“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I think my true calling is to be a stay-at-home dad. After all, the times I was unemployed were also my happiest.

Growing up in Bnei Brak, an ultra-orthodox Jewish town in Israel, I never saw a woman wearing pants, and none of my friends had cellphones or cable television since neither technology was welcome. Son of two loving parents who had never finished high school, I was taught to play it safe, follow the religious lifestyle, and not question the norms.

Harvard seemed like a distant universe.

Years later, as I was admitted, I grasped my son and looked deeply into his eyes. I promised him that anything he desires would become a reality if he’d want it hard enough. More importantly, I assured him that he could set his own goals. Now, as the HBS journey comes to a close, I am again not sure of my own path.

But at least I get to define it.

It took me thirty plus years, a decade of steady marriage, three children, and a Harvard degree to be confident enough to come out to my family as secular. I’m shaking while typing “secular,” knowing that my parents might read this. Holy Moses.

My parents are ultimately very proud of my decisions, and have come to respect the way I’m raising my three children, despite our different worldviews. At the end of the day, my pursuit for self-realization and happiness is not about money or titles, but rather about the freedom to choose without being judged. And honestly, my beautiful wife and my gorgeous kids are all I need. At the end of the day, they are my happiness.

— Gavriel Goidel