Embracing The Fear Of The Unknown At Midlife
It seems so strange now to speak of the revolution I went through in my midlife a few years ago. I left my secure and prestigious job, with a good salary, to sail the unknown seas by starting my own business. Why does it seem so strange to me now? Because I launched myself as a tour operator and, the moment I began to claim victory, the most devastating crisis over the centuries arose in the tourism sector. And this is what I am living daily since March 2020.
The desire to work on my own had been there for many years, but it was not clear to me what I really liked, what I wanted to do and on the other hand I thought I was mad to leave a job like mine. And how could I think I could be an entrepreneur? Yet that desire continued to work inside, slowly, like water that, drop by drop, erodes the stone. As the Brazilian writer, Paulo Coelho says: “the Universe always conspires for the realization of the dream of the warrior of light“.
My career started by chance and not by choice in the world of fashion and luxury, where I learned everything from scratch. I worked as a communication manager, as a sales manager. I assimilated very important know-how, I learned to work in difficult environments and I strengthened myself. Wonderful human and professional experiences, which however absorbed me too much. I no longer existed. I existed only in work. Unable to say no, there were no timetables, there were no weekends, there were no holidays when I was not reachable and often at work. Then, two fundamental crises arrived: a personal one, the classic broken heart and a professional one, with a change at the top of the company and the feeling, later confirmed, that it would have been wiser to go elsewhere.
Two moments that were very challenging for me. But at the same time, they were a jolt that made me think: what am I doing with my life? I rejected that world, I wanted to work doing something I really liked, I wanted to get up happy, not feel happy only during my free time. I didn’t want to live with that pressure anymore. I no longer cared about the “career” I had fought so much for, I just wanted to find happiness.
I started a path of personal growth. At first, I kicked like an angry animal. The world was wrong. Then arrived the awareness of my own personal responsibility. I needed to feel up to par, and value and respect myself, if I wanted others to value and respect me. In short, I followed the “classic” path, went through a crisis as an opportunity for growth. I approached holistic wellbeing: Ayurveda, Yoga and meditation. Not in a fanatic manner, but rather grasping the importance of self-care, for the body, spirit and mind.
Then one day, I woke up with an idea that seemed absolutely bizarre to me: what if I started proposing wellness holidays? What if I became a tour operator that organizes holidays in the most beautiful destinations, dedicated only to well-being? I had no experience in the sector, I asked myself if it was a fake idea or not. Intrigued, I began to study. And I realized that the idea was not bad at all. Thus the research and the construction began. Years of hard work in which during the week I still had my job as an employee (and often at weekend too), necessary to live and to set aside resources for my project and in my spare time and sometimes at night, I dedicated myself to work on the project. How to create the company, the website, its written contents, learn the know-how of the sector, make contacts, stipulate contracts… It was physically difficult, but also psychologically tough: the fear of the unknown, continually questioning myself were constantly present. As icing on the top cake, my family and friends (though not all of them) were convinced that I had gone mad and would crash into a wall but I was very determined!
In 2015 My Ideal Traveling was finally born. Travelling to find yourself. To understand yourself. To regenerate. To experience a new dimension of a self that is called to leave its comfort zone and opens itself to the world. My Ideal Traveling was founded with this objective: to consent to the undertaking of an inward voyage choosing the world as the setting. Retreats, esteemed by the Ayurveda and Oriental Medicine holistic cultures, as a base, and specialists who are able to assist, support, motivate and suggest treatments and itineraries, which involve body-mind-spirit as companions of the journey. The journey thus recovers its universal dimension of exploration and discovery, not only of new places and cultures but also of one’s own individuality and most authentic needs, which are often suffocated by layers of noise, commitments and stress.
And now, even if I am in the middle of the storm right, I also learnt to dance in the rain this time, because it is out of the question that 8 years of work will go up in smoke now. What am I doing now? I keep calm and confident, listening to which resources I can put to the service of my life and my activity right now. Which knowledge and skills can I use. At Midlife, we are rich with experiences and skills from the past years that come to our aid. We just need to stay silent and listen profoundly. And they will come out. It is what happened to me. Old skills I didn’t use for many years are helping me go through this difficult stage.