Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

I remember reading a book on "midlife crisis" in which the author compared a man (or woman) approaching midlife to Humpty Dumpty. Indeed, "the man approaching midlife has strange and difficult times ahead of him". (Jim Conway, Men in Midlife Crisis)

Many have attempted to describe "midlife crisis" as a transition of identity and self-confidence typically with some people 45–64 years old. Not everyone experiences a "midlife crisis". And it does not necessarily happen in middle age. In my counselling practice, I would normally treat it as part of "life transitions" which might occur at any time in one’s adult life.

One of these "life transitions" occur when one reaches the peak of their professional career. Upon reaching the peak of the mountain, we are faced with the question: "What now?" It opens the doors to an avalanche of interior reflections…

  • Was the "climb to the top" worth it?
  • What does “success” mean for me?
  • Where now from here?
  • What really makes me happy?

I have recently been forced to search for answers to these very same questions late last year (2018). After working for 30 years in executive healthcare management roles in 4 continents, I found myself asking the question: "What now?".

I am still grappling for answers to some of these questions. But one thing I did not want to do was get caught paralysed in searching for answers. I shared my interior reflections with a counsellor who helped me discover the answers to my questions. I immediately went into "action mode".

In late 2018, I left my full-time employment and started my own healthcare consulting company. I emailed my international and local contacts offering my consultancy services. Today, I spend a considerable time doing overseas and local consultancy work.

Having my own company allowed me to better prioritise my activities and engage in what I am really passionate about.

One of the things I am passionate about is helping other people even by just listening to them and offering some advise. This has been at the back of my mind for so long and this probably prompted me to take up post-graduate studies in Counselling. Unfortunately, since I finished these studies in 2014, I never got the chance to actively practice counselling. Till now…

By chance (or by Divine Providence) I stumbled upon a colleague of mine early this year who was in my Counselling class at the University of Auckland. She encouraged me to pursue this passion and have since supported me in this new and exciting journey. As the wise saying goes: "When one door closes, another opens."

Was it smooth sailing all the way? Not at all. There are days when everything seems "rosy" but there are days when I have been riddled with doubts, anxieties, fear… But at the end of the day, life goes on and Humpty Dumpty would just need to "negotiate this walk along the unfamiliar top of the brick wall" and managing not to fall.