Funny how you go full speed ahead down a beautiful path, daisies and dragonflies on either side of you, knowing exactly how you want the second part of your life to look like, and then WHAM, you run right into a very big tree, bounce off and stumble off to a different beautiful path lined with daisies and butterflies. All the while wondering why you are so damn dizzy.
That’s what has happened to me.
I had thought that I was going to be traveling around the country soon; writing and experiencing the crazy world we live in. Plans have changed, but not completely, they are just going to be packaged a bit differently now.
Where do I begin…
September 30th, 2016 was my last day at a job that I held for 11 years doing what I absolutely loved. The higher ups had a different opinion of how the department should be run, and I just decided that it was time for me to move on. I had no job lined up, I was going to live off my savings for a month or two and figure out what the hell I would do for money.
The house I was renting sold right after I had given my two weeks notice. My parents had a rental that they wanted to fix up and sell and they told me and my son that we could live there if we wanted. I had some reservations about this because the house was right next door to my childhood home, where my parents still lived. But my mom and son talked me into moving into the rental…I was going back to my hood.
A big thank you goes to my pee buddy and her hubby. They offered to let me and my three cats (one cat is my son’s, I swear) to move in for the two weeks when I would have been homeless in between homes. My son was able to spend that time at my parents house. He was just starting college and loved living with grandma who made him much better food then I could have. I have some pretty amazing people in my life!
And to top it all off, the active shooter event occurred the last weekend I was at my job. I was actually on the couch with my pee buddy just starting to watch a movie when I got the call that there had been a shooting. At which point I rushed down to the Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) and did my thing. Not many people can say they have managed an ECC for an active shooter event, and it’s not something that I ever wanted to or ever want to happen again; to anyone or any place. It was a horrible event, but my ECC staff, and all the emergency responders handled the event so beautifully. I was so proud of our little community.
A week before I had scheduled a moving party for that Saturday because I needed to be out of my old place by that Monday. Thankfully my wonderful family picked up the uhaul and moved all the boxes out of my townhouse and into my parents garage because I was about half way through my 30 plus hour shift at the ECC.
After my last day I got some calls asking if I could meet with them regarding what my plans would be after my last day. I had decided that I wanted to take at least a month off and I told all who I met with that I just needed some time off to regroup; to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
Needless to say that I did not take a month off, I could only stand to take 2 weeks off. Those two weeks consisted of moving all of my belongings from my parents garage into my new rental house garage (right next door) and helping my parents clean, paint and repair everything in the rental.
After a week and a half of working on the house and going through the grief process of leaving a job that I was married to, I decided I needed to do something else. Something more…something different.
I thought about getting the hell out of dodge, trust me, my stuff was still packed from the move so it would have been possible. But I had promised my son I would wait until he got through his first year of college and I would never abandon my child. So that left me nine more months in the valley. I didn’t want to spend all my savings. I needed to find work. I needed to make some beer money.
Some of my close friends kept telling me I should start a consulting business. Why not take everything you learned and lived the past 11 years and use it to help out the community. Hmmm, I actually never thought about it, until someone suggested it.
So after a week and a half of being jobless I decided to go into business for myself. I started an Emergency Management consulting business. I quickly got a couple of contracts and started working.
It felt good to be working again with the ‘usual suspects’ I had always worked with, doing the work that I loved. I worried that I wouldn’t see my close responder friends as much when I quit my job, but it’s been almost five months and I still get to interact with them frequently!
Another business venture is in the works as I type this that is being built by myself and two partners. More to come on that, but it is in the same line of work as my consultant business.
Ok, ok, enough about my work; I’m just so happy and excited about it.
Now on to my other loves…traveling and writing.
I’m still going to be traveling, I’m still going to be purchasing and rebuilding a travel trailer. I fully expect both of my business ventures to take off like wildfire…to expand so quickly that there will be a need for full time employees to help with the workload. I also expect that business will grow outside of this county and into other states across the country. Perfect scenario…traveling around the country doing work I love. It can’t get any better then that. And as the owner of my own business, I can take vacations…long vacations.
My writing. I’m currently working on three novels, a sitcom and will promise to update this blog more often. I have found that writing is so therapeutic for me. I have also found that my squirrel brain loves to stay busy. I’ve been taking a lot of time for myself over the last few months in between work (aka laying on the couch binge watching Netflix and playing online games, yes at the same time, squirrel brain). I’m ready to fill my days up with things I love again, which includes writing. Plus, living next to my parents and working on repairing and remodeling this rental has given me so much material for my sitcom. It’s been priceless.
As for my son, he’s starting his own adventure soon. He completed one quarter of college, and has decided to not continue his schooling at this time. He has decided to enlist in the Marines. He is off to boot camp the end of March / early April. This mamma is extremely proud of her son. He’s following his own path to where he wants to go. It will be extremely lonely to have an empty house when he leaves. I will however be taking care of his Mustang and his cat Artemis…the two most important things to him right now. Once he’s back from his eight to ten weeks at boot camp, he will then be deployed somewhere. Again, more traveling opportunities for me.
Once he’s deployed I will either get some roommates, or move to a smaller place. My parents have been awesome and said I can stay as long as I want in this house. They get rent money and free labor from us; that is how my dad characterizes us living here. Plus, we’re pretty good tenants if I do say so myself.
All this change has been a little overwhelming at times, some days I truly struggle, some days I wonder what the hell I’m doing and some days I wonder how did I get here. It hasn’t been easy, but I have an amazing family and wonderful friends who support me.
So wish me luck on this new path…where I can have it all!!