The culmination of devastating events, pushed Mallie Rydzik harder to seek real purpose in life. Each experience was part of the scenery on her path to self-discovery.
She is definitely an inspiring role model. Unfortunately, some people never find their calling.
I interviewed Mallie to find out about her story.
Tell me about your journey? How did it all start?
When I was in graduate school, I had a mental health breakdown. I was always a perfectionist and had always been called the smart kid. I really ran with that label, all the way into a PhD program in atmospheric science.
Well, mental health issues peak in your mid 20s, and I finally got the help I needed. Once I was diagnosed with depression, OCD, and an eating disorder, I really needed to reevaluate my life.
What did you do to change your situation?
It took a year after my initial breakdown to make the decision, but I found myself crying to my long-distance boyfriend. I said “I don’t know what I want to do anymore, but I know it’s not this.”
I shifted the focus from what others expected of me to what I expected out of myself. It took awhile to shift that perspective (and it’s still a work in progress), but once I peeled back the layers of expectations I found a bright, shiny, authentic version of me.
What has changed?
I moved back to the east coast to be with my boyfriend-turned-fiance (and now husband).
I took on dog walking and nannying to provide income while I completed my “consolation” M.S. from afar. After I defended my M.S., I took on a corporate job, which I hated immediately and quit just 6 months after starting.
My escape was granted with a tutoring job, which gave me the flexible hours I was looking for combined with my love of teaching and coaching. When I realized that coaching was my true calling, I felt a sense of relief and excitement.
What does your coaching program involve?
I like to make people reevaluate their lives and expectations of themselves. I take them through a process not too dissimilar from the one I went through alone a few years ago.
Working one-on-one really allows me to dig into people’s limiting beliefs and help them craft a career that is better suited to their lifestyles. For some people, this still involves more typical jobs, but ones that are better suited to their skill sets and values. For others, it’s a process of discovery in which they realize entrepreneurship is really the only path that meets their needs.
What made you start your The Off-Road Millennial blog?
Millennials (people in their 20s and early 30s) are in a tough spot in the economy right now, worldwide. We’re transitioning from an economy based on the exchange of goods to one based on the exchange of knowledge and services.
The Baby Boomer career path has not prepared us for this radical shift, and many people are struggling to stray from that path. I realized that Millennials needed a guide to take them off that road, and The Off-Road Millennial was born.
I also saw a lack of offerings in the science-based personal development coaching niche, particularly for Millennials, so I was happy to fill that need.
What is the best thing about coaching?
People have such interesting stories. I love learning about others and helping them recreate themselves into a more authentic version of who they already are.
What is the one thing all Millennials should live by?
Authenticity. Embrace your desire to live life on your own terms. If you’re not being true to yourself, what’s the point?
We really appreciate your honest and vulnerable voice. I have no doubt many people are benefiting from your great energy!