This story is very personal, and I only share it with you because I know that I’m not the only one. I hope you can find your courage in it. This is the story of how I found the courage to leave everything in my life that I had planned to follow my dreams.
I spent a really long time following all the rules.
Certain things in life are just expected. So I did them. I think we believe that these are things that make us happy. We follow blindly step-by-step. Well, at least I did.
- I’ve owned a business.
- I went to college.
- I earned a graduate degree.
- I got married.
- I had my daughter.
- I supported my family financially.
- I planned.
- I worked hard.
- I became an expert in my field.
- I presented my research at major scientific conferences.
- I instructed others in crime scene investigation and cold case hommicide investigation.
- I testified in court as an expert witness in the field of forensic DNA.
- I solved many cold cases and felt great about it.
Then life happened
I could say S#&% happened.
- I got divorced.
- I made a major career move that was extremely stressful.
- I spent some time figuring my life out.
- I met the man that would become the love of my life and my best friend.
- We got married.
- We had some really challenging times – because blending a family can be hard and soul-crushing.
- I was diagnosed with PTSD after 16 years of working in Forensics and seeing alot of things: crime scenes, cold case homicides, fatal crashes, and child pornography cases.
- I was stressed, not sleeping, gaining weight, drinking way too much, working out way too hard while I was under all this stress.
- It finally left me broken, and I had to make some tough choices.
I quit everything!
- I quit measuring everything I ate.
- I quit eating paleo.
- I quit the gym.
- I quit drinking every night.
- I quit weighing myself.
- I quit measure myself by the labels and values that I was previously attached.
- I chose to leave a career that I loved because it was no longer serving me.
My job was no longer feeding my soul.
My career was destroying my soul and damaging my mental and physical health.
I was suffering. My family was suffering. So, I thought long and hard about what leaving this job would mean for me.
I decided for myself that life is too short to spend that much time just grinning and bearing a job that wasn’t adding anything positive to my life anymore.
Many people had opinions about whether I should stay with my job that had a guaranteed pension. Some people supported my leaving and even highly recommended it. Some people questioned my sanity.
What if I pursued my passion?
I started to imagine what life would be like if I were to invest all that time into what I have always been passionate about. Cooking.
I started to imagine what life would feel like I pursued my passion fearlessly, not for money or gain but strictly for the sole purpose of sharing my love with others.
What could my life look like if I was able to invest my time and love into the things in my life that are most important to me?
Everything in life takes hard work and commitment.
I looked around and saw so many successful food bloggers. Why could I not be one of them?
- I can cook! I mean I can cook really well.
- I can take pictures sure there is a little bit of difference in photographing crime scenes to beautiful food pictures.
- I can learn.
- I can work hard.
With effort and work, my food photography will get better.
Writing about food and life – I can do that!
It’s going to take practice to get good at it. It took me 16 years to build a career.
It will take time to build this into a career. But that is okay. In the meantime, it is more vital for me and my family that I spend time investing my time in things that make me healthy and happy.
After some treatment and some counseling, I recovered from PTSD, for the most part. I think there will always be a few things that I can never unsee.
The important part is, I can sleep again.
I hope this article finds you well and if you are reading this and you or anyone you may know has suffered from PTSD, get help! EMDR saved my life! Literally.
I cannot tell you how fortunate I feel that I had the right people in life that helped me get the help that I needed to recover from PTSD. There were a few years there that got pretty rocky.