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I quit my job and became a scuba instructor (part-time) in the Caribbean.  This is my story

In Search of Xen

Looking for balance, contentment and fulfillment

Corals Under the Sea


Jenifer Foster

diving pic.jpeg

Hi everyone...


My name is Jen.  I am a lawyer and a licensed independent clinical social worker.  In the midst of the pandemic, I came to realize that my life had become 95% about work.  This was ironic for me, given that I’d spent years spouting off the importance of work-life balance.  But, when life gave me an opportunity to live abroad, study another language, take dance classes, absorb culture and see new things – I started to understand just how off-kilter I was.  So, over the following years I made some changes.  Lots of changes.  Significant changes.  Now I’m living for part of the year in another country working as scuba diving instructor.  I’m on a personal journey to find better balance – and I thought you might be interested in coming along.  


In social work, we often talk about wellness.  We talk about the various dimensions of wellness.  There are different ideas about this – but, many agree that there are eight dimensions of wellness: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, occupational and social.  For my part, I had done quite well in the occupational and intellectual side of wellness, and was absolutely neglecting the other dimensions.  I also realized that for me – the driven introvert, I had attended to the factions which were easiest for me.  I had no idea just how much I had neglected some of the other aspects.  My goal here is to do a few things – 1) help connect these different dimensions of wellness to each other – and explore how they are all interrelated; 2). explore my own personal journey.  I really do believe if I’m going to talk to other people about how they are living their life, then I should be attending to my own.  In social work, we generally don’t share much about our own journey.  Counseling sessions are about our clients, after all.  But, because I’ve had a lot of people talk to me about how inspiring they think the leaps I’ve taken are – I thought it might be helpful for people to know the journey (and know that I walk the walk myself – I’m not just preaching).  3).  I am genuinely interested in the connection between things like nutrition and mental health, and spirituality and financial wellness (etc).  I think it might be fun to explore these things here.  Those are my goals.  They might change along the way – but, that is where I’m starting.


Oh – and what is with the name?  Well – in my family, my father got to name us before we were born, and my mother after.  My after birth name is Jenifer.  I’ve bemoaned the fact that my name is so dull – and that my mother must have been bored when she named me.  (I also grew up in the generation when Jennifer was as common as a cold... I had one math class in high school where there were five Jennifers).  But – my before-birth name was Xenobia.  I love this name – it rings of the uniqueness and the mystique I so craved in my own life.  My alter-ego if you will.  I also loved it because if you shorten it – you get Xen.  And – well, that’s what I’m after: contentment, enlightenment, happiness... all of these mystical aspects of life.  So – In Search of Xen... sort of makes sense now? Hopefully.  We’ll see if I can find her.  I’m definitely on a journey to try.  

** Extra shout out to my sister, Kate and my friend, Jessie.  My sister is always amazing with helping me try to be a bit more artistic.  If this blog looks at all good, you should thank her.  Jessie has been my editor and critic (in the best way).  I couldn't have gotten this together without either of them.**

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