Mid-Life Career Change

Well, Hello!

Hi there! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kathy and I am a Texas girl living in New York City. I spent many years doing the corporate thing working in commercial real estate and recently decided to take the leap and pursue what I love – health and nutrition. This didn’t just happen overnight. I originally went into real estate because I really liked it…at first. I even went back to school and got my MBA to further my career. But, after 14 years in the industry, I realized that I not only didn’t like it anymore, I was miserable. I felt trapped and didn’t know how to get out, and I knew that getting a new job in the same field would only prolong the misery. After a lot of soul searching and a few sessions with a career coach, I knew what I had to do.  You see, I had been reading about food and nutrition for many years. I was fascinated by it. In fact, I would find myself engulfed in blogs or articles about food for several hours at a time.

Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t always been focused on eating healthy and, in fact, I don’t eat healthy 100% of the time now. Depending on the day, it’s sometimes not even 50%. But I’m getting better. I grew up in a family that ate a lot of processed food, not many vegetables, and my siblings and I had Coca-Cola in our sippy cups. It was the late ’70s/early ’80s – before they knew the health risks of sodas…don’t judge.  I didn’t know how to eat healthy until my life-long digestive issues became unbearable and I started doing research on what I could eat to feel better. I love food.  I am the type of person who plans vacations around what and where I’m going to eat. That said, feeling sick every time I ate just wasn’t ok…at all.  I began playing around with different ingredients at home and quickly realized that healthy food can be really tasty. I also realized from talking to those around me that I was not the only one who didn’t always know what was healthy and I enjoyed sharing what I had learned with them. It seemed only natural that this would be the next phase in my career.

The only downfall to making this transition was that it was going to require more school. With two degrees to my name already, and the loans to prove it, part of me felt that was irresponsible. In the end, though, I realized my happiness was more important than money and I got the wheels in motion. It all happened rather quickly once I made the decision, and now I am in school taking the prerequisite courses to get my masters in food and nutrition. It’s not always easy. I am in school with mostly 20-somethings who are pursuing their first degrees right out of high school, so I don’t really have a lot in common with many of my classmates. There’s also the fact that the majority of my classes so far have been Biology and Chemistry, subjects I have not studied since high school…a long, looong time ago! At first it was like learning to read again. The vocabulary was so foreign to me, and my brain was no longer trained to absorb so much information at one time. And I have to constantly be in study mode. It’s exhausting! I think I’m getting the hang of it now, though, and I’m looking forward to the next semester when I get to dive into some nutrition classes.

So, that’s the short version of how I got here. As an unmarried woman with no children who is basically starting over at 40 years old, I think I have somewhat of a different perspective to bring to the blogosphere, and hopefully it resonates with someone out there.  I plan to use this blog as a forum for pretty much everything – interesting tidbits I learn in school or in nutrition publications, recipes for dishes I make and think others might like, if I eat something someone else made that was particularly good I’ll tell you about it, and there will probably be some funny anecdotes here and there…I do live in New York City, after all. It won’t all be about food, though.  I am also a marathon runner so there might be some running-related posts, too. Anything is game!