Editor’s Note: Today’s feature is a guest article from Bryn Mooth of Writes4Food.

About four months ago, I left a longtime (long, as in 20 years) job in publishing to pursue a second career as an independent journalist and writer under the banner of Writes4Food.com. In many ways, this was an immensely difficult decision: I loved my job as editor and brand steward for HOW, a multiplatform publishing brand serving creative professionals. I worked with an amazing team of talented women, we got along well, and collectively produced work I was proud of.

But in other ways, it was an easy decision. The turning point came when my thinking 180-ed from “How can I do this?” to “How can I not?” That shift happened because I started paying attention.

Let me backtrack a little bit…

The seeds of Writes4Food.com were sown in July 2010, when I started a food blog as a creative outlet through which I could share recipes, kitchen wisdom and little culinary discoveries. I began posting and pointing people to the blog through my Facebook network. And a funny thing happened: My friends and contacts started commenting that my food writing seemed so natural, like such a passion, that I should consider making something more of it. I paid attention to those comments and started thinking, “What if?”

Over the fall and winter, I happened to land a couple of unexpected freelance food writing projects. One of my fitness instructors has a day job as editor of SparkPeople.com, an incredibly popular fitness and weight-loss website with more than 7 million members. Knowing I was also in publishing, she asked me if I knew any local writers who could contribute articles to the site. Rather than opening my Rolodex, I told her I’d be interested. Projects with a local food magazine landed in similar fashion, because I was paying attention to opportunity instead of brushing it aside.

Soon, I began thinking of myself as a food writer. I started talking about my work and thinking about what this second career might look like. And in spring of 2011, I made the leap.

Here’s my lesson from this experience: Once you open your heart and your head to the possibility of something different—whatever that may be for you—then you begin to pay attention to the subtle signs that the universe sends to guide you toward change. You become conscious of feedback you’d ordinarily ignore, opportunities you’d otherwise miss, connections you’d usually overlook.

The risk, of course, is that you keep waiting for the heavens to part, revealing a definitive sign that “You. Must. Make. That. Change. Now.” You still have to arrive at that decision yourself, in your own time. But when you open your mind to possibility, you’ll find that it was there all along.

Have you ever changed course because you were paying attention to the clues around you?

Share your story here.

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Image credit: Julio Cesar Cerletti Garcia

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