Entering a New Decade
In February of this year, I turned 40. As I’ve continued to reflect on entering this new decade, I’ve noticed how much in my life has changed in the lead up to hitting the big 4-0.
Professionally, my life is completely different from three years ago, which was when I last wrote anything on this blog. At that time, I was running a small baton twirling coaching business and feeling ready for a new challenge. I was also exploring my purpose and identity outside of my work. That exploration, ironically, led to a career shift.
Now I’m working as a career counselor at a local university and really enjoying this new chapter of my life. This certainly wasn’t a quick and easy transition. It involved going to grad school and lots of hard work. Now looking back, though, it’s incredible to see how that exploration led to my new career. I graduated in December 2018 and was hired full-time in my current role that same month, just a short time before turning 40.
During that time I also chose to close down my small business which I had been running for seven years. It was a big decision, but I realized I wanted to leave room for other areas of growth and creativity. I knew I would have a hard time managing my small coaching business along with my full-time job. Part of getting to know myself better in my thirties included recognizing that I’m a highly sensitive person and need more downtime than a lot of other people. It was very emotional to stop coaching, but a year later I can see that it was the right decision for me.
This professional shift has now started to lend itself to some shifts in how I spend my time in my personal life. This has included learning more about another personality system and the beginnings of a new hobby.
While I’ve enjoyed various personality assessments over the years (and love that I get to use them in my work), I’ve been exploring the Enneagram in more depth over the past year. I still have a lot to learn as it’s very layered, but I have now identified myself as a 4. It took me a while to figure out my number, but it seems quite clear to me now. It will be interesting to see how this exploration continues for me in this new decade.
After completing grad school, I found myself wondering how I want to spend this extra free time I have now! I felt at a bit of a loss initially, and really just wanted to spend my time reading books for pleasure or watching TV shows without feeling like I should be studying or writing a paper.
A few weeks ago while my husband was at a rehearsal, I didn’t want to spend my time reading or watching something. I’ve had a desire for a while now to learn how to doodle simple things and decided to just google some easy how-to-draw tutorials. It’s been surprisingly fun! And also quite relaxing and stress-relieving. I’m planning on taking an online course next month from someone I found on instagram whose style and aesthetics really match my own preferences.
As I close in on this first year of my forties, I’m grateful for this new chapter I’ve entered both professionally and personally. I look forward to seeing where this decade takes me.
I’d love to hear if you’ve experienced some major changes at a milestone birthday. Or have you made a major shift at some other point in your life? Share in the comments below.