Getting Laid Off From My Job Led To My Biggest Transformation Yet

I just spent the better half of a decade building a career I no longer want.

I also just got laid off from the job that robbed me of my remaining passion and creativity.

In some ways, this is the most liberating period of my life. I’m now free from working countless hours on tasks that can only lead to burnout, pushing agendas I don’t personally believe in, slapping fake smiles across my face and pretending to drink the insane Kool-Aid overflowing in the startup world. I have the opportunity of a lifetime — to start over.

But it’s also downright terrifying because I don’t know how to start over. I’ve spent all of this time thinking so much about what I know I don’t want that I haven’t channeled enough time and energy into exploring what could possibly resurface those feelings of fulfillment and purpose I’ve been missing for so long. I’ve lacked inspiration for so long that I don’t even know where to begin looking for it again.

Searching for inspiration that never comes is a humbling experience, especially when your ego is badly bruised and your pride is challenged on a daily basis. I know how desperately I need that inspiration to begin planning round two of my professional life, but all I can find is blank space. I keep pushing myself to notice every single little detail around me and read every job posting that appears on my computer screen, assuming that my muse is close by, just slightly out of view. But it’s not. And the more days I spend running on this hamster wheel searching for something I’ve never seen before, the angrier and more depressed I feel.

I’m coming to terms with the fact that actively seeking out my personal revelation means I’m highly likely not to find it at all. In the end, I’m far better off building upon what grounds me and letting inspiration arrive in its own time — no matter how long it may take. Movement has long been the steady foundation from which I’ve explored the world. I grew up in dance studios, channeled my teenage angst on soccer fields, and ran marathons worth of miles as a post-grad. Each of these activities served their own purposes and tended to their own phases of my life. But only one form of movement has stayed with me through the ups and downs of adulthood.

Nine years ago, I attended my first yoga class and fell in love. I fell in love with how the practice soothed my mind, nurtured my body, and inspired my soul. I also fell in love with how artfully my teachers guided me through all levels of my practice in every form and every asana. Over the years, I’ve thought so often about how much I wish I could give to others what they’ve given to me, but I never took the leap and pursued a true yoga journey of my own. There was always an excuse, and it always revolved around the job I had at the time that didn’t bring me happiness or fuel my purpose.

But that job no longer exists.

I’m out of excuses.

So I’m going to do it.

This month I’ll be tackling my 200-hour intensive yoga teacher training with YogaWorks in SoHo. I’ll be learning how to share this life-altering practice with others as well as how to deepen my practice as an individual yogi. I’ll also be having what is likely one of the most transformational experiences of my life.

Of course, there is no guarantee that these 200 hours will bring me the inspiration I crave. But I’m confident that the perspective, patience, and gratitude I gain from these next four weeks will make it all worth it. The time is finally here. I’m holding on tightly to my foundation, opening up every corner of my mind to the powers of the universe, and seeing where they lead me.

I’m ready to start over.



Dancer in Central Park; courtesy of Ian Callahan

This essay also appeared on A Women’s Thing’s website.




  1. February 24, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    Good for you! Good luck on being a teacher, I’m sure you’ll be amazing.

    • alenahall
      February 24, 2017 / 12:48 pm

      Thanks so much, Abigail!

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