Why I Left My Career at 38 to Pursue the Life I Wanted
Over the past four years, life has thrown a few curveballs at my family and me with divorces and cancer, to name a few. My divorce occurred three years ago and, at the time, it felt like my world was ending. All of my future plans were turned upside down and, at the age of 35, it was time to begin again. This experience began my journey of deep introspection and allowed me to figure out what I truly valued in life.
As Rumi said, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” It is in the dark times that we learn to cherish what we have. Going through this experience, I realized what a great support structure I had around me with family and friends. I am truly grateful for them. I started going to therapy, meditating, journaling, and getting back in shape. Therapy, meditation, and journaling helped me gain an awareness of my emotions and the self-talk running through my head. They also helped me figure out what my true values are and look at what triggers my negative reactions. As I began to get in better shape, my mind became clearer and I was happier in my own skin. Through this, I realized that the mind and body are connected in more ways than we can imagine. To be our best self, we need to take care of ourselves, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Moving forward in my life, my career started to improve and I was doing better than ever but something was missing. Everyday I was losing more of myself. For example, I was tired of waking up and checking twitter to see what some politician said to determine how it might affect the markets. In the grand scheme of things, I felt nothing I did really made a difference. Yes, it made others and myself some money but I realized there was so much more to life. I needed more in my life and I needed to make a difference in other’s lives through telling my story and teaching them about practices that help me on a daily basis. I want to let others know that small changes in their lives can produce massive results. I knew if I stayed in my position, I would look back on my life in ten years and nothing would have changed. I had to take the risk I had to make the jump into the unknown.
So after fifteen years working in the financial markets and eleven years with my then employer, I decided it was time for a change. I was no longer satisfied sitting in front of four computer screens moving money around. I was tired of living in the zero-sum world of finance. I believe we can grow this pie together and if I win, it doesn’t mean someone else has to lose. It took me over a year to build up the courage to take this leap of faith. As most of you know, the security of a paycheck and health insurance are difficult to leave.
In October of 2017 I finally quit. I am lucky to have a strong support group that believes in me and supports my decision. At first, I was scared to tell people because I thought most of them would think I was crazy. However, not one person said that to me. This is a scary and exciting time in my life and I have no idea what the future holds, but as Hunter S. Thompson said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”
Since leaving my job, I completed the World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24 hour obstacle course race in Las Vegas, I began actively writing for different website and working on my blog and newsletter, The Long Game. I created The Long Game to disseminate information about becoming the best version of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. While there is not a one-size fits all answer to overcoming adversity, there are steps you can take to decide what works for you. My daily practices of breath work, meditation, journaling, movement and healthy eating continue to give me amazing benefits. If you have 5-10 minutes a day you can begin to make changes that will positively affect your life.
I’m sure there will be many ups and downs, but I’m ready to see where this ride takes me. My mission with The Long Game is to help others realize their full potential, create a space where we can be honest with our thoughts and feelings, and help others understand we all go through difficult times. Everyone is different and we must live the life we want. If we do not take control of our lives, someone else will. I hope by sharing my story in more detail through future posts it will help you take more control of your life.