it's great to hear your stories. generous. sharing is caring.
im nearly 40. I don't hang too much on the term 'professional'. i try to make work which is honest and effortful and high quality. i want to leave the world in a better state than i found it through my work. ambitious perhaps the world is wrecked by greed, mistakes and conflict but we can all make some positive changes which help.
I started in community bike shops in Oxford, London and Holland. Loved it; the fixing, building, social aspects and skill-sharing.
Now working in craft stonework (dry stone walling) and landscaping in North East Scotland. I hope to share this work/skill more as I did with bikes. (see my most basic of basic webpages: https://schoolofstone747436741.wordpress.com/ )
keeping learning (beginners mind) and pressing against the edges of my comfort zone works for me. immersive creative work is often it's own reward and enough money is the by product. working with nature is powerful. i never got on with I.T. and don't get me started on A.I. or the rise of the robots.
volunteer in areas which interest you; will lead to friendship and other opportunities. i help with https://www.aberdeenshiretrail.org/ just now which combines my interests and work nicely.
not every day or week works especially when I try and draw comparisons, look for recognition/praise or just have worn out back/joints. but cycling is still such therapy (dodging trees rather than traffic now mostly).
as in cycling and dry stone walling, in life i try to find and maintain balance whilst having fun, looking after myself and others and pulling off the occasional trick.
good luck and be kind (to yourself 1st).