Starting Over

As we get older, starting over happens more and more in different aspects of our lives. We start new jobs/careers, new relationships, new friendships, build families/communities, move to different cities/countries, try new hobbies, etc. all in an effort to find what our hearts beat for. I am no stranger to starting over but this was a pretty big life change for me.

Recently, I left a secure government job where I had been working for 14 years to pursue a position in a field that I’m passionate about. I have now been working at the YMCA for several months and I’m learning so much. Part of me wishes, I could’ve made this change years ago but I’ve also come to realize that some things just take the time they take.

Leaving my previous job was the hardest and easiest thing I’ve ever done. It was likely the most toxic relationship I’ve ever been involved with. The working conditions were abysmal and getting worse every year and yet it provided financial security and benefits that most people thought would be crazy to give up, myself included. I also loved my team and I couldn’t stand the thought of letting them down. I mean I could’ve retired at 54 years old with a full pension too but the idea of having to stay for another twenty-one years to reach that goal seemed unfathomable to me. In the end, I had to do what was best for me because staying meant my physical and mental health would continue to suffer and no job is worth that, so I left.

I’ve never been one to believe in fate or luck because I firmly believe we make our own. However, it definitely felt like the stars aligned for a moment. When I finally decided enough was enough and I was done, a fantastic opportunity presented itself in my field. Recreation and leisure are important aspects of wellness, yet they are also the most often overlooked in the grand scheme of things. This opportunity meant I could work with people of all ages to provide opportunities to be active and have fun. I’ve been working at the YMCA ever since.

Though the new job does present some challenges, as I am in charge of recreation programming for adults and youth at two respective centres, I have more autonomy and support. I’ve met a ton of new people who share my passion for health and fitness and I now work for a company more aligned with my values and goals of promoting health and wellbeing within the communities we serve. I’m also able to hone my coaching skills by leading a small team and gaining more insight and knowledge from fitness veterans that I now work alongside. This isn’t to say the transition has been easy. There is a lot more to learn and I’m still trying to figure out how I fit within the team but I’m more at peace than I have been in years, at least in regards to work. I’m looking forward to seeing where this opportunity takes me.

Making this major life change was both terrifying and exciting.

Have you had a similar experience?

Feel free to share in the comments!

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Headshot of Sami Grosse

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