Twelve years ago felt like a lifetime ago. My career was different, my thoughts were different. Where I thought my future was going, never happened. I was a pharmaceutical chemist working for one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. I had what I like to call now a “good on paper,” job. One that paid really well, had all the benefits and perks of a cushy corporate job.
The only problem was, I was not happy. I loved the job itself and I loved working in a lab as a chemist, but I hated my working environment. Everyone around me was constantly bitching and complaining, because they too were unhappy with the working environment. The overall morale of the place was just dismal.
When corporate politics ruled everything and even doing my job well did not matter to the management. I was constantly reminded that I was not “playing the game.” Which would eventually lead to my dismissal during a round (of which there were many!) of layoffs.
What frustrated me was that I was actually good at my job, but I sucked at corporate politics, which is what eventually got me pushed out. I was never “visible” enough to the “right” people.
Long commutes compounded the stress and misery and by the time I got home, I was reaching for whatever alcohol I had to just relax and ease that knot out of my chest.
During this time, I was also at my most unhealthiest. Despite studying nutrition and doing my best to eat as best as I can, while also hitting the gym everyday, my weight would continuously continue to creep up. I went to bed every single night, with the horrible heart palpations that made it so I couldn’t even lay down to go to sleep. I also had horrible cystic acne all over my cheeks, that no matter what fancy acne creams and natural remedies I tried, absolutely nothing worked to fix it.
Everyday felt like groundhogs day, and I was very lost. Constantly wondering what path I should be taking and what I could be doing differently. “Should I go back to school?” “Should I look for another job?” “But if I work in the same field, would it be much of the same?”
What I wanted most in my heart, was to do something related to healthy living and nutrition. I just had no idea what that looked like. I wasn’t sure what path in that direction would make me happy.
When I got finally got laid off, it felt bittersweet. On one hand, I was finally free of that place. But on the other, I was embarrassed that I was picked and also…um…unemployed now?
The problem was I did not want to work in an environment like that again. I wanted more freedom. I wanted a place were I could be myself and happy. But what that looked like I had no idea.
For the next year and half I completely soul searched. I knew I wanted more in life. So, I read lots of personal development books and listened to numerous audio trainings about facing fears and going after dreams.
I also worked on myself physically. I discovered HIIT workouts and I kept studying nutrition.
During that time off, I finally lost weight, my face cleared up, and my heart palpitations went away, but that was just the physical change. The biggest change that happened during that year and a half was my mental state.
I became a whole new person. I finally developed the courage to speak up for myself, understood what I wanted out my life and my future job. However, it still wasn’t something tangible, but I knew what my job needed to make me feel.
Finally breaking out of my health rut and with the stress of my old job gone, I was able to finally feel good about myself which gave me a newfound confidence that I did not have before.
I wanted to be free and I was not going to be stepped on like I did in my previous job (where I was always to afraid of stepping on toes or not speaking my mind).
I wanted the elusive work/life balance. I just wanted to be happy.
I still didn’t know what that looked like, but it felt so real to me that I knew that it was in my future.
It wasn’t long before I was offered a position to be an adjunct professor from the school I graduated from with my Masters. I said yes instantly, even though I had zero teaching experience and was still super scared to talk in front of anyone, let alone a group of college students.
But oddly enough, it felt right to do it. My first teaching jobs were just chemistry labs, but I loved every second of it. To get back into the lab again, even in a different capacity was fun! I loved teaching the students how to do experiments and seeing their eyes light up when things worked. It was the most fun I have had at work, ever.
And then a year later, they offered me my first lecture course, “Chemistry of Nutrition.”
Nutrition! Say what!?
In my head, I was shocked, like “are freaking kidding me? You are offering me a nutrition course?” Of course I said “yes!” Nutrition was my passion that I never could formulate into a way to make work in my professional life because I was a “chemist.” I never had such a moment where I truly felt like the universe was giving me the biggest sign in the world.
That course was and still is my baby. Its my dream job. After teaching it for a few years, I wanted to figure out how I could parlay that into a “day job” (since, adjuncts get paid very little). I learned that there was a job called, “health coach.” Never even heard of it before, but when I was told what they do, I knew instantly that was it.
Got certified, opened shop. And here I am.
When I reflect on what led me here, it was when I took the conscious decision to work on myself, both physically and mentally. Especially mentally. I could not have completely switched careers, started completely over in my professional life, if I did not work on my courage FIRST.
I would not have worked on my courage if I did not feel better by finally eating and exercising properly. I would have just done the easy thing and gotten another pharma job which would have put me right back to where I was before.
Having the courage to leave that stressful life, allowed my body to finally heal. And with a job I love, I was able to keep healing. And allowing my body to heal, my mind was able to get real clarity, which allowed the RIGHT path to open up for me.
Having a job that fulfils me, makes me happy, only compounds the healthy habits I already implemented. They work together in combination with the personal development to keep my mental state healthy.
What I learned from this experience is that IT ALL MATTERS: Your health, your mind and what you do everyday. If you want the courage to live the life that you feel fulfilled and happy, you need to work on yourself. The universe will always pave the path when you do.
If you are struggling with your life, your career, or your purpose…I invite to you join the Radiance Collective. Become amazing. Become Radiant. Find your Courage. Open the path to your Dream life.