Warning: very very wordy post below!
When I was 18 years old I decided I wanted to be an accountant. My dad had been an accountant, had a Ph.D. in business and accounting, and taught accounting and finance as a professor at Bucknell University. I loved it. I totally geek’d out on the numbers, I loved the way everything was SO logical, and I loved that there was ALWAYS a right answer. And excel?!?! Give me a break. The best.
I went through 4 years of college, and LOVED my accounting classes. I loved my finance classes. I landed an internship with the best accounting firm in the country, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the summer between my junior and senior year. This lead to a full time offer. I was well on my way to what I thought I always wanted, to be a partner at a big 4 accounting firm.
Remember the saying “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plan”? . Well, lets just say He would have laughed in my face if he heard my 5, 10, and 15 year plans. Married. Senior accountant. Kids. Manager. Director. Partner. Ha! It all blew up in my naive little face. I knew within 2 weeks of starting at PwC that this line of work, public accounting, was just not for me. But my god, I had just spent YEARS preparing for this. THIS was the big time. Why was I not loving this? I felt like a failure .
Long story short, I left this job for another accounting job after only a year with the firm. I started as an investment accountant for an independent administrator in 2009 and at first I loved it. I loved the people, loved my boss, loved the work. I was never crazy about the type of people that were my clients, the big wig hedge fund managers who helped bring this country and the world on the brink of disaster. But man, I loved doing their accounting. Slowly the but surely, the mis management of the company I was working for, the abusive clients, and the fact that I just never felt like I was HELPING anyone, it all started to weigh on me. I needed a change, I needed an outlet.
In May 2012 I decided to get my Yoga Teacher certification. It was an incredible journey that truly allowed me to find myself. I fell in LOVE with teaching yoga, and deepened my practice to a level I never knew possible. I had always concentrated on the physical aspect of yoga, but going through teacher training allowed me to come to know a spiritual side of yoga. About 2 weeks after beginning teaching training I found out I was pregnant with Ella. Over the next 10 months I changed as a woman, a soon to be mom, a yoga instructor, and as an accountant. I no longer felt the urgency I had once felt with my clients. I honestly no longer cared if their deadlines were met because, let face it, this stuff was not life and death. I was seeing the more meaningful side of life in a deep spiritual yoga practice and growing a life inside of me. Frankly, hedge funds just did not matter to me anymore.
After I went back to work in June 2013, I knew it would not last. I sat down with my husband, crunched some numbers and realized that we had enough in savings for me to not bring any money in for a year. In that time I decided I would build my yoga practice and try to make a part time career out of it. I questioned my decision constantly until I gave my notice. Was I doing the responsible thing? I make good money and have a secure job, was I being selfish in leaving this security behind? In the end, what it came down to was Ella. Not only being able to care for her every single day, but also allowing her to see her mom doing something she was passionate about. I wanted her to know that life does not need to be all about money and paychecks and power and client approval. Life is about so much more. I wanted to practice what I would preach to her, so in the end of June I gave my notice. I agreed to stay until the end of quarter books were closed, which would mean my last day would be August 1st.
I walked out those doors on August 1st and have never looked back. I have learned to live without the big paycheck and the bonus and living for the approval of my clients . I get to snuggle with my daughter in the morning in our pj’s until 10 if I want to. I get to only concentrate on HER if she is having a bad night, rather than worrying how my work will be affected the next day. And I get to leave 16 hours a week (so far) and do something I absolutely love. That passion I used to feel about numbers and logic and everything having a right answer? That is the same passion I feel for yoga and for the exact opposite reasons that I loved accounting. There is not just one right answer, there are so many right answers. I leave a yoga class invigorated and feeling alive, instead of beaten down and tired like I did after leaving my accounting job.
Maybe I will go back to accounting one day. Maybe I won’t. I just want to do something I am passionate about, something that helps people, and something that allows me to see all the amazing milestones that my daughter is knocking out of the park. Go Ella! Mama is here every step of the way .