My 16 Career Identity Reinventions
Reinventing our identity is like burning ourselves to ashes so that our in Phoenix can rise. It hurts like a mofo each time, but reinvention is a form of liberation.
"Fear not the flames. You are the fire."
– Ellany Lea
All these spiritual flues, energetic ascensions, and mystical experiences, I never asked for any of them. Did I? I feel like I made a heap of choices before coming to Earth, but I can't remember most of them. Would I have lived differently if I remembered those choices?
Midway through my certification, I developed the ability to feel what my clients were feeling, but 2-3 days before they felt it. Hearts were cracked open and mended with grace. But just because you can, doesn't mean you should...
I literally smacked into this career identity, which would lead to a love at first sight partnership 6 years later. The studio was up and running in 3 weeks time! But it's true what they say: if you're gonna fail, fail fast. But first, try everything 3 times.
I could have coasted through this semi-retirement lifestyle for decades, but my soul yearned and cried for deeper meaning and broader contribution. "F*ck you, soul! Why can't you just be content?!?" Ah, but a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor...
For the first time in my life, I felt seen for who I am, not for what I'd achieved. I had no idea that I had walked into the alchemical fire that would forge me from a freedom seeker into a liberator. All triggered by a date who stood me up!
This career identity took twice as long to let go than to build. I resented the Universe for calling me onto a new path, which I didn't even ask for it, and for making something I adored feel like such a drag.
This career was dreamier than the previous dream career. If I let it go there will be nothing left. It'd be years before I'd know that when you reach the end of your rope, the Universe intervenes. Not to hand you a new rope (that would be too easy), but to...
I lined up 5 interviews in 5 days in New York City, got on a plane, got a job offer and apartment on Day 6, flew home on Day 7 to pack and moved my entire life to NYC on Day 8. That is what "all in" looked like.
For the first time in my life I followed my heart, not what was demanded of me. I decided I wanted to do good as a career, it was destined for me. I would learn the hard way that destiny is not a destination.
Go ahead, put on the golden shackles, I am ready to become the work ox and ATM machine I was born to be. It be another 12 years before I'd learn about "spiritual aridity" and how the cost of misery is too high a price to pay.
I felt mad making a career 180 and starting over from scratch at this point. Who walks away from job offers and amazing female mentors?!? It'd be another 9 years before I discerned: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Someone out there is able to study the cosmos thanks to aerospace telescope parts that I made with my two bare hands. But keeping the awe of the cosmos in my heart isn't the same as spending an entire career climbing uphill toward an impenetrable "Boys Club."
I did a career 180 when I went into banking, thinking I'd finally become the best white man and eldest son I was supposed to be. Ha! In the end, only three things matter: one of them is letting go of things not meant for you.
I had never touched any kind of industrial machinery before, but my aluminum coupling turned out better than my mentor's. But that career would have been an over-compensation for the career that my dad loss.
I made websites just because, out of pure joy, pure curiosity, pure creativity. Then people started paying me for it. Who knew that would happen?!? But with every gain, there is great loss...
Navigating identity crisis, non-conformity and freedom requires a soul with stamina. "The price is high, the reward is great." May these stories of my 16 career identity re-inventions inspire you to make brave leaps of faith, examine your choices with awe, and surrender to the unfolding of your unique path.