Next I had to try on many different types of professions and say that every single one of them is OK. Even if it means that at the end of the day, I end up working in a totally different profession. When I say try them on, I researched the heck out of a lot of professions (kind also ties into the whole “If not this then what” thing above).
Then I had to realize that this was going to be a journey, not a destination. It’s not like I would switch jobs and everything would be perfect. Nope, because there is work related stress and difficulties in every single job out there…..especially ones that pay really well.
Then I had to pick one of the careers that I had selected earlier and then I had to figure out how to bridge the gap from where I am to where i wanted to be.
For me, my new chosen profession was computers and my first goal was to learn how to put one together. I got books and started to study when something strange happened. If found that I was happier at work because I knew I wasn’t trapped anymore. now nothing had changed except my focus. I was now focused on correcting the problems in my life and that was tremendously empowering.
Every day I’d come home from a hard days work and look at that computer book and think, “That’s my way out of my current life”. I would eat then read for 3-4 hours a night then sleep, work, repeat. This went on for a long time but was really helpful and fun.
My next step was to finally start telling people about my new chosen profession. Not in an, “Is this OK?” kind of way but more like, “I’m going to work with computers in a much more technical way in the future.” And they’d usually ask how, when all that stuff. I’d just say, “Not really sure yet but I’m definitely moving in that direction.” If they said anything like, “Well are you sure that’s such a good idea? I mean look at your life now.” I would just say, “Yep” and end the conversation. If someone tried to mess with my head and tell me I was making a mistake, I’d tell them to screw off. It’s my life and I’ll live it any way I please and if they don’t like it….that’s their problem.
Finally, I had to have courage enough to stay the course because no matter what…..when you’re in transition, it will become difficult. Also to those that love us….it might look like I’m screw up and it’s really messy. That’s ok….but I needed to be prepared for NO ONE to understand where I was going. It didn’t mattter.
So that journey began on May 28, 1999 and I’m still on it. I ended up becoming Chief Technology Officer for that same company I worked for…..when we sold the company, I went back to University to get a CS degree. I got that and now I’m back out working again.
I never thought that I would ever be able to go back to school when I started this journey…..I mean other than part time night courses. But fate is a strange thing and my circumstances changed more than I ever thought they would.
I just got off a 12 hour day and I’ve been working 60-65 hours every week for the last 2-3 months and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better. However, I’m much happier than I’ve ever been before and i love what I’m doing now. I love the fact that I’m in charge of my life…..ME…..not friends, family or some motivational speaker……ME. Sink or swim, I’m running this ship now and everyone else can go away.
So if you made it this far in your reading, will you make the changes you want to make in your life? I don’t know…most people don’t. That’s why Shakespeare said, “Most men live lives of quiet desperation.” I didn’t want to be that guy…..and thankfully, I’m not.