Would love to hear your story/musings/wisdom.
I stopped talked to 90% of my friends and only kept in touch with the important ones. Best choice of my life. Been here for a couple years and am making 5x what I was making in CO, am working in a challenging industry, learning new stuff every day, and get to work on leading tech. Most important, I get to network with inspiring and intelligent individuals, and have the freedom to do more than most.
Sometimes you just have to drop everything, put yourself way into the uncomfortable zone, and figure it out - especially if you're young.
I didn't have much going on career wise and had been interested in attending a coding school. I was going to college in the evenings but at that rate it would have taken way longer than I wanted it to, to be able to change careers. I made the off hand remark to my brother that the school I wanted go to was in Seattle and that would make it difficult to go. He told about a friend of his in Seattle who let me stay at his place and I was off to the races from there.
I guess my advice would be it's not as hard as you would think to just move across the country and change jobs. I didn't have much tying me down however. I had a girlfriend (now wife) he was excited to move out of the city with me so that helped. No kids, no car, no house or anything like that so it was fairly easy to just pick up and go.
TL;DR - You're not as locked in to your current lifestyle as you think.
I have kind of had three dramatic career changes. I feel they all have gone really well, but I think most people think I am a basically a huge failure and total loser.
In high school, I was one of the top 3 students of my graduating class. I had the highest SAT score of my class. This helped get me named Star Student and won me a National Merit Scholarship. I was expected to have a very serious career. I had only two real goals: Get away from my home state and deal with my personal problems. I was aware my health was frail thus joining the Army was a no go, etc. I opted out of my scholarship, quit college, married some guy whose only dream was to be a soldier. I hid my unemployable status under the nifty title of homemaker for a lot of years. So, I successfully left the fast track for a position that would not kill me. That was career change one.
Finally getting a diagnosis for my condition helped empower me to leave my marriage. I had been going to college on and off. My goal was to trade in my homemaker title for the title of urban planner. As part of that effort, I got a certificate in GIS and applied to an internship with a national lab and ran a planning subforum on a statusy planning discussion board for a time. My resume had a high call back rate for getting me interviews but I kept flopping in the interview.
I ultimately ended up at an entry level job at a Fortune 500 company. That was career change two as I successfully left behind being a homemaker. Although the job was unrelated to all my career goals and training, it paid better than minimum wage and was oohed and aahed over by most folks with whom I made small talk. Just working at that company was a feather in my cap in the eyes of most locals. I might have stayed and climbed the corporate ladder, but I had dreams of getting healthy that conflicted with that path. This led to dramatic career change number three.
At some point, I quit that job in order to focus on getting well and work on developing an income stream that won't keep me sick. I do freelance writing and I am developing some web projects that generally suck less than they used to. It has been slow and frustrating and I am aggravated at how little I make, etc. But if you understand what I am up against -- and I do, even though most other people do not -- it is actually going swimmingly well and is basically wildly successful. But I really have a very hard time convincing others of that fact, so I hesitated to answer at all because how others see me is dramatically out of step with how I see myself. I still look to most people like a total fucking loser and there is nothing to be gained by arguing about it. So I mostly try to avoid arguing about it and try to just keep working on my goals in as focused a fashion as I can manage, given my health problems and other challenges.
Best of luck.