Sometimes, when you are shifting gears in your life, you wonder if you are doing the right thing. Well, here is one small example to illustrate how in making a change you actually incorporate all your life experience up to that point.
I just moved recently and needed to revise my business card. It's taken a few years of working on and off on the software program I use but now can navigate it not too badly. With that, I designed this card (phone and address not my real ones but I use it here for illustrative purposes). I use to be a graphic designer, illustrator and art director and I feel really fortunate that I can use the skills that I honed over those years working in that capacity to come up with this card that incorporates my fine art painting AND my graphic design skills. Even though I can no longer work in those capacities I can take all I learned and now use them for myself. I know other fine artists struggle with the commercial art, if you will, aspects of self-promotion. I am fortunate in that I understand that area and so, for me, it's not completely foreign territory.
No matter where you are, if you have made a decision (or were forced) to abandon a career or trade, you may not see it now, but all that you have learned will help you in wherever you go and whatever you do now and in the future.