Lindsay's pursuit of happiness

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Success is finding what you truly love, pursuing it without doubting yourself, and enjoying the ride. If you do these things, YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL. 

A fellow #tiugirl, Lindsay never dances around the truth. She has always tells made it a point to be authentic and tells it like it is. She lives a life full of hard work and sacrifice. While Lindsay doesn't need recognition to keep her goals aflame, we are giving her the spotlight here. She is pursuing her long-time dream of becoming a police-officer and it is no joke. Now she is at the top of her class. Read about the obstacles she has gone through to get there and what made her realize her dream. 

What success means to me 

Tell us about yourself!

I live in Oklahoma City and have pretty much been here my whole life, besides being born in Michigan. I like it here, there is a lot more to do than people would think, and the city is growing!  My favorite workout program is Tone It Up by Katrina and Karena – check them out! Also cycling classes or riding my bike outdoors. It’s a great workout and I never really feel like I hate it while I’m doing it, ha! I also enjoy anything on the water and hiking-which we don’t have much of here unfortunately. I have an Associates degree in Police Science and spent a few years pursuing Psychology but never finished a degree in it. I ran a coffee catering company for a few years before pursuing my passion of becoming a police officer, and am currently in the process of finishing that.

What goal are you currently pursuing?

I am currently in the Oklahoma Police Academy. This is something I have wanted to do since I was a little kid. As I got older, I saw it as my dream job but only a dream, not something I would actually do. I would always say things like, “If I wasn’t such a wimp, I’d be a cop.” And most people would laugh it off so I never took myself seriously. I pushed it to the back of my mind as far as a career path, but I always dreamed about it. I met my boyfriend about two years ago and he is a pilot. I was always a little jealous of his awesome job that he seemed to love and be passionate about. He had wanted to be a pilot since he was really young. I would think to myself, “Man, I wish I had something I always wanted to do”. And honestly, it just hit me. I DID. I was so caught up in fighting it that I had convinced myself that I never knew what I wanted to do. That I was drifting through life failing at everything I tried because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But WHY? Why had I done that? I find that usually when we feel jealousy, the way I did toward my boyfriend and his job, is because we are unsatisfied with something in ourselves. I didn’t want to be jealous of him, I wanted to be happy for him.

I finally thought, if he can do that, so can I. I had no previous experience that helped me, but maybe just being a little older and being a mom and not a young person fresh out of college helped. No one is stopping me except myself.

So I really took a deep look at why I felt that way. It was because that job had a lot of similar qualities to that of a police officer. He had followed his dream no matter what people had said or what obstacles he faced. I finally thought, if he can do that, so can I. I had no previous experience that helped me, but maybe just being a little older and being a mom and not a young person fresh out of college helped. I don’t really care what people think as much as I used to, that’s for sure! No one is stopping me except myself. So after all of that, I think that is what inspired me to finally go for my dream and make it a reality.

What have you learned about expectations that you can share with us?

I was terrified as far as expectations went. Looking back to when I started this journey feels like it was so long ago. I have learned so much along the way and gained so much confidence. But when I started, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I think it was good that way because I was open to learning and was able to soak in as much information as I could. I have learned over the years that expectations set us up for disappointment. I used to hate when people would say this because I thought expectations meant goals and everyone should have goals! 

Expectations set us up for disappointment. I have learned that this means, don’t make up some elaborate unrealistic story in your head of exactly how it should play out because it just won’t happen that way. Be open to what comes your way.

What does personal success mean to you?

Personal success is simple. Success is finding what you truly love, pursuing it without doubting yourself, and enjoying the ride. If you do these things, YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL.

It literally does not matter what it is, what you do, or what others think of what you do. Success is finding what fuels you and DOING it.

I always loved coffee. I always loved the idea of owning a coffee shop and the environment and the people. I set out to start a business and I did enjoy it-even the hard parts. Getting licensed, setting up bank accounts, keeping up a website, etc. But as the years went on, the bad started to outweigh the good. The back work started to take over and I just wasn’t happy and enjoying the fruits of my labor.

Fast forward to now, with lots of life changes in between, finding my passion and pursuing it feels SO different. It is hard. Really hard. And for some reason, it only makes me love it more.  I love the challenge, I feel smart, I feel strong, and when I get defeated, someone picks me up and I get to the other side and I feel confident. Like I mentioned above, I never finished my Psychology degree. I loved school and I loved my classes, but I couldn’t do well. For the first time in my life, at age 30, I am one of the top students in my class and honestly I just never pictured that as something I could say about myself. 

But when you find your thing, the thing that takes over your mind, what you always wondered “what if?” about, you will succeed. Trust me-as a person who has failed and learned from so many trials and errors and finally followed my heart, you will succeed.
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What kinds of obstacles have you come across and how did you overcome them?

