Archive for the 'mid-life career change' Category

Dreams, Decisions & Choices. Oh my!

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

I’ve been struggling for a while with several major decisions. Should I sell my house to get rid of the debt and maintenance costs so I can make a career change? And, if I do sell how far away do I have to move to find affordable housing? Or, should I sell and rent for a while and stay in the area?

Honestly, even though I’m in the mortgage/real estate business even I can’t predict where this market is going. Some veterans in the field claim we’re looking at late 2008 recovery, and yet others say it could take two or three years or more to pick up. Who knows?

In the mean time, I’ve been offered an opportunity, by a very dear friend, to work for her marketing and public relations firm. I’d be writing, and contributing creatively as well as working on bringing in new business which sounds perfect. I’m drawn to the writing and creative aspects as well as to the business development and sales, since I’m good at this and enjoy it as well. But, what’s stopping me is the unresolved issue with the house – can I afford to keep my house and make this career change too? I’m pretty sure I can’t. Understandably, I would be starting at a lower salary since I’m new to this industry. Anyway, I’ve been going round and round with this decision for a few months now.

I’ve tried to be very calm about the whole thing and have been ‘telling’ myself that the answers would come to me at the right time. The last thing I want to do is panic and make a decision prematurely. I know that I want to work at the public relations company – the question is can I do it without selling my house? I really don’t want to sell in this down market, plus having moved 13 times in my life - the thought of packing again feels overwhelming. I also happen to enjoy the privacy of living in a home versus a condo, or apartment. But, I’ve been complaining for months about how much work it is to maintain a home, especially when you’re by yourself. So, part of me wants to move back to a condo, but another part of me doesn’t. This inner conflict and flip-flopping is driving me crazy. It’s all I think about lately too, and frankly I’m sick of it. I want this issue resolved.

Over the weekend I slept later than usual and had this dream:

I was married again – though I was aware that I didn’t want to be, it felt familiar. The mood in the house was serious, dark and Darth Vader-like. I felt my inner light being squelched-out by these very controlling vibes. It was 9 pm and he said it was time to go to sleep. I didn’t want to – it was too early and still light out. I looked out the window and saw people out strolling and heard them laughing and talking. We had a spat over this and I went downstairs to get away and be alone. I realized at that moment I had a choice. I could leave. I didn’t have to stay and be miserable. The only thing was I was barefoot and in my night-gown and didn’t want to be seen like this by my neighbors. Then I remembered I had a long sweater in the back of the car that I could throw over me when I got home and walked from the parking lot to my condo. (I seemed to have moved to a condo?). I left and knew he’d be wondering what happened to me but I didn’t care anymore.

Then suddenly I was walking in an unfamiliar neighborhood in Manhattan, but I ‘knew’ I was going in the right direction. I was following my instincts, and not panicking, while I made my way toward a subway station that I ‘felt’ would be up ahead over a hill I was about to climb. I ‘knew’ if I got to that subway station I could figure out how to get home.

I feel strongly that this dream was giving me my answer.

Interpretation: Leave the security of the safe, but worn-out environment that’s bringing me down and keeping me feeling small. Take back control of your life. Make the career change even if you feel ill-prepared – who cares what anyone thinks! You’ll improvise. You’ll feel lost at first but eventually you will find your way home. Plus, feeling your way in new situations is exciting. You’ll feel alive again.

As far my living in a condo again in my dream – I’m still resisting that for some reason. I can’t visualize that FOR SALE sign on my front lawn just yet. Could it be that it’s the right answer, but just not the right time? I do believe it has to ‘feel’ right too.

Aren’t dreams amazing?

What’s an Anti-Millionaire?

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Hi, this is Angela Artemis of The Anti-Millionaire.

I’ve decided to start this blog to write about my journey shifting from a banking, finance and mortgage lending career to something that resonates more with who I’ve become in the last 20 years. I’m hoping the frequent commentary documenting my pursuit to support myself in a more creative field along with my financial insights on how to eliminate debt and finance this phase in my life will be helpful to others as well. I’d also welcome comments from readers who have suggestions to contribute based upon their experiences making a mid-life career change, or eliminating debt.

I want to explain why I chose The Anti-Millionaire as the name for my blog. It’s not that I have anything against millionaires, trust me I have nothing against being wealthy, what I do have a problem with though is people living above their means and acquiring piles of debt. Over the years I’ve seen hundreds of people, many of whom were struggling under mountains of credit card debt and house payments, looking for payment relief. And, while most received the help they were looking for, what I couldn’t understand was how just a few years later many would be looking to cash-out more of their home equity to pay off new credit card debt they’d acquired. The thing was when I’d ask them what all the debt was for half the time it was not for medical bills, or college tuition or to cover a catastrophic event – it was simply to buy STUFF; stuff they could’ve easily lived without. So, the Anti-Millionaire is about living within your means and using restraint and responsibility when it comes to creating debt in order to be free to make lifestyle choices later-on when the time arises.

Another reason I chose The Anti-Millionaire is related to my own desire for a mid-life career change. Though I do freelance as a writer now, I’ve never made a living at it because when it came time to find a “real” job I’ve always followed the money and security, and not my passion. Now that I’m in my 40s I realize that working just to make money isn’t something I’m going to be able to do for another 25 years. I’ve reached an impasse, and with half my life behind me time’s become more precious. So, I’ve decided to become more mindful with my choices and trust the process – and the universe rather than allowing fear to guide me in my decisions.

And last – I chose The Anti-Millionaire because I’m concerned about the environment and the huge amount of waste each household contributes to killing our planet each year. The Anti-Millionaire brings to mind the notion of rejecting the culture of conspicuous consumption in our society in order to focus instead on the experience of living, rather than the stuff we can acquire.

It’s time to do what I love everyday, so I’m starting now to create a simpler lifestyle around the things I truly value. I value doing work I get lost in – not work I lose my soul for. I value time for reflection and meditation - not spending hours in meetings or on conference calls. I crave work/life balance – and creating wonderful memories of a life well-lived and enjoyed.