When I resigned my job as a magazine editor in chief to become a freelance writer, I was nearly immobilized by fear. For the several months I stayed at my desk while my successor was wooed and hired, I would look around and think to myself, “You chump.” What kind of fool gives up a job like this with an assistant and an expense account and a corporate jet and a car service. Not to mention hobnobbing with the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver and Meryl Streep.

I had 20/20 vision for the trimmings and trappings that would no longer be mine. The future? That was a much hazier place. I couldn’t foresee some of the wonderful things that would happen in my new, reimagined career: that I would have the ability to schedule my own time – writing at five a.m. one day, knocking off at mid-afternoon another to play Scrabble with a friend – or that I would travel to so many countries on assignment that I’d have to add a new section of pages to my passport.