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At 47 years old, Joan took time off her job in finance for trip to Europe. While in an antique market in Belgium, she says her life was changed forever. "I saw these beautiful chocolate molds, and I just couldn't put these molds down. I just felt like I was on the verge of some discovery," she says.

After purchasing her confectionary find, Joan brought them back to New York City and taught herself to make decadent European-style chocolates in her home. Then, 10 months later, she was laid off from her job, which opened the door for a new career. "I really started dreaming about becoming a chocolatier full time," she says.

At 49, she fulfilled that dream by launching her company, Chocolat Moderne, which produces gourmet chocolates sold at the finest retailers in the country.

"This new chapter in my life is the most hopeful and exciting and happy that I've ever been, doing something that I really love to do," Joan says. "I wasn't feeling midlife crisis at all. I was feeling midlife rebirth."
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FROM: The Age of Miracles: The New Midlife
Published on March 14, 2008

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