Leaving the comforts of home can be as rewarding as it can be frightening. For me, home is Brazil, where I was born, raised and spent the first 30 years of my life. In high school, I enjoyed studying biology and chemistry; I decided to use that knowledge combining with my love for animals to study Veterinary Medicine in college. After graduating, I wanted to specialize in ornithology, but Brazil’s economic situation at the time and the lack of job opportunities in the field caused me to change my career plans
I took a job at a government financial institution, which offered me stability, security, great benefits and — in the eyes of most Brazilians — a job for life. I worked at the Employee Federal Reserve Fund division, which was an area that was brand new for the bank. Everybody there was learning and I had an opportunity to grow fast and do some interesting things, such as, traveling throughout the country learning new things and training employees.
After 7 years had passed I realized that I was no longer learning much and things have sort of gotten stagnant in terms of personal growth. As I worked in the department that processed all the funds, I had the chance to work with some Information Technology personnel. After interacting with the IT folks and seeing that I really enjoyed working with them, I got curious about learning what they did and I decided that I wanted to study computer programming.
During that time my employer was downsizing and offering an incentive package for those interested in leaving. At first, I thought I could never leave that job, as I was too comfortable there with a good salary, and a stable life.
Taking risks and starting from scratch
However, after 7 years I realized that I was no longer excited about my job and if I wanted to continuing learning I would have to change. After some thoughts and with the help from some close friends, I took the risk and made a decision to leave my job and move to the US to study. With a help from an American friend I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where I studied computer programming and ended up working in a consulting firm for 2 years after graduation.
Starting a new chapter
Things were not going so well for the consulting firm I was working for and as I started to pondering what to do next, a friend told me about a job in the Washington, DC area, which I applied and ended up getting it.
At the end of July of 2002, I packed all my things and moved to DC to start a new job and a new life. Once again I had to start all over.
I have been in my job for almost 14 years now working as a web developer and systems analyst. During all this time I was able to attend graduate school, buy a condo, get my US citizenship, and get my life somehow stabilized.
But although I like what I do, I came to realize that it is not my passion. I started to see that the things that fired me up, bring life to my eyes, and get me excited were completely different from what I have been doing professionally.
My passion is in health, nutrition, education, and the environment. My passion is in helping people to get healthy and live a long and fulfilling life. My passion is to get up in the morning knowing that by the time I go to bed, I would have made some difference in the life of someone, no matter how small it was.
My friends and family keep on saying that I should do something with health and nutrition but I keep resisting and using the rational excuse that I don’t have qualifications nor expertise to work with it.
Despite of not taking action in terms of pursuing my passion as a profession, I stumbled upon Scott Dinsmore’s TED talk and that gave me some hope that I could change my life and find and do the work I love.
That was back in 2012, and because of fear I retracted and went back to my “secure” and “stable” life.
Well, that was the case until now. Propelled by the Live Your Legend Start A Blog Challenge. Here I am starting a blog that I have no idea where it is going to take me. I think you and I will have to wait until the next posts to find out.
Until then, I will keep the momentum going and start writing a new chapter in my life.