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Sometimes You Just Know it’s Time

Sometimes You Just Know it’s Time

As I turned over the calendar to September 1st, I immediately closed the door on summer. No more lazy days reading and drinking wine by the pool. It was time to move on.  But this year, something more happened. Something snapped: It was time.

It was time for more. This wasn’t just a shift in the seasons. It was a change in life.

All summer and even before, I have painstakingly deliberated my next steps. So much so, I have often been paralyzed with fear and uncertainty. Fear of doing the wrong thing, fear of losing precious saved money in my uncertainty.

I came to DC eight years ago with a fragile heart. Recovering over a lost love, I threw myself into graduate school and a career transition out of traditional HR work to communications.

Today, my heart is healed, I’ve transitioned out of HR and  through the recession managed to survive professionally. But when I ask myself, is this the life you dreamed of, the life you want? I quickly say, “no.”

Now I’m not going all into the life I dreamed of when I was six–that would just be absurd because I’m 180 degrees from that, and that’s a whole other blog post.

It’s more about where I want to be or don’t want to be in five years. Yet right now, I’m more comfortable in the what I don’t want to be in five years than what I do, so I’m focusing on that. What does that mean today?

It means: I’m flipping my condo to a rental. Exact timing TBD, but soon. I don’t want to be 60 years old and living in my same 1.5 bedroom condo watching the traffic on 395. And unfortunately, considering when I bought my condo that’s a very reasonable scenario as it may be until then I won’t be underwater anymore.

And this is where the faith part comes in. I don’t know where I’ll go. I’m taking a page from 2003 when I knew in my heart I had to sell my Ann Arbor condo and move on. That year, I signed with a realtor and put my condo on the market with zero clue, and I mean ZERO, as to where I was going to go. I just knew it was time. Five months later, I moved out and lived in temporary housing for three months. My world did not fall apart. I figured it out. So why can’t I do the same thing again, nearly 12 years later?  It’s funny how age makes us more timid, but I’m thankful for the Ann Arbor experience to guide me. I know I can do it.

So during this Labor Day holiday instead of boozing it up at the pool of which I seriously considered, I opted to begin another journey of faith. One that will require one courageous step at at time. Welcome to my journey.

Dressing Today’s Part, Not Yesterday’s

Dressing Today’s Part, Not Yesterday’s

001I let go. I released my business/office attire to charity. Six blazers, four pairs of paints, two dresses, two blouses, three shells, one suit and one skirt no longer occupy my closet. They no longer hold me captive of a previous life.

I haven’t worked in an office on a regular basis for almost three years, yet, I held on to these clothes out of the  fear of “what if.” What if I have an interview, a business meeting or get a job in an office. Living in the “what if” instead of the immediate was suffocating.

I needed to free up that part of my closet and close off the past.  I no longer wanted to stare into my closet and see clothes that reminded me of a lifestyle, a job, a commute I no longer had to adhere to. And as I looked at my immediate future, a cubicle farm, a traditional office setting were no longer part of the picture, at least not on a regular basis.

Of course, I still know this could change on a dime,  the burden of the “what if” was too heavy. I needed a release.  I wanted to dress for the life I have today, a casual, sometimes work in your PJ’s type of work from home gig. The fear of  “what if” was overdue for release, both from my closet and for my emotional well-being.

And because I’m still a be prepared-type of person, I didn’t go cold turkey, I still held onto  two dresses (one summer, one fall), both purchased within the last year,  that I can use to fill the gap when business dictates.


Car Free Summer: Releasing the Fear

Car Free Summer: Releasing the Fear

Last week, I sold my car to CarMax and officially began my quest to go car free for the summer. I don’t live in NYC, so to go car free anywhere else in this great country of ours can be seen as a bold, some might say crazy move. And though, I live in a major metropolitan area with access to public transportation, the car still rules supreme and to go without one puts you in the minority.

This move to a car-free life was not taken lightly. I looked at it from all angles, all scenarios. I evaluated every “what if” as if planning an escape from a pending nuclear disaster. What if I needed to take Paxton to the vet, what if I had an appointment to somewhere outside the beltway, what if I had a large item to get home and the list went on and on. But these were the exceptions, not the everyday. And for every exception, I found an alternative to getting there without having a car to call my own. Everything I needed was either within 5 miles of my house, accessible by foot, bus or could be done through online shopping and delivery services. I concluded that I was keeping a car out of fear. Fear of the “what if.”

I no longer wanted to be controlled by fear. I decided to let go of something that I had for 24 years believed to be a necessity of life, my car. I thought by giving up the car,  I’d feel constricted with no freedom to come and go as I please.  However, now 8 days into my car free lifestyle I’ve discovered that by lifting the burden of car payments, maintenance, parking meters, parking tickets and high gas prices, the freedom I so feared of losing was just that, fear.  I guess FDR was right after all, “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”