time. And like what we don’t have time to waste like don’t have infinite hours and years routers, so why are you wasting it doing something you don’t like? Like make a plan and you can just make a plan it doesn’t have to be a big plan. It doesn’t have to be a small plan it could be whatever plan you want make a plan of what you think you need to do and then figure out the steps to get there and then just just do it. Yeah, yeah. Just do it. Because the longer you wait though, the more time you’re wasting and the more in your head you’re getting i Yeah, love that so much Jenna. Thank you so much for joining us and sharing your story and being so real and raw and and honest and all of those things can you share with us your social handles and where people can find you? Yes, so I right now I have my Instagram set to private because I am just trying to lay low a little bit without anybody if there’s anybody that wants to follow me from your community 100% I will be okay with that. I just don’t want all the fake Yeah, creeper things. So that’s it’s Jenna hide and then underscore in underscore site at that my instagram handle. Well,
Maddy 31:39 I will link Jenna’s Instagram in the show notes down below. And if you guys have any questions for Jenna or for me after listening to today’s podcast episode, feel free to let us know over on Instagram. And I hope you guys enjoyed this interview with Jenna. Thank you so much.
Jenna 31:54 Thank you Maddie.
Maddy 31:55 That is all I have for you today my dudes and I hope you love today’s episode. If you did, I would seriously appreciate it if you went and left the show a review and rating on whatever platform you’re currently listening on. For every review and rating that you leave, it truly helps the show grow and reach more women just like yourself. If you had any major takeaways or aha moments, be sure to take a screenshot of this episode. post it to your social media stories with your biggest takeaways and tag me at living in sunshine so I can share it with my people as well. Again, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week. And until next time, I am sending you all the sunshine good vibes and I hope you make it a great day.