From Mid-Life Crisis To Mid-Life Start-Up

At 44, I walked away from my corporate career. I went back.

At 52, I walked away again. I didn’t go back.

I used to think my discontent with my corporate career path was pretty unique about me.

I blamed myself: why can’t I be happy with this great job that gets me traveling the world. Well paid and living what most would call a dream lifestyle.

Thing is, that’s exactly what it was. Someone else’s dream.

Not my dream.

In my quietest moments I knew there was something else out there for me. Not more or better or bigger.

Just something else I was meant to do.

You see, in my mid-life I came to realize that success isn’t at the end of the road. Success happens along the way.

Success I realized was how I felt about what I was doing. And that was all about honoring who I am.

So at 44 I said no to a job offer and the SoCal lifestyle and headed to Italy for a year of self-discovery.

1. I wanted a calmer lifestyle.

Truth is, I was burned out. The past year of work stress culminated in a corporate buy out. My husband was back and forth to Australia supporting his mother as her health declined. We recuperated with a two-week Amalfi lifestyle. My mother-in-law passed away.   

2. I wanted to do fun things.

I’m a creative soul. Even though I wrote much in my corporate life, I longed for story telling via words and visuals. Moving to Los Angeles from Sydney and then to San Francisco exposed my deep desires. For 6 years while in the U.S., I nourished them with part-time writing and design classes. I wanted more of that - full-time.

3. I wanted to live in Italy.

Attempts to make another corporate move to Europe with my U.S.-headquartered employer hadn't gone anywhere. My husband and I love to travel. We love to immerse ourselves in day-to-day life in diverse cultures. What better than to live in the country where we had already enjoyed calm and fun: Italy. I wanted to speak Italian, be Italian.

4. I wanted to toughen up.

This may surprise you. Life was a little cushy. Monthly facials, personal trainers and pilates workouts 2 to 3 times per week. Private jets for work. Eating out in the best restaurants. Enviable vacations. Don’t get me wrong. I was loving life. But in my quieter moments, I felt like I was losing touch.

5. Most of all, I wanted a meaningful life.

Like I said earlier. I had never felt like I was doing what I was meant to do in life. How I was uniquely placed to do something that made a difference to someone else? Perhaps I was feeling unfulfilled never having kids. I don’t know. I was determined to find out.

We moved to Italy. A year’s sabbatical that’s all. Then back to Australia and corporate life.

That was the plan. That’s not how it worked out.

I learned Italian. Dropped out of art and design classes. We bought an old farmhouse. Our Italian paradise. We’re still here.

Life became calm, fun in Italy. I sure did toughen up. Not enough...

I went back.

I went back to work in Germany, not in Italy. To be honest, money and boredom and teamwork motivated my return.

My heart suffered and soared at the same time.

You see, while I sorely missed the life we were creating in Italy, I found a song in my heart. A song that serenaded me.

After 4 years, I decided to leave. Those years were as important in my journey of self-discovery as any other. In those years, I found what I am meant to do. It’s the same thing for which I’d been searching.

I am meant to help others find and follow their heart’s desire to succeed in life doing work they love like they are meant to.

You see in my heart I’m an intuitive listener. I sense the feelings and thinking that keep people awake at night.

My path was clear. I certified and started up as a professional coach. I use my gifts of writing and intuitive listening to help mid-lifers like me jump the fence to their best lives.

Almost four years later, I’m still here.

I didn’t go back. I’m a MidLife StartUp.

I found a meaningful life. I found the secret to succeed in work I love to do.

Do more of what I love to do. I feel joy.