Deanna Kim

Deanna Kim

The Story of Daring Dreamer

Deanna seemed to have everything she possibly wanted. A loving family, a faithful husband, supportive co-workers, approval from her boss, a tenured job, and a 5 minute commute from home. Most importantly, she was making a difference in little people’s lives every day.

Over the course of three weeks, she woke up with unusual symptoms, a pounding heart, sweaty palms, and heaviness on her chest. She had been confused and frustrated because she no longer found her place at work. At the end of the day, a sigh of relief reminded her that she made it through the day. Even thinking about leaving this wonderful job was scary. She felt trapped in her current job situation, but fear was holding her back. A myriad of questions overwhelmed her. “What would everyone think of me? How can I find a new job in this tough economy? What if I can’t find something more suitable than this? Will I regret…?”

Each day she battled with the head and the heart. While she was thankful of the life she had, she desired to live her life to the fullest. At times she even wished that she would get into a fatal car accident or find cancer in her body if that would bring a change in her life. She sat down and listed all the pros and cons of her current state. The consequences of her decision not only affect herself but people around her including her spouse. She wondered how she could seek more harmony in her life while honoring her values and priorities.

As she was searching for the solution, her husband suggested that she contact Craig Nathanson, a vocational coach, who was a his instructor at his M.B.A. program four years ago. Immediately Deanna drove all the way to Petaluma to do her first consultation with Craig. He knew exactly what she was experiencing. He guided her decision making by writing down her abilities and interests. She was also challenged by his question about what her perfect vocational day would look like. Long term goals as well as short term goals were formulated based on her values and priorities.

Leaving her comfort zone where she was accepted and respected was a very painful choice. She decided to take a leap of faith, thinking “what is the worst thing that could happen to me by resigning from my job?” Waiting for retirement to reach her potential was too far away from her. With this inner turmoil, her body might not be able to withstand the stress.

Fast forward to four months later, Deanna is living an authentic life that cannot be measured by money or societal reputation. In the sphere of work life, she is an educator, entrepreneur, and a mentor. She has followed the desires of her heart and Monday has become one of her favorite days, representing a new beginning and abundant possibilities. At the end of each day, she feels that she has been true to herself. After exploring several paths, she realized her passion is still educating and helping others to reach their fullest potential. She has launched a private tutoring practice for children with dyslexia and teaches fitness and literacy skills to adults in her community.

Through this decision making process, she discovered who she was and developed traits like courage, discernment, resiliency, and a positive outlook. She chose to give up something to pursue more of what she truly wanted out of her life. Slowly but surely, Deanna is breaking her unhealthy habits and becoming stronger physically and mentally. Pursuing her dreams has brought more creativity and meaning in her life, and she continues to move forward each day.

Deanna M. Kim, M.Ed.
Founder, JD Learning Academy

What can we learn from Deanna’s story?

There will be challenging times in life when just not going on seems like a viable option. This is the time instead for self-reflection, courage and a quest for finding passion in one’s life. As a result, new possibilities emerge for a brighter life and work