In my 20s and 30s, I mostly did what my family and society expected of me. I graduated high school and went straight to college without ever entertaining the notion that there was another option. I got my college degree without delay, and threw a marriage in during the middle. I got the downtown nine-to-five desk job, and we bought a house. And then, like so many others, I just kept going to work. It felt a bit… circular… but isn’t that what we are taught success is? We buy, we work to pay for what we bought, and we buy some more.
I have been blessed with enjoying what I studied and having a successful career path. That career path kept me on my feet during a divorce, brought me amazing learning experiences in and out of the court room, gave me the foundation for spectacular friendships, got me involved in Habitat for Humanity, and ultimately allowed me to buy a traditional house of my own. All by myself. It was a great feeling of accomplishment.
Big House, Bigger Plans
I had to start filling up the house before it dawned on me that it really wasn’t for me. It was an idyllic street—we all knew everyone and had keys to each other’s houses; we were a community. But I felt tied down. Trapped. And then I looked ahead at work—and I could see change coming. I needed a pro-active plan of action.
In 2012, I signed up for a career transition workshop with Dr. Helen Harkness at Career Design Associates. People travel from all over the country to work with her (she offers sessions by Skype as well) and I was fortunate enough to have her 20 minutes away. She is a rock star role model who has an uncanny ability to guide you.
With Dr. Helen Harkness (March 2014)
It wasn’t one evening’s equivalent of the surveys in Cosmopolitan magazine—this was nine full months of peeling off those layers of ourselves to get down to what really made us tick, what really makes us happy. It was hard work. The result? Validation that I have the talents, skills, and passion to forge the ideas I have into a new path for myself. I found myself motivated by all the possibilities now open to me in the second half of my life and decided to make many huge life changes: launching a new career and lifestyle centered on tiny houses.