Well-Being//

Why I Left My Career at 38 to Pursue the Life I Wanted

Overcoming setbacks with the right mindset.

Over the past few 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 to 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.

As I began to move forward in my life, my career started to improve and I was doing better than ever but something was missing. So after fifteen years working in the financial markets and eleven years with my current company, 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 realized that I believe we can grow this pie together and if I win, it doesn’t mean someone else has to lose. It has taken 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.

However, a few months ago, I decided I had to do it or I would look back on my life with regret. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do next, but I am grateful to be at a point where I can take a few months to figure it out. 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.”

I’m sure there will be many ups and downs, but I’m ready to see where this ride takes me. My mission in writing this article and all future articles 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. 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. I look forward to writing about these steps in my future articles. Earlier this year I started a weekly newsletter, The Long Game, to disseminate information about what has worked for me and what I am experimenting with. 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 future posts and what I found works for me, it will help you take more control of your life.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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