Choosing Happiness

January 16, 2017
Pigeons in Flight_.jpg

Avian Bombardiers by Alex Ruiz


Hello and welcome to my first blog post! I wrote this the first Monday after leaving my job (12/8/16) and although we didn’t have our blog up and running on our website at that time, I still wanted to share this entry with all of you…  

“Leap, and the net will appear.” – John Burroughs

Today is the first Monday in 17 and a half years that I’m not at work dealing with employee relations issues or onboarding new hires and I’m not on vacation nor did I get fired. I resigned from my comfortable job as a Human Resources professional because I couldn’t do it anymore.   I was unhappy, undervalued, and most of all unfulfilled. And if you were to ask me right now how I feel sitting in my home office on a Monday morning writing a blog post about it, I would tell you it’s a bit odd not having to drive that long commute down the Palmetto.  It’s also both exciting and terrifying.  Exciting to be entering a new chapter in my life and terrifying because I don’t have it all figured out yet, like, how am I going to pay those pesky bills and start generating income?  Those questions, though legitimate, I know are also courtesy of fear and self-doubt.  It’s prevalent and common in many of us and it can steal the one life we have to live.  So what made me do it and how did I get here?  Let’s get into it.

One thing I knew for sure was that I couldn’t continue down the same road I was on.  Although my job had enabled me to take wonderful vacations and eventually buy a home, it was no longer fulfilling me, nor did I feel like I was making any positive impact in our world. I know Jeanette grew tired of me coming home and complaining that I needed to quit my job, but I could never quite muster up the courage to do it.  Frankly, I was scared to leave something “secure” and comfortable; something I knew well and that was easy. Fear had paralyzed me from taking any action at all. Even after I lost my father in 2013 and realized that life was too short to be stuck somewhere doing something you weren’t happy with I still could’t do it!  But when we started Planted in Miami in 2015 I started to get a taste of what being happy doing the thing(s) you love felt like.  I started thinking, “Isn’t it crazier to remain stuck and unhappy?  Not growing, not moving out of my comfort zone?”  The seed had be ‘planted’ (excuse the pun); I just needed to flip the narrative and tell myself I could do this and that it was OK to feel that emotion of fear, but not OK to let it control me.

So what finally compelled me to take the leap of faith?  I was ready to risk everything to be happy and to live a life of purpose.  I was ready to forsake those wonderful vacations if I had to, live more simply, get rid of things I didn’t need if it would help me pay the mortgage, and even get rid of my mortgage if it was to come down to that.  This is how committed I am to my happiness and this one life I have to live.  It may have taken me awhile, but I leaped.

So what am I going to do now?  With this newfound freedom and independence I have given myself, I plan to explore and pursue the many interests I am passionate about, one of those things of course being this podcast.  Jeanette and I are thrilled that we will be able to dedicate more time to Planted in Miami and we want to turn it into our very own business.  We are anxious to see what awaits us when we start to pour all of our focused and collective energy into this labor of love.  We have a lot of things in mind and we can’t wait to start sinking our teeth into it!  With that said, I am well aware that this undertaking has a chance of not panning out, but what venture does not?  With great risk comes great reward and many of the most successful and influential people and businesses have failed multiple times before they accomplished what they set out to do.  I am at peace with my decision and although there is hard work ahead and I don’t have all the answers yet as to how I’m going to pay those pesky bills and make money, I am open and ready to receive whatever the universe delivers to me.  And like this Chinese proverb says, “One cannot refuse to eat just because there is a chance of choking.”  Plus, I couldn’t be happier then to undertake this new chapter with my co-host and always supportive wife, Jeanette.  See what I did there?  So in the meantime, I will continue free falling until that proverbial net appears.

We’re happy that we finally have the time to add this blog feature to our website and although we’re not ready to commit to how often we will both be contributing to it, it will now be another creative outlet to further explore topics, ideas and musings that we want to communicate and share with you.  I definitely plan on continuing to share my experiences about how I’m doing with this new phase in my life and doing it in the most honest and transparent way possible.

Jeanette and I are eager to begin this new entrepreneurial life we have chosen to adopt and look forward to taking you along with us.  And I would personally like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for supporting this podcast that we absolutely love creating.  We couldn’t do it without you and we can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us.

I’d like to hear your comments so please share your thoughts with me!  Has fear or doubt held you back?  How did you conquer it or does it still lay its heavy thumb on you?  Did you leave your job to purse your passion?   What challenges did you face and how did you get through them?

Thanks for reading,


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11 comments on “Choosing Happiness

  1. Monica Alexander Jan 19, 2017

    Good for you! I did it once, for a totally different reason! But I will never regret it!!!! Congrats and best wishes to you both!!!! Hugs, Monica

    • plantedinmiami Jan 22, 2017

      Thanks, Mon!

      Good to hear you had no regrets! You only live once. 🙂

  2. Suly Rodriguez Jan 20, 2017

    I really enjoyed reading your blog . I look forward to your next one .You have a message in this journey and you just drew me in .. let’s Explore !

  3. Jeff M Jan 20, 2017

    Congrats Alex on taking that leap of faith to pursue your passion. I am sure that was a hard thing to do.

    • plantedinmiami Jan 22, 2017

      Thank you, Jeff. I think it was harder going in to a job everyday that I didn’t enjoy. Sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone and challenge ourselves as you know being a long distance runner!

      Thanks for taking the time to read this!

  4. Congrats to you Alex! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story as I too find myself in the same situation you have been in! At the same corporate job for 13 years sitting in an office cubicle day in and day out that no longer makes me happy. Although the job has been good to me in many ways, I am no longer growing but staying in a state of comfort. I am ready to make a change as well and find your story comforting! It gives me hope….how can we fail when you put all your energy & passion into what you love, the only way is a win win! Wishing you and Jeanette all the best with the podcast! You guys are awesome & so many wonderful things are in store for the future! Thanks for all you do!!

    • plantedinmiami Jan 22, 2017

      Thank you so much, Sandra!

      Wow, are situation definitely runs parallel! I’m glad this story spoke to you and that you found comfort in it. We always have a choice in life, we just need to have the courage to take that leap of faith.

      I wish you luck and look forward to hearing about your story soon!

  5. Congrats!! I hear you… You are Jeanette are awesome! I’ve only have heard the 4 first episodes and looking forward to continue to follow your journey. Thank you for sharing all the information and enthusiasm. I’m pretty sure you will be able to pay those pesky bills… I don’t have any advice because I’m still behind my desk, however, since I heard Veronica Menin – episode 3 I started questioning myself and now that I read your post really wish I can find the same courage to dig deeper and understand what is what I really want to do.
    Wish you the best in this new chapter of your life!!

    • plantedinmiami Feb 7, 2017


      Thanks for taking the time to read this post and for checking out our podcast from episode 1, that is awesome!

      I’m happy to hear that we got you thinking, that’s one of the things we want to do – challenge people to think and live a different way, a better way.

      Thank you for the well wishes and remember, the courage is already there, you just need to pull it out!


  6. Frank Feb 12, 2017

    The “Choosing Happiness” post, including Alex’s awesome “Avian Bombardiers” picture, was moving and a testament to letting your heart be your boss instead of another slave-driver! I love Alex’s writing on what I feel true courage is: action despite fear, not a lack of fear. This means nothing will stop you two or Planted in Miami as it continues toward ever-increasing heights!