Welcome to Midlife Funk. I’m Riza, a corporate scientist, intellectual property professional, amateur photographer and midlife traveler. Evidently, I have a perfect life: I have a good career, I’m in good health, I’m in a happy marriage and, thanks to Facebook, I stay well connected with my friends and family.
Within the past two years, I’ve lost the two most important women in my life: my mother and a very close great-aunt, who both died after losing long battles with cancer. On the work front, my employer is facing severe challenges, both in the marketplace and from an activist investor. Many of my colleagues, mentors, and close friends have left or were pushed out of their jobs. Overall, I feel burned out and emotionally drained. I’ve become increasingly restless and depressed and have started to question where my own life is going.
My depression has started to take a toll on my health. So after seventeen years of working for DuPont, I’ve decided to quit, take a break from my career and give myself time to rejuvenate and reflect on my life. With my husband’s full support and encouragement, I’ve decided to take an extended break from my daily rituals and familiar patterns and instead travel the world full-time. Although I’ve always traveled a lot (in addition to work-related travel, I’ve relocated to different countries four times, and travel has always been my primary hobby), I feel the need for new and deeper experiences. My hope is that by exposing myself to new experiences and exploring different perspectives, I’ll be able to regain a sense of purpose and direction.
As I navigate my midlife funk, this website will catalog my inner and outer journeys. I intend it to be a truthful, objective and candid account of my feelings and the lessons I hope to learn along the way. While it’s primarily intended for friends and family, if others happen to stumble across it and find that it resonates with them, I consider that a bonus.
My goal is to post updates every couple of weeks, which will be posted on the Home page. Elsewhere on the site, you can: check out my progress on the Travels page, which shows a map of where I’ve been, highlights the country that I’m currently in, and shows the other countries that I plan to visit; see photos of the places that I’m visiting and the people that I’m meeting, by checking out the Gallery page; and send me your questions, comments and suggestions via the Contact page, or even just say “hello”. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!