I was 34 and living just outside Barcelona as an expat on an international assignment with my husband.
From the outside, it looked like I had everything a girl could ever want.
A loving husband.
An amazing job.
A jet-setter life.
A killer bod.
But on the inside, things looked a lot different.
You see, my personal philosophy was that I had a personal and professional life, and as long as one of them was going well, I could be happy.
This philosophy served me well, until it didn't, when I moved to Spain.
When I realized that I didn't like either of my lives.
I watched as my husband, who was in the same job as me in a different area, advance as I stayed put. I had no friends in a faraway place, and although I loved the beach, our house and lifestyle depressed me, and I was starting to resent my husband’s success. I wondered what was wrong with me.
Now what was I going to do? What do you do when your philosophy no longer works for you?
Well, if you’re wise, you see it as a wake-up call.
As children we are taught and we absorb our mental models of the world. How life is supposed to work for us. And mostly, this becomes our personal philosophy and it operates in the background of our life until something comes along that challenges it.
Or, in my case, blows it out of the water.
This is called a mid-life crisis. Except that psychological studies show that it’s now happening earlier and earlier in our society. Where we begin to question what we've been taught and what we've adopted about how our lives are supposed to work.
I’m calling it the New Mid-life Crisis.
This is actually a good thing! It means we are waking up earlier to examine our models about how our lives are supposed to work and how we can create lives that work for us. Like, what is supposed to make us happy? What should marriage be about? How can we best use our talents in the world?
The bad news? This contemplation and the resulting changes that we make can feel unsettling and even terrifying. We often feel alone and mis-understood by the people we love most.
This is why it’s called a crisis.
The good news? Having the courage to question these things and find your own answers leads to a life of greater fulfillment and less regrets long-term.
In my story, I hired a coach to help me sort through my dis-satisfaction with my life in Spain. I ended up changing careers to something that better suited my talents, and later on, re-defining my marriage on my own terms. It’s been a wild and yet extremely fulfilling ride!
And it all started with recognizing my wake-up call.
Is life sending you a wake up call?
I'd love to help you find out. Contact me to request a powerful conversation.