Telling My Story

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.

3 thoughts on “Telling My Story

  1. This is one heck of an inspiring story, Jones. Kudos to finding the courage to starting over again and again. We have to rediscover ourselves time and again, and must keep changing with times.

    Keep 'em awesome posts coming!

    Reply

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