Who is Thomas Keily?
My career as an economist ended the day I woke up shitting blood.
I had been working at the Reserve Bank of Australia for six years. I had graduated at the top of my class at university, so I think its fair to say that through those six years I was a pretty solid disappointment to the Bank. I just couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for the work, and I modulated between occasional good work and falling asleep in meetings.
As my last performance review said, “Tom is capable of good work, and writes very well, but if he’s serious about a promotion he should consider wearing shoes.”
Not that these were easy days for me. Work felt like a dysfunctional relationship, and I spent my non-work hours trying to figure out what it was I actually wanted to do with life. I ended up putting a lot of time into the local writing and performance scenes, and I maintained a very active activist schedule.
And in the end, I think, I just burnt out.
In the end, I woke up one morning shitting blood. My housemate, who was a nurse, rushed me over to the hospital on his motorbike, and I went in for observation. I still don’t quite know what happened.
But for 36 hours I went through that long, dark tea-time of the soul. And at one point, around 3 in the morning, I had that dreadful thought. “What if I go out like this? There’s so much I want to do.”
The life that I wanted to live was still waiting for me to live it.
And so I bit the peach. The first day back at work, I announced my retirement. For the next 7 years, I just gave myself to my passions. I recorded an album. I joined a radical theatre troupe and went on tour. I spent three years in Turkey living with a Sufi community. I learnt to salsa dance.
And by the end of 7 years, I had reached a point where I could honestly say that if I died tomorrow, I would regret nothing. I had lived a life well lived.
And that, mum, is why it took me so long to have kids.
I have now have two incredible children, a boy and a girl, and an utterly fabulous wife. I work as a content writer, with a focus on the financial sector, and my creative passions find an outlet through poetry and erotic fiction. I am pioneering a genre that blurs the lines between physical and spiritual love and that I call, Ecstatic Erotica.
My vision, through the UNA-powered site I am building, is to create a social gallery experience, where artists working with diverse mediums can exhibit, collaborate and hopefully sell their work.
And oh, I grew up in small-town Australia, so I am friendly by instinct. Drop me a line and say Hi.
Hi, Thomas! Thank you for sharing your story. Isn't it amazing that we can pivot our lives at will and often end up in a better position even when it means breaking up with your "old self" altogether!? Every day we have the opportunity to choose the life we want to live over the life that we think we have to live. Every single day.