Why I Decided To Embark On A Self-Discovery Journey In My Mid-40s

We are creative people and it’s in our DNA to be curious about all kinds of things. As a woman about to celebrate her 50th birthday, I understand that most women in my age group are most likely established in their jobs and looking at retirement. Or, maybe most have started career number two and are still finding their place. Either way, I bet many are bored by it all.

Serving as a professional educator for over 14 years was extremely rewarding. Pouring into young minds daily and reminding my students to live their best life had them flying out of my classroom with hope. Yet, I was still stuck on the ground. So, five years ago I had a genuine conversation with myself. As a result, I manifested a colleague mentioning teaching abroad in China as a foreign professor.

China? The continent of Asia? Was she insane? However, the more she mentioned it, the better it sounded. After all, I’m a SINK (Single Income No Kids), so this would not be as difficult for me.

Did you know that you cannot just travel to China? You need permission from the Chinese Consulate. Once I received my paperwork, contract from my new school, confirmed flight, Chinese visa and stamp of approval, I was on the journey to get my mojo back.

Blind in My Bubble

Same job, same office, safe coffee pot, same clothes, same people, same route to work. I was comfortable with this pattern. I believe I was limiting myself — and it can be dangerous to continue following a familiar path.

I got used to watching a movie at night to get in a hypnagogic state because the next day would be a twin of the previous one. I had to get out of my bubble. I wrote three places I wanted to see and imagined myself being immersed there, smelling the air and whispering to myself to jump in.

My Bank is Bigger

I had my doubts about living in China. Would they like me, and will my skin tone cause me to be treated differently? Does my Chinese salary represent what I’m worth?

I told myself that I had the resources and it won’t break me. Actually, it inspired me to keep going. So I packed my bags and became determined to have the time of my life.

I Owed it to Myself

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not here, all I have is today. Life is so very short. Taking on things that scared me revealed my inner strength. When I moved to China for a year, I knew no one. That didn’t matter to me. I took a chance on that girl in the mirror and she’s never let me down. I am my best opportunity for fun!

I made a list, devised a plan, picked a date, got my paperwork together and went out to discover myself.


Dr. Denise Y. Mose is a Jill of all trades, and her latest book, ‘Blind Faith, My Life Changing Journey in China,’ can be purchased on her website SheisDrDenise.com.

Listen to her award-winning Podcast, ‘Self-Discovery on Sunday w/ Dr. D,’ streaming on every platform. Dr. D discusses the beauty of traveling and how teaching in various cultures makes you stronger.


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