As I promised all the free spirits that asked me, today's post will be dedicated to telling you guys how I went from being a private banker to starting this blog and leaving everything to follow my passions.
Where to begin? There's so much I want to tell you guys but I don't want to make this post so long that you read only half way through. Therefore, I will try to focus on the most important details and those that will hopefully inspire you to follow your dreams. Now, let’s get to the point! <3
I graduated from college in 2010 with a major in international business. To be honest, there hasn’t been one day since that I haven’t asked myself why I chose that major. I think the fact that I speak three languages (Spanish, English and German), love numbers and come from a family of business people had a lot to do with it. My senior year in college I felt completely lost. My family kept telling me to stick to my business major while in my free time I found myself wondering about photography, taking classes about Buddhism and Hinduism, doing arts & crafts and handmade jewelry, volunteering at dog shelters, acting in front of mirrors, and preaching about my humanitarian and vegetarian values (I became vegan later on). One semester before graduation, I realized I hadn't taken a single internship during my 3.5 years in school. Not knowing what I wanted to do with my life I once again let the ones who love me guide me. Everyone kept saying "finance", which made me think they knew better so I interviewed at an international bank in Miami. After 3 meetings with the bank, I had my first paid internship and found myself working from 9-5 while taking 18 credits at school every night. My days started at 6 am and ended around midnight, which was usually the time I got home after school. Weekends I spent at home writing 30-50 page essays for most of my classes. Did I enjoy it? Hell no! But I knew I wanted to make something of myself and challenge the "beauty and no brains" judgment everyone had of me when I was a teenager. I’m not going to lie, that last semester was an ugly pain! I was not only exhausting myself physically and mentally but I was also dealing with a broken four-year relationship with the guy I thought I would marry. Talk about the freaking cherry on top! I guess my ambition was a little stronger than my exhaustion and heartbreak because I graduated with a 3.8 GPA, honors and a job offer at the bank. And that's how it all started... What I thought to be the American dream! The day after graduation I was officially a full time employee at the bank earning 50k, attending fancy client events and living in a nice apartment with an ocean view. My excitement lasted for 3 years until I realized I had never felt emptier and more confused. I knew I needed to take some time off from banking to clear my head and figure things out. Something I’ve always been passionate about is yoga so becoming a yoga teacher felt like the right thing to do. I quit my banking job (first one) and took a 45-day yoga teacher training. A few weeks after I finished my training, I was already giving privates but that was not enough to pay the “banker lifestyle” bills that were piling up and I found myself struggling every day. I had student loans to pay, rent, car, credit cards and tons of other bills on hold. Going to my family for financial support was not an option since I’ve been taking care of myself since college. My ego was also too big for that (not saying it with pride. That is a weakness I’ve been fighting with for years now). Sadly, my parents didn’t give me any moral support either because they didn’t approve my decision to leave banking in the first place. I felt completely alone and more lost than I’ve ever felt! And that’s how I got myself back into banking for the second time. I got offered a better position at another bank with almost double my old salary and, at that precise moment, I felt I had no other choice. I have to admit though, the first 5 months were amazing. I felt I was learning a lot, had a great team to work with, was traveling back and forth to NYC, and going to tons of tennis and basketball games with clients. “The job everyone wanted”, as my friends said over and over again, but I kept feeling like something was missing. I felt imprisoned. Glued to a seat for hours while I looked at the green trees and sky outside my office window. I was the only vegan, hippie, yogi, charity-loving, full of tattoos banker in the office, which made me feel more like I didn’t belong there. I kept telling myself there had to be more to life, never imagining that sentence would be my fuel to start this blog. I wanted to be so close to myself, to my emotions, to my goals and passions and to my wild heart that I decided to detach myself from the things I no longer needed… the things that didn’t make my soul happy. I sold all the items in my closet with designer names I could barely pronounce, moved from a one bedroom apt to a beautiful little studio on the beach, went fully vegan (after 4 years as a vegetarian, I finally chose a vegan diet and lifestyle about a little more than a year ago) and began to volunteer again at the charities close to my heart. Yes, I was still in banking but this time I wanted to make sure it never got to my head again! And even though I had gone from The Devil Wears Prada type of lifestyle to a simpler one, I was so joyful! I felt as if I had taken a huge rock out of my back and could finally breathe! Once I had achieved this, the blog came alive. Friends of mine told me I should put my life and daily choices in writing because it’s not very often that you find a free spirited, vegan, charity-lover, tattooed yogi in an industry full of stress and materialism such as banking. So I did. And I wrote, and wrote, and wrote and with every key I pressed I felt closer to myself than ever! After 10 months of saving (something I didn’t do much the first time I left my 9-5) and dedicating my nights and weekends and every little free second I got off the banking world to the blog, I finally accepted that staying in banking would mean living someone else’s dream and that if I at least didn’t give my passions and life itself another try I would probably spend 5 more years looking out my office window wondering “what if”. There’s no greater enemy to one’s success and happiness than the “what if”. What if I had studied acting like I wanted when I was young? What if I take photography lessons? What if I quit banking again and travel the world? What if, what if, what if! Three weeks ago I waived that “what if” (and banking!) a final goodbye. I woke up one morning and realized I would rather fail 100 times pursuing what I love than succeed at something that is slowly vanishing my smile and taking my years away. There is so much I want to do in this life… From doing my best to leave my mark on this planet, to sipping my morning coffee stress-free under a tree, to taking acting lessons, to traveling and seeing every sunrise and sunset from every coast and taking mental and physical pictures of them! But none of this will ever be possible if I don't believe in it! If I don't visualize it! If I don't do something to make it happen! And the same applies to all of you guys! Nobody knows you better than you do so don’t waste your time living someone else’s dream. Follow your passions and give yourselves entirely to them because once you act in ways that make your heart smile, you’re surrounded by positive energy and this energy attracts amazing things and people to your life to point you in the right direction. Finding the path becomes so much easier when you are doing something you LOVE and above all something good for this world. So go out there fearlessly, take risks and LOVE! In the end, if you think about it, love is energy and energy is simply everything!
“What if I fall?”
“Oh, my darling, but what if you fly?”