From the time that other kids were fighting over who got to be the mom while we played house, I knew that having an awesome career would be important to me. Instead of being “mom” I always wanted to be the older sister who had a cool job and traveled a lot. True story. I started working when I was 14 and have been working steadily since then.
I’ve been very fortunate to work my way up in large corporations and have had opportunities to learn many areas of business across multiple industries. So many times, people have asked me about my career path because I was so young for my role. I thrived while working for consulting firms (which are notoriously challenging and competitive). I was honestly making good money, traveling to some really fun places and I was making fantastic connections.
The catch is that I was deeply unhappy. I was constantly anxious and depressed. Even when I wasn’t working, I had this awful feeling in my chest. I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating healthy. On the surface, I was happy but it was all fake.
Then one day, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup and we had the talk. My blood pressure was high and climbed higher every time I came in for an appointment. My weight was becoming unhealthy. Bottom line is that I had to make some changes. Not only was this job hurting me emotionally but I could see the actual effects to my health. That is what finally pushed me to make changes and be my own boss.
I definitely don’t want to give the impression that I decided to quit my job and lived happily ever after. Even when I knew in my heart that I had to get out of the toxic situation, I stayed for a long time because I was afraid. Afraid of not making enough money, afraid of people laughing at me, afraid of failing. I had to focus (and still have to focus) on the fact that I need to live on my terms. I’m not nearly as scared of the things that I just mentioned as I am of living a life that I hate.
I also don’t live a life without stress but somehow the stress is more tolerable now. It doesn’t consume me and it isn’t killing me. I know that I have to live a life that makes me feel happy and good. It is cliche to say that life is too short to spend it being unhappy but it’s completely true. And my life would be a heck of a lot shorter if I didn’t make a decision to change it. I’m so proud of this journey and that I’m choosing happiness over the little voice feeding me doubts.