How I Rediscovered My Dreams and Quit My 9-5

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After starting the blog almost a year ago (!) I created a completely new vision for my life and career, and started making a plan to quit my 9-5 job in higher education. Next week, the dream of working for myself and pursuing my creative passions is coming true as next Friday will be my last day at my job. I am so excited to become a full-time life + wellness coach and creative entrepreneur. And I am so excited to finally share this story (and this big announcement) with you all!


One year can change everything

I truly had no idea how much my life could change in the span of a year until recently. So, my friends, if you’re feeling stuck where you are and unhappy with your current life…remember how much can change in just one year if you admit to yourself how you’re really feeling and then you’re brave enough to make big, bold changes. (Easier said than done, of course, but I promise it’s possible!)

A year ago, I was fresh out of graduate school and in my first job in higher education. It was a difficult and stressful transition into my new job but overall I was happy and fulfilled - I was on the path I had envisioned for myself.

And the path I had laid out was: I would work at this job for a while, maybe get promoted, get my doctorate in higher education, and then keep climbing the ladder from there. The truth was that when I entered the field of higher education I had no idea that a doctorate was pretty much required to climb any sort of ladder, and after taking on a ton of student loans just for my Masters’ degree, I completely dreaded the prospect of taking on more. 

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I also agonized over what beginning a doctorate program would do to my life. I got by in graduate school since I only worked about 20-25 hours a week each semester. But working full-time AND getting a doctorate? I know people do it all the time, but just the thought of having to do that someday stressed me out to no end.

I’ve always felt that something was wrong with me because I simply cannot work that many hours per week. I’ve done it once before when I was a first-year teacher and I will never do it again - I did it, but I wasn’t living anything you’d call a life.

I’ve realized now that in Human Design, I am a Projector, which means that I am not designed to work and push and I need more time to rest and play than the average person. When I learned this about myself it made so. much. sense. Through the many jobs I’ve held in my life at this point, I’ve realized it’s really hard for me to work 8 hours straight. I thrive much more when given the chance to make my own schedule and take spontaneous breaks depending on how I’m feeling.

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How one thought completely changed my life

So here I am, just a few months into my first job out of graduate school and already agonizing over my next steps. Then one day in September of 2018 I remember having the thought, “I don’t have to stay in higher education. I can work in a different field.” And, my friends, this one thought changed the entire course of my life forever.

I have no clue where the thought came from and why I had it, but once I had that thought, my entire body shook. I remember literally stopping in my tracks, and being shocked at how right it felt to even think that. Every cell was screaming, “YES, finally!” 

The truth was that since starting my full-time job I had become disenchanted with higher education. I won’t go into all of the reasons why, but I was just feeling like the field wasn’t a fit for me any longer. I was yearning to become a new person, and higher education felt like an old version of me that I was desperately clinging to. 

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Leaving the field of education

I realized, too, that education as a field no longer fit me - at least in the traditional sense of working with students in K-12 and higher education. And that was a liberating thought as well. I had developed a strong passion for education starting in high school when I would tutor other students. I had always excelled in school and I loved helping others succeed, too. 

But somewhere along the way I got it into my head that education was the only field where I could truly help people. Looking back, that thought seems so narrow and silly, but it was what I thought. And it also felt safe. I picked education as a career path when I had given up on the idea (before I had even tried, mind you) that I could have a career and make money as a writer. I picked education when I didn’t think I was good enough or creative enough to “make it.”

And don’t get me wrong - education is an incredibly amazing career choice for the right person. I have the utmost respect for anyone in this field - it can be tough but incredibly rewarding, there are long days and many thankless hours spent in service of students. But I went into it for all the wrong reasons, and it showed. 

I picked education as a career path when I had given up on the idea (before I had even tried, mind you) that I could have a career and make money as a writer.

Until finally, I had that one thought. I started to think about a career in media, or event planning. I was passionate about women’s empowerment and thought about trying to work for a company that elevated women’s voices. I started realizing I would need to gain a lot of new skills first, especially in social media, in order to get a job at any of these places with no work experience, so I started thinking of all the ways I could do that.

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The beginning of my blogging journey

And then a few days later, I had another thought that would change my life. “You should start a blog.” What?! As soon as I had that thought, too, it felt so right. I barely slept that night, thinking of what I’d want to write about (wellness and mental health) and what the blog’s name would be (Well Wild World was the original name), and the next morning I had bought a Wordpress domain and launched my blog.

And that was the act that truly changed (and saved) my life. Blog posts began to pour out of me. It was so incredible to get to share my stories, my thoughts, all I had learned so far in my life. And most of all, it was the most incredible feeling to be writing again.

Writing has been such a constant in my life since I was a child. I would write books of poetry and short stories from elementary school on, lost in the world of the characters I had created. I was finally remembering that part of myself I had pushed away and forgotten. 

After starting the blog I started putting myself out there more on instagram, something I had always been afraid to do. I met amazing people pretty instantly, some of whom I’m friends with IRL now. And I started following all of these amazing women who were working for themselves and living these incredibly bold and creative lives, something I had never really seen or been exposed to before.

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Finding my new career path

And I knew I had to do that, too. I had just learned about the coaching field and it sounded perfect for me - I have a strong background in psychology but never wanted to be a therapist. I absolutely love listening to others and helping them think through challenges to find solutions. And I loved that as a coach, you worked for yourself. I was quickly realizing that that was something I needed to do.

So I made a plan to save up and one day be able to quit my job. I am now finally doing that only a year later, and I feel so lucky and grateful for this chance to follow my dreams. I will be working some side jobs, of course, as I build my dream, but a few months ago I was feeling a strong pull to leave my job, take the leap, and just trust.

My anxiety at my job was also at an all-time high - I was really unhappy and it was beginning to take a toll on my mental health. So after sitting down and making a financial plan with my husband, I took the leap. I put in my notice and my last day is August 16th (so soon)!

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To new beginnings

And since I made that decision, so many amazing things have been coming my way. I am starting my coach training program today, and I can’t wait to dive in and learn so I can be the best possible coach for my clients. I’ve already had a few client inquiries and if you’d like to work with me, I’ll be taking on reduced-price beta coaching clients for a limited time so contact me here if you’re interested!

I also signed up for a Yoga Sculpt Teacher Training with Corepower Yoga, where I’ve been (obsessively) practicing for a year and a half now. This is a training specific to Corepower and it’s only 5 weeks so I’m excited to learn if teaching is something I’d like to pursue! One of my dreams is to take a yoga teacher training in another country one day.

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I’ve also started working with an amazing business coach, Kayley Robsham, who I’ve only had two sessions with so far but they have already been incredibly eye-opening. I’m in a time of intense spiritual awakening and growth right now and Kayley has been an amazing guide through that and through the birth of my business (and my new life).

Words truly can’t describe how lucky I feel that I get to go after my dreams. I feel like I was living with my eyes closed for a long time, doing everything I could to stay wrapped in my comfort zone, and now I’m living with eyes wide open, a little scared of course but living life on a level I never before thought possible.

Thank you, as always, for following along on this journey and if this piece resonates with you, please let me know! Your feedback is what keeps me going! Love to you always.

Xoxo, Melina