I’m Faye and this is my blog. I’m a 40-something Angeleno who has recently quit my high-powered 20+ year career in the financial services industry for an opportunity to pursue my passions and spend more time with my family.
Am I crazy?
I’ve always followed the prescribed path and done things the right way. Since the earliest grades of elementary school, I strove to achieve. I was named Top Student for multiple years while declaring that I would be a writer when I grew up. In high school, I was a part of the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program and graduated with over a 4.0 GPA. I began working full-time right out of high school while attending and self-financing my college education full-time at night. After a blurry, sleep-deprived, and espresso-loaded several years, I finally graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Psychology.
And then I hit a crossroads. Should I pursue my passions and continued education in writing and Psychology, or continue down the corporate path where I was already succeeding and achieving a respectable and growing income? My heart and head were divided.
I went with my head. After all, this was the smart option that provided the financial ROI. I continued my career in Corporate America.
Professionally I did well, and am so grateful for the opportunities provided me. I spent many years in the financial services industry working for high profile organizations. I was rewarded for my efforts, both in terms of compensation and increased responsibility and influence. I was able to navigate the political landscape and develop and nurture a strong professional network. I enjoyed my career and the perks it provided me. And I was always certain that the next big promotion I was being groomed for would finally fulfill me fully.
Because something was always missing. I had the titles, the perks, and the lifestyle they provided, but I couldn’t quite place my finger on what else I was searching for. Maybe I didn’t have time, with the ever-increasing work hours and on-call demands. I dreamed of starting my own business. Of becoming my own boss. Of contributing in a way that was more fulfilling to me.
So I began volunteering. I spent time as a Domestic Violence Victims Advocate for the local police department, and loved this work of connecting with and helping a significantly overlooked group of people. But alas, the on-call hours began to conflict with my on-call hours for Corporate America, so again I had to follow the money.
I wrote and blogged in my spare time. I contributed posts for travel and lifestyle blogs, and shared thoughts on my own blog. I developed resumes and cover letters, proofread documents and websites, and journaled as an outlet. I even developed and tried out an e-commerce site.
Still the feeling of not being completely fulfilled professionally did not go away. If anything, it grew over time. I continued to succeed in my career. I was able to secure a full-time telecommuting arrangement which I was certain would finally make me happy. I enjoyed the people I worked with and had a good team working for me. And still – something was missing.
I like to think that the universe stepped in at this point, exasperated with my years of hesitation. Due to a temporary and unexpected health issue, I was placed on a medical leave of absence from work. And the silver lining of the more than two months spent in bed, surviving the most physically and mentally awful experience of my life, was the uninterrupted solitude and time I had to simply think. Funny how being in an incapacitated state will bring you clarity on your life, your priorities, and your direction. As the mental fog began to lift, I realized with certainty that I needed to change my path.
Once I had made the decision, I didn’t want to delay. I felt as if I had already delayed it for years. My husband was fully supportive and agreed that it was time. I notified my job that I would be resigning, and began letting my friends and family know. Reactions ranged from Good for you! and You are doing the right thing! to I think you’re making the worst mistake of your life. But now, it no longer mattered. I was confident in the decision, and ready to embark on my new path.
So here I am, fresh off my Corporate American job and ready to pursue my 1st grade dream of writing – amongst other things. I started this blog to chronicle my experiences as I learn how to become a productive member of society outside of a 9-5 (or 6-6) job, how to juggle that with parenting two young children (and a third on the way!), and how to live more simply and frugally to protect the investments we’ve made. I am excited, nervous, and surprisingly at peace… And can’t wait to see how it all turns out!