I got a letter saying they would keep my application on file for the next academy, as this year’s was full.

Oh boy. Did I have obstacles along the way? So many. Fear being the biggest one. I actually wrote my fears out one day on a little sheet of paper and kept it tucked away in my phone. Some were legitimate, some were silly. But none the less, they were things that were keeping me from following my dream. I also chose to write down things that would happen if I did it. The good things. The “what if’s”. Those fueled me. They fueled me enough to go meet with a Lieutenant at my dream agency. I didn’t tell anyone-even my boyfriend because one of my biggest fears was what people would think or that they would try to talk me out of it.

The day I finally decided to apply to the Oklahoma City Police Department, I spoke with a Lieutenant and voiced a lot of my fears and really laid it all out there. She made me feel really confident and excited and I left there with my application. I went home, filled it out, and the next day was so excited to drop it off. I sealed it all up, turned on the news, and the Dallas PD was all over the news under attack. I’m assuming most of you know what happened that night. Dallas. Basically home to someone from OKC. This was my worst fear, on the day I was committing to overcoming my fears. Talk about a test! As awful as that night was, it didn’t deter me. I went up there the next day and turned in my application and waited. And also told my boyfriend-who was extremely shocked but supportive!

I was heading to Hawaii shortly after and was just counting on getting in to the academy because I have never done a thing wrong in my life. I was on a high and had a life path planned out and I just couldn’t wait. Except when the mail came two days before my trip, I got a letter saying they would keep my application on file for the next academy, as this year’s was full. MY HEART SUNK.  Completely broke. What was I supposed to do now? How is everything not going my way? Thoughts I’m sure we can all relate to.

I wish I could say they called me and gave me a spot and everything has a happy ending. But they didn’t. Huge setback number one. I will try to make this short now, but this is the meat, the gold, the good part about when you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way.

I ended up finding a state academy that the Oklahoma City Police officers teach that gets you 100% certified as an officer, and gives you college credits. You aren’t associated with a department, but when you finish, you can apply to any in the state that is hiring. I will continue to wait for OCPD to hire, but I have a WAY better chance at getting into this competitive department with already having this training. Okay, that’s confusing enough I’m sure. But what I have learned along the way is that where there’s a will, there’s a way. And honestly, I love this path I took. I have met some awesome people. I have seen myself succeed in a lot of areas. And knowing I didn’t quit is just more proof to myself that this is where I am meant to be.

What is your best advice for women who want to complete a goal despite negative feedback, or discovering that it's really not a good fit. Is it ok to quit on something that just doesn't feel right for you?

My advice to women who want to complete a goal despite negative feedback is this: Do it for you. You don’t owe an explanation to anyone. And you want to know what I figured out? People will give you all of their negative comments and when you end up doing it anyway, they come around and want to support you. They see the fire in your life and they can’t help but be happy for you.

As far as quitting something that doesn’t seem right: Again, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you quit. You are the only one who knows or gets bad feelings about something. We have such strong intuitions and they can be masked because we are worried what people will think. We are the only thing holding ourselves back. Do what you feel is right because you know what you need.

What role does validation and recognition play in your personal success?

I have to say, validation and recognition are not something that plays a big role in this career path. I never won any awards in high school, I got average grades, and my parents weren’t huge on praising me for much. Not to sound depressing, but I just got used to it. It taught me to do things for my personal gratification. To help people because that’s what makes me happy. Sure, being recognized feels good, but it doesn’t fuel me.

What kind of sacrifices did you need to make in order to complete your goal?

I have definitely had to sacrifice some things along the way. It has never felt like it isn’t worth it though. I have had to stay up late reading and studying, and have people help with my daughter which is really hard for me. I have sacrificed social time with friends, but I have made new ones. I had to adapt the mentality of “it won’t always be this way”. It is really hard right now, but I know it will be worth it in the big picture.

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How do you make time for it all? Do you have a specific approach to productivity? Is there really such a thing as ‘balance’?

Will someone let me know when they figure this out?? ;) Balance is a struggle. I am a single mom and it’s not easy. Working out comes at either really early or really late hours. Missing things with friends or family because of class is hard. In fact, I was in a defense tactics class on Mother’s Day. But I know it will all be worth it. Balance to me isn’t looking like you have it all together. Balance is finding the things you need in your life to get you where you want to be. Maybe that’s finding a set time to work out, or grocery shopping alone, or taking a class for yourself. When we fill our own cup, we can be the best of ourselves for others. We can not pour from an empty cup. Balance for one family might not be what works for yours. Life is messy, but just take it one little task a time.

Why is it so important for women to have personal goals?

Women should always have goals. We should always want to learn more, better ourselves, give back. That could mean getting a degree, taking a class, starting a business, or just being a better mom!

Goals fuel us, they give us purpose, and most importantly give us confidence!

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