Today marks a year and two months since I left my home state of Michigan. I enjoyed some of the best times of my life in that great state, but I always felt like something was missing. I constantly traveled across the US and to countries close by, but I always ended up coming home with a sense that something was missing.
Like most of my peers, I held a stable job for over 5 years. Along with a good paying job, I had great benefits and was thriving in the city that I was born and raised in. However, after 27 years in Michigan, I decided it was time to stop playing it safe. Sure, I had family, friends, and a great job; but I just wasn’t happy anymore with being safe and stable. While I enjoyed my work to an extent, I saw no room for growth, no room to challenge myself, and no desire to continue in my line of work. Looking at my coworkers, I realized that if I didn’t make a change, I would be trapped at my desk job for the next 40 years. Sure, I would collect a nice salary until I hit retirement age, but I would be a grumpy worker wondering why I never made a change or took a risk. I can honestly say that I hit my midlife crisis. Yes, I was a hell lot younger than most who go through this process, but I reached my limit.
After some careful thought and consideration, I made the decision to go back to school. Pursuing a completely different field, it would allow me to pursue a job that would best utilize my skillset and give me a chance to do something more fulfilling. Schooling was initially a challenge. Having been out of it since getting my Associates degree, I simply just wanted my free time back. However, after finally engaging with my school work and pushing through everything, I found that I needed the work more than it needed me. Going back to school would push me to think again, and to actually set goals that would help me succeed.
Once I neared the end of my Bachelor’s journey, it was time to make the career change that I so longed. Doing so left me with another decision, as the job market for my field would be dictated by the major cities in the US that had a need for someone of my skillset. Putting me in a position to take another much needed risk, I chose to take the leap and move to Austin, Texas. Being the best city for job growth in the US, Austin was a city that I simply had to check out.
Being in Austin for over a year now, I honestly don’t regret the decisions that I’ve made. My career and life had hit the point where I was losing a part of myself for the sake of being safe and avoiding any potential risks at losing my safety net, which was my job. The risks that I’ve taken have helped me jump right into the digital media field, meet some new people, make some lifelong friends, and try new things. Moving has finally given me the chance to clear off my treasured Bucket List, which I wasn’t able to do before.
While Michigan will always be home, sometimes what we need in life is a nice change of pace, and also to just open ourselves to new things and experiences. Now I feel younger, energized, and I feel like I serve a purpose in what I do. I look forward to more challenges, changes, and also hope to eventually take my hand at living abroad as well. I encourage anyone who feels like their trapped or lacking motivation to take a risk and throw caution to the wind. You’re missing out on some great experiences if you don’t.