Location: Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles
Ever since I was young, I have always known what I wanted to do – and it was not writing a blog. When I was thirteen and I had to select the subjects I chose to progress in, I didn’t even need to think about it. It was almost an automatic decision to chose economics and accounting. So how did this come so easy to me? Well, when I was even younger than that I had read an article in one of these teen magazines and it spoke about the high flying life of stock brokers and the life that this career could afford to give them. That was it, I was sold. From then on I put all my focus and efforts into building myself a successful career in finance. The good news is I did just that, and by age 25 I was looking after the Investor Relations team for a top performing London-based hedge fund.
And so after hearing all of this, it’s probably pretty confusing as to why I would want to start writing a blog and documenting my life. After all the studies, all the debt to finance the studies (a Masters in Finance with Distinction that I’m actually really proud of), all the hard work, one thing finally dawned on me. It turns out I actually had no interest in the career that I had been building out for myself for the last however many years. I had been so busy building it and working hard and making sacrifices (including couch surfing on a friend’s sofa with no windows) to get where I wanted to be, I just couldn’t see the bigger picture.
The reality of this hit me hard and sent everything that I thought to be true inside my mind upside down. I really believe that I went through a mid-life crisis 15 years too early. So what did I do at this point? Everything. Everything that I thought interested me I wanted to explore and I’ve listed the most important things here.
Given that I had a solid base in finance and investing I decided to take the plunge and dabble in property back home in Malta. The island is going through a bit of a property boom and my husband and I were lucky enough to build our own little portfolio of properties right before prices went exponential. That interested me and so did the concept of renovation, interior design and short letting.
This was definitely more of a passion than anything else, but I have always loved learning about different designers and patterns and colours. For my 29th birthday, my husband had bought me an Introductory Fashion Design course at the London College of Fashion and I truly loved it so much. It opened my eyes to a whole new creative world which my very rigid finance brain was so intrigued by.
This was really something that I picked up when I moved to London, again just because it was so new to Malta years ago. I read more and more about the benefits of cutting many things from my diet, such as meat, fish, dairy, sugar and any processed food (anything that has E ingredients are a no go for me). Of course, it’s a little hard to keep this up all the time and so I do moderate. I try to eat this way 5 days a week, allowing myself to indulge in either meat or fish at the weekend. What really interested me is that once I got the hang of it, I realised that my body didn’t need these things at all and I started feeling so much better about myself. I was also fascinated by new recipes and all the new flavours you could get without eating meat or fish.
Something which was totally non-existent in my life until I moved to the UK in 2011. In 2013, I decided to take up running just because I felt like so many others around me were into it. I ran my first 10km in 2014, my first half marathon in 2015 and lastly the London Marathon (i.e. 42km) in 2016, raising over £2,000 for charity in the process. Running the London Marathon was one of the proudest moments of my life. Unfortunately, I injured my knees in the process and therefore was unable to keep the running up, but have since started a gym routine that I’m happy with and have broadly kept this up since 2016, so much so that we have recently installed a gym in our new home, meaning I really have no excuses not to keep at it.
Why is all this relevant?!? I had seen a clip by philosopher Alan Watts talking about how you should choose the things you love for your career, and then it’s not really a career at all. Don’t worry about money, it will follow. This isn’t quite reality when you have rent to pay and a dog to feed. I wracked my brain (no joke for about three years) thinking about how I could make a career out of any one of the things I wrote about above. I dabbled in property in Malta, I started making and selling headpieces for a few months (sold a few but not nearly enough to quit my day job), I looked into opening my own plant-based resto in Malta, I even looked into started a clothing line. All of these things were so capital intensive and, again finance background kicking in, I just wasn’t prepared to invest a huge some of money into something that may or may not take off. Then one day earlier this year it all made sense. I was running through some holiday photos and thought I really need to organise all these so my children can see them. That’s where it clicked!
I was introduced to bloggers via Instagram and couldn’t believe that people made a career out of writing about the things they love! As I was going through my photos, I thought to myself, wow, I have been all over the world and have no shortage of material, I have loved writing since I was a child and this pretty much requires the lowest amount of capital to start up… and that brings me to the here and now. I’ve launched the blog, bought a new camera to improve my photography, taught myself SEO and am just loving the writing process.
For now, I still work at that very same hedge fund and am trying to find a balance between the two – which can be so challenging. That being said, just knowing the career path I want for myself makes me feel so much better and now that I know what I need to work towards, I have far less anxiety about life in general.
I hope that you found my story interesting and that it may have helped someone in a similar situation. I would love to hear your stories so please do drop me a line in the comments section!