Major Announcement

So, my “major announcement” is finally out there for the world to see—or at least the world on Facebook. Adding it onto my blog makes it a bit more official since I have people from all over the country reading this. By the way, I’m flattered that you have chosen to follow me!

My major announcement, for those of you not on Facebook is this: I’ve given my notice at my company which is called “The Management Trust-NW”. It is a management consulting firm. We manage homeowners associations; I am a Community Manager with a portfolio of properties stretched over eight counties. Needless to say, I drive a lot.

I gave my notice a week ago Monday, July 1. It’s rather odd how it came about. I was just waking up, in that dreamland between REM sleep and wakefulness and I was stressing about my job! I had just come off a three day weekend and I was dreaming (thinking?) about a problem with a client. It wasn’t a major issue, just one of those itty bitty things we mere humans tend to over-dramatize.

Anyway, suddenly I got it into my mind that I wanted to quit. It popped out of nowhere. I still wasn’t fully awake, but I dreamed (thought?) about the ramifications of pursuing my writing and my newly released book full-time.

When I finally woke up, I called my cousin, Sergio, in Italy. I asked him to contact my brother in Dubai since phone and text conversations don’t seem to work well for my brother and me between America and the UAE. I asked him to have my brother call me at his earliest convenience. Within two hours my brother had called me and I told him what I wanted to do.

I was fearful of his reaction. My brother had notified me in May of the inheritance I was receiving from our late father’s estate. It’s not enormous—I can’t retire. But it’s substantial and it’s generous. My brother told me that it was the desire of him and our dad that I use the money for a house. Since I can’t buy a house right now due to some past financial issues, I asked my brother to invest the money for me and he agreed.

Now, I was wondering if he would “let” me have this money to pursue my dream. He was completely supportive. My brother has always wanted me to pursue writing; I think he believes this is my chance to shine. My light has always been under a bushel these past decades while my brother’s career has continued an upward trajectory. He’s never understood why I’m not on that same trajectory. My father felt the same way.

I’ve been talking to friends who are helping me and giving me advice on publicity. I feel that, for the next five months, I’ve got my work cut out for me. I will hit the ground running; I know that I can’t afford to sleep in, be lackadaisical. I will have NO income and can’t rest on the financial laurels of my inheritance.

Anyway, I went into the office and told my supervisor. I felt like I was walking on air. He was supportive and walked up and shook my hand. Today it was announced to the entire company after a short period to give the upper management team time to look at its options to replace me and adequately cover my clients. My last day is July 31.

I have to admit, once that announcement came out, I was suddenly seized by fear. It became even more real. Something about the printed word truly finalizes things. Plus, the entire company now knew and I realized there was no going back.

At work, a colleague of mine said, “Why don’t you just go to Italy?” Funny, but I never really considered it. All my friends have been encouraging me to go, but I’ve always dismissed it. I had looked at that option in a very conservative manner. In my mind, it would have made no sense to go to Italy without a job, some sort of buffer. But then, I’m going to have no job now, so what’s the difference? I wonder why my colleague’s comments resonated more than my close friends?

Maybe because it was unexpected. Sometimes it takes relative strangers to point out the obvious because the obvious isn’t so obvious other times. Maybe I was ready to hear it. This whole situation has been the epitome of mind expansion. My brain seems open to everything.

Since I am planning a trip to Italy for Christmas, I can do some research before I leave and look around when I’m there. If I need to stay longer, I can; perhaps my family has some contacts. If I move there, my expenses would be similar to here in Salem. The only difference is that I would be in ITALY. My homeland. With my beloved family. I would liquidate most things here and store the rest. Sell my car and pull out all the stops to pursue this dream.

My family in the past has encouraged me to come to Italy. After my mom died, they enthusiastically, yet gently encouraged me to come. I was in no mindset to make such a decision. And it wasn’t time.

Now I truly believe it’s time. I feel like all the stars are aligning. I have nothing keeping me in North America. My parents are gone, my biological father is gone.

I took care of everyone. I took care of everyone for decades. I took care of everyone to the best of my ability. Now it’s time for me to shine. For months I’ve been asking God, “When is it my turn?” I see my friends living out the lives they want, happy and fulfilled and I’m thrilled for them. But I kept wondering what was wrong with me.

Perhaps helping everyone was my way of avoiding a chance to shine. Perhaps it was a crutch. Perhaps I was running because I was fearful of what I have to offer. Truth be told, I’ve always been fearful of success. Now, I’m ready to embrace it. I’m not necessarily talking about financial success, but success as fulfillment. I’m fifty-four years old; I don’t give a crap about being a millionaire. I want to find my niche, make my mark and claim the life that’s out there for me.

Will this book do it for me? I won’t know until I’m promoting it full time to the best of my abilities. Will my writing do it for me at all? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll wind up as a barista in a coffee bar in Offida, Italy. There are worse things.

I don’t know if taking care of everyone for decades and searching in the wrong places for my heart’s desire was the wrong path. Someone needed to help out. But I did it and now there are no encumbrances. My life is mine and I don’t need to play St. Francis of Assisi anymore.

I can be me.

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