Should We Give Up Our Luxuries – To Pursue Our Dreams At 40?

What was stopping me from quitting my full time job? It is a huge leap of faith, after all. A consistent salary is not easy to give up, no matter how soul crushing the job may be.

This is what R and S have to say about changing careers, especially now, at the ripe 40 mark?

S says: Maybe it was the midlife crisis, but around 40 I distinctly wanted different things from my ‘career’. It didn’t seem as though I was doing anything creative at my 9-5 (I’m kidding… it was always later than 5) job. 

For several years, I’d toyed with the idea of taking up writing—even having my own blog. It stirred up all my creative juices — and a well written page gave the kind of satisfaction I’d rarely experienced at my daily job. 

What was stopping me?

So what was stopping me from quitting my full time job and taking it up as a full time career?

It is a huge leap of faith, after all. A consistent salary is not easy to give up, no matter how soul crushing the job may be. And to be honest, my soul was fairly okay — if only a little bit jaded. 

On the other hand, I wasn’t getting any younger. If you watch any decent motivational video, they ask that you do everything you can possibly do in your lifetime, lest you have any regrets on your deathbed. And I didn’t want those!

Anyone I consulted advised me to hang on to my ‘stable’ job in these ‘uncertain’ times, and times never seem to become certain. So I stuck on to it— contenting myself to have other pursuits as a mere ‘side-gig’. 

Full-time creativity would have to wait, just a little bit longer

R says: One thing that middle age had no role to play in my life was, change in career.

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Because the moment I was out of my Engineering course, waiting to join my job into the ever absorbing arena of IT or Information Technology – I had discovered my passion to write.

I started off with writing, ‘Letters To the Editor’. 

I discovered I had a voice or an opinion on anything that I was exposed to and an earnest urge to voice or write it out.

And that was the time when I was like — ‘Oh shit!’ I am not pursuing a career where my heart would be. And of course feeling miserable that my ‘heart’ and mind had taken so long to come ‘out of the closet’. 

It is then I realized why I liked the stage so much — it gave me an option to write my speeches and have a crowd listen to it!

In any case, a lucrative job offer in the path I had chosen vs a complete change in career to maybe something on lines in journalism, was a choice I had to make, and well the non risk-taker in me chose the former.

I tried to soothe my cravings to write in the ‘side-gigs’ too!

Would these side gigs be enough for me on my deathbed? I don’t know. I might have to lie on one to find out! And I am definitely in no hurry.

Would my living self live happier, more fulfilled if I had pursued the career of my choice, yes for sure!

A good chunk of our lives is spent with work, and to say I am happy with my job because it pays me well is fooling ourselves.

However, we can’t ignore the fact that our jobs pay our bills and well they pay for our luxuries. It would not be a wise decision to pursue our passion at the cost of our bills or the well-being of our family.

But can we give up our luxuries – to pursue our dreams? 

S says: I think we can once our responsibilities lessen. We are now the sandwich generation with growing kids and ageing parents. Every stage in life seems ‘forever’ but it usually isn’t.

We all get our day in the sun, sooner for some — later for others. Don’t they say slow cooked beans are the best ones? 

Um, dreams here are beans in case you were wondering!

Image source: Fat_Camera via getty images, free on CanvaPro

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About the Author


We are an author duo who love writing together. We have written a couple of books together, Tete a tete with R&S and Anu and Isha. read more...

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