Chasing, I am

I have always wanted to “be” something. I have been chasing myself for 48 years and as I approach turning 49, so close on the climb to 50, I am realizing more about who I want to be instead of what I want to be. I I grew up in a very critical, hot-tempered family that promoted shame and fear rather than love and acceptance. I came to believe I was less-than. I thought I should become a nurse, a college graduate, sonographer, Feng shui expert, homeowner, money saver – I wanted to be anything that might make me feel like I was something. I thought these things and a title would make me worthier, wealthier, luckier, smarter…enough.

My high-school grades weren’t college worthy so I equated that with the fact that I wasn’t smart enough. Eventually, I had started college in my late 20’s because in order to climb the corporate ladder, I needed a degree. I didn’t really want a degree or to climb any type of ladder, but I wanted to fit in. I went through a divorce at 30, quit school and moved to Seattle. I thought I wanted to be a Speech Pathologist and was accepted into an elite program at Seattle University. I failed an open book test and the professor told me pointblank that the caliber of students in the program were higher than what I was capable of achieving in the program. So I left the program shamed, with my tail between my legs. I went back to being an executive assistant for C-Level executives. A former friend asked me why that was good enough for me? She asked why I wouldn’t want to be President and instead merely be satisfied with being an assistant. So again I felt like I was settling and needed to do something else and be anything else that would put me in the “enough” realm of being.

In one of my attempts to be enough, I became a Licensed Massage Therapist to escape the corporate world. I also thought that I needed another skill with the massage therapist license and I added on training as a Craniosacral Therapist. So I ultimately received two titles, but nothing magical happened and money didn’t come pouring in. I was struggling financially. I thought, I should have been a Reiki master instead. Maybe I should have been an esthetician instead of a massage therapist. I went back to the corporate world.

Advance a few years and we arrive at the loss of my mother. I fell in love with hospice care and volunteering at hospice during this time. I thought I would become a Hospice Social Worker. I put myself back in school, received double degrees in Psychology and Human Services and graduated Magna Cum Laude. More titles. However, these undergraduate degrees were not enough. Now I needed a master’s degree in Social Work and I was already in school debt. So I let that idea go completely. Not only because of the money, but because I no longer wanted to be a social worker.

Sometimes I wonder if I could have changed all those experiences. If I had fought for myself instead of sobbing and walking away, what would my life would look like? Would I have found enough? My guess is probably not. Enough doesn’t exist when you operate from a place of scarcity. I finally get this fact. I also understand this is my path for a reason. There are no wrong paths, just paths that are more painful. Each time I traveled down a path, I became a little more resilient. I still haven’t found that one thing that truly empowers me, but I know that I am enough no matter what I choose to do. I am realizing and accepting of all the things that I have accomplished. I can finally be comfortable and stop the constant chasing.

Simply, I am enough.


Dori Rachel



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5 comments to "Chasing, I am"

  • Robyn MacDonald

    Dori, what an exquisitely written article and how powerful of you to recognize and overcome such a strong negative force in your life and in our culture in general. Most people don’t recognize it struggle nor get there. You shared it so well that maybe it will help open another’s eyes and heart.

    Thank You,

  • Dawn Ivey


    That was beautiful and well written, for someone whom has known you since little girl age, I can say without a doubt you are just awesome as is. I love you and cherish our friendship always.

  • Lisa Moen

    Wow, beautifully written Dori. Thank you for sharing your journey and introspection, you have such a way of connecting with others. You are a gift!

  • Clare

    Beautiful.. Dori,
    Couldn’t sleep tonight and looked up impowerment articles and yours popped up. I have been Speech-Language Assistant for 11yrs, with great benefits, retirement plan, son just graduated high school and he’s doing well, have a wonderful husband and dream home. I never let myself be happy or proud of my hard work, I always chased Amy because people (co-workers) always looked down on me, and always asked when are you going to get your Masters? Reading your article confirmed that it’s ok to be happy and not be ashame of my happiness! Thank you!

  • Dori Rachel

    Awww. You made my night. I’m happy I could touch you with my story. Finding our own self true love, worth and giving ourselves permission to be right where we are and Happy in that space is not an easy task. I hope you are getting ever closer! You sound amazing to me! I wear a hearing device in my right ear, so I love and appreciate what you do for patients! It takes compassion and I can tell that is a strong gift that you have! Xoxo Dori