Two years ago today, something pretty powerful happened in my life. I was sitting at my engineering job, fielding calls, trying to figure out my trip the following day to Alaska for a project, and attempting to get a handle on the mountain of work that was sitting and waiting for my attention. It had been weeks of me attempting to get help with my workload, only to see not much change. One call from a client demanding my presence on site was my tipping point. After hanging up the phone, I sat in my chair hyperventilating. My skin was tingling. I was starting to sweat. The tears were welling up in my eyes, and it felt like the world was just caving in on me. It was all too much. I was breaking.
I texted my husband (a text he’d seen many times before) and told him I just couldn’t do this anymore. This time, he said I should leave. I snuck out of the office, and into my car. Crying hysterically, I drove to my parent’s house not too far from my office. I thought I’d just sit there, cry for a while, calm myself down and then return to the office. Through sobbing, I tried to tell my dad what was going on. I didn’t want to be at my company anymore. The workload was too much for me, even after cutting back my schedule several months earlier. I had done that for my health which was slowly starting to tank again from all the stress, but cutting my schedule didn’t do a thing to my workload. Instead of trying to fit everything into 5 days a week, I was attempting to cram it in to 4.
After a long discussion, I decided to take 4 weeks of medical leave. I felt so much guilt for leaving my coworkers with all my projects, but if I had gone back, I would continue to hurt myself. I needed time to de-compress and figure some things out for myself. I finished the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification, the program that I knew would change my life for the better, and started to feel like I could breathe again. With two weeks left of medical leave, I gave notice to my boss that I wouldn’t be returning to the company, and set a date to come in and clean out my things. I felt somewhat ashamed for “giving up” on the career I had worked so damn hard for, but it just wasn’t for me anymore. I refused to believe that I had to go to a job each day that I loathed, and I knew there had to be more to life than that.
On my last day, I packed my things, said my goodbyes and started on my new path. It took me a long time to recover from the stress of that whole event, but I’m so much happier now doing what I love and helping people gain back their joy in living pain-free lives. Just as I had done for myself.
Eventually, we moved out of the crowded suburbs and onto 5 acres in the country. My horse is here, along with our other fur- and feather-babies. We have an amazing view that I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of, and things just move at a slower pace. I’ve been able to create a life I love!
So, is everything all unicorns and rainbows now? Of course not! This is real life, people!
Starting a business on my own after being in the corporate world for almost a decade has not been a straight line to success. It’s rough out here! I push myself out of my comfort zone on a daily basis, but with that, my comfort zone has expanded. Even with these new struggles, I wouldn’t change a thing. Being able to build a life I love, working with people to change their lives for the better, is more than I could have ever imaged.
Today, I’m raising glass of kombucha in celebration of my 2 Year Anniversary of starting a life I love. Cheers!