Like so many corporate workers all over America I was recently laid off from my job. I was what we loving refer to in Corporate America as a long timer. I had many years accumulated at my company and was ready for a career change. So I sat down and thought about what I wanted to do after I got laid off. Here I was a single professional woman living in Los Angeles who was over worked, no longer passionate about my job, and living in one of the most polluted, over crowded, and expensive cities in the nation. It was a no brainer for me-I needed to reboot my life and career.....and here was the chance to do it. I decided three things that night.
1. I wanted to get out of the increasingly expensive, hectic, & commuter nightmare life in L. A.
2. I wanted to live closer to my family, slow down, live a better quality of life, and move back to the East Coast.
3. I wanted to be in a career that I loved and was passionate about.
Let me just say this, I have lived on the East Coast, in the South, in the Mid-West, and on the West Coast so I can say with great confidence that I prefer living on the East Coast. I know a lot of people relocate to Southern California and cannot imagine living anywhere else ever again but I was not one of those people. The minute I arrived in L.A. (after accepting a promotion at work and a wonderful offer from my awesome cousin to crash at his place) I knew that Los Angeles was not going to be the place for me to spend the rest of my life in. What can I say..... I'm a four seasons kind of girl who loves autumn, rain, winter clothes, green wooded landscapes, and the warm Atlantic Ocean. But more importantly I want to live in a city that I love being in and love exploring as much I as can.
I decided to go to graduate school and pursue a new career path. I had always planned on going to graduate school but after graduating from college with a degree in psychology I wanted to get some corporate work experience. Then I got sucked into the corporate grind for far too long. Now was my chance to get back into the field of psychology and get my master's degree. I chose to get my masters in transpersonal psychology while I was still working full time at my corporate job. I was lucky, my company gave their employees advance notice on the layoffs so we had plenty of time to make plans and get ready for being laid off. After graduating from graduate school I still hadn't heard anything about getting laid off so I started my private practice as a psychologist part-time and took on a couple of clients while I was still working full time. Then, the big day came and I got laid off. It was time to set my plan into action. I gave my family the good news, started packing, made my rounds saying goodbye to my dear friends, then I got in my car and headed out of L.A. As I finally got out of the traffic zoo that is known as the 10 freeway and away from L.A. I breathed a long sigh of relief. I was finally on my way back to my wonderful family and beloved home state of Virginia. And, I was getting to check one item off my bucket list- driving from coast to coast across America!
One of the places I stopped at on the way back to Virginia was the Grand Canyon. As I was taking pictures of the Grand Canyon I stopped to marvel at the immense beauty of the canyon. I felt like it was such a great metaphor for this moment in my life. Here I am entering the Great Unknown by reinventing myself and beginning a new career. But isn't that what life is all about? If I stayed in the same place, same job, same life how would that really be a full life or any kind of life at all? And, what would I have to say at the end of my life if I just remained the same person and never changed anything in my life because I was afraid to? After all the years of being overworked and under appreciated by Corporate America would it be easier playing it safe and staying in that life? I still didn't feel like I was in the most secure career or doing rewarding work, or getting paid well being in a corporate job. So why not take a risk and be in a career that I love and want to go to everyday. If I'm going to be spending most of my time at work (over half of American workers spend at least 50 hours a week at work according to money,cnn,com) then it better be doing something that I love. Yes it's scary starting a new life, Yes, it's also scary sometimes being your own boss and entering a whole new work environment. But there's something incredibly freeing and exciting about it, at the same time.
As I stood there looking into the beautiful depths of the Grand Canyon, I felt so free, so alive, and so grateful. I decided right then and there that I wanted to feel the same way with my career and in my life, too.
Conswella Joyce is a spiritual psychologist, life coach, star astro-numerologist, and artist. She has a master's degree in transpersonal psychology from Sofia University and is an advanced certified astro-numerologist.