When I was 20, I started a small group with the help of some friends to help our community. Whether it was food drives, helping someone for the holidays, or whatever else needed to be done (within reason, of course), we did it.
This kind of work was emotionally and mentally draining at times and I started to burn out. I needed an outlet to get my passion back — not only for my group, but a new passion for stress relief. Little did I know it would lead to a brand new career that I was scared to pursue, but did anyway.
I started a writing career in my late twenties.
I also ran my group for 10 years, ending it in 2019. It was a balancing act to do both, between helping families get donations and other things like arranging donation pick-up and getting things where they needed to go. All the while, I was also trying to find publications to write for and finding my voice as a writer.
Doing both was a lot of work, but I don’t regret it.
I believe that if I hadn’t changed careers when I did, the group would have left me so tired and drained that I would have ended it even sooner.
By 2015, I wasn’t loving the group anymore. I was going through the motions and doing what people needed because they were depending on us for their basic needs. I wasn’t passionate about it anymore like I was when I had first started it. That’s when writing started to become my passion.
Changing careers actually reignited my excitement for the group again.
It enabled me to finish its decade-long run strong and preparing to close that chapter of my life. I was able to do this because of the choices I had made. And by working both careers at once, I was able to gradually establish myself as a writer and get a few publications under my belt.
Over time, I really started finding out who I wanted to be as a writer.
By the time I ended my group, I wasn’t starting from scratch with the writing. In fact, I think it helped me to become the writer I am today, and the writer I’m still becoming.
I’m not saying it was easy. It was a lot of hard work that required a lot of encouragement and support. But at the end of the day, it was the best thing I could have done for myself at the time.
And I think part of my success in changing careers was the support, understanding, and patience I had from family and friends, along with other things. I think when people burn out like I did, they need to find an outlet. They need something to put a fire under them again.
When people start dreaming about something they’ve always wanted to do but are scared to start that new career, they fear rejection. They’re scared about losing their current career’s stability. How do I know this? Because I experienced all those feelings when starting my new career.
My advice is you never know what you can achieve if you don’t at least try and pursue a career that you really want.
No matter what age you might be, go for it. I am so glad I did it. It changed my life in so many ways. That’s why I am beyond grateful that I changed my career when I did. It’s possible for anyone when they’re ready to take that chance.