"Following My Dream Nearly Cost Me My Marriage"
Her Turn"Is This What I Want for the Rest of my Life?"
"I thought I had the perfect life," said Gillian, 41. "I had been married for 18 years to Kevin, my high school sweetheart, I earned a high salary from my job at a commercial bank, and I had two adorable kids. I made enough money so that my husband, a photographer, could run a small studio and camera shop. But you know what? That life was no longer making me happy.
"When I turned 40, I began to wonder, Is this what I want for the rest of my life? The answer was no. I was sick of overseeing clients' trust funds. I'd worked at the bank since graduating from college, and my coworkers were like family. But I was burned out. I wanted out before I started hating it.
"Besides, I had no time with Nate and Owen, my 8-year-old twins. Before they were born, I'd had several miscarriages and years of doubting that I'd ever have children. I finally got pregnant with them after taking several rounds of fertility drugs. Why did I go through all that, only to leave these beautiful children with a sitter?
"It was Nate who noticed that I always seemed calm after yoga class. I've practiced yoga for years and am certified to teach. The thought lodged in my brain: What if I quit my job? Our community's zoning laws allowed us to build an addition to the house, where I could hold yoga classes and Kevin could relocate his studio. His fine-art photos could line the walls, and clients could purchase them. And if Kevin didn't have to commute, we'd have more family time. I knew money would be tight, but we had solid savings and no mortgage. I was convinced it would work.
"My friends thought I was nuts, but I knew what I wanted. So seven months ago I told my boss I was leaving. He was completely supportive, and now I work one day a week on special projects. Mostly, though, I'm with the kids or supervising the studio construction and couldn't be happier. My marriage is another story. Kevin and I fight constantly, and that's shocking because we've always been in sync, despite our very different personalities.