It was a warm sunny day in August, as the kids, my nephew and I drove through the hills of Monson to head to Peaked Mountain for a hike with friends. After a summer of a lot of reckoning for me, facing trauma and starting the path towards healing…and after losing one of the most important people in my life in July, my beloved grandmother Gracinda, I felt like my life was at a cross roads.
We thoroughly enjoyed our hike up Peaked Mountain in Monson, MA.
Sure, I had felt joy and happiness up until now. I was fortunate to meet the guy of my dreams at the young age of 21. I was blessed with two beautiful babies who changed everything about my perspective on life. I had the gift of being a mother to a daughter, and that little girl helped me to open my eyes to a whole new world: suddenly every decision I made as a woman felt a little more important, knowing she was watching. But deep down, beneath the beautiful life I had built, beneath the outward appearance of confidence and motivation, was a little girl who grew up with a dream of a house, a farm in the country some day. A simple dream on the outside, yes. But for a girl who thought she should just be grateful for what she has, who felt selfish, spoiled for wanting more…this little girl held onto a dream if only by a thread.
As I drove through the ups and downs of the hills on our trek to go hiking, my mind was in a fierce battle. In the back seat the kids made poop jokes and were unusually boisterous but I barely heard them over the sound of my own brain, debating herself. A quiet whisper that sounded like a little girl…”but it’s what you always wanted…it’s not selfish to chase your dreams.” But what about the beautiful home we have now? How can I ask our kids to leave that? We have done so much work to make it what we want. Again, barely a whisper “Deep down, you know it’s not what you want. It’s a beautiful place, and yes you could be very happy there for many years to come. But on some level, you will know you stayed because you were scared to chase what you really want…”
That little girl was so wise, she could see through the layers of “shoulds”, the layers of conditioning and somebody else’s expectations. This deeper voice knew that it wasn’t selfish at all to chase the one thing I have always wanted…even if it felt that way. Suddenly the idea of staying felt like a consolation prize, in light of the truth. The feeling of calm and peace that washed over me that day, the feeling of clarity I felt to finally begin to understand what I needed to do…and the question now was, how?
Selling a home is always an undertaking but it is especially so when you are also running a business out of said home. That afternoon I approached Brandon with an idea to list the house now while the market is hot, upgrade our camper and vehicle and hit the road for 5-6 months and travel the country. Then, next spring, we would come back to New England, live at our campground and house hunt.
In true Brandon style, he looked at me like I had 7 heads at first (he has done that for all of my crazy ideas) but after a few hours of talking logistics he was on board. Then the next step: telling our close friends and family. We expected some hemming and hawing and concern for this outlandish idea to just sell our house and hit the road…but instead we received an outpouring of love and support from all the folks we told those first few days. This reaction gave us confidence; maybe we weren’t so crazy after all. And then the last big step: informing our business community of customers and friends.
The entire week leading up to the big announcement in our Facebook Insider Community, I shared parts of my story to explain the path to making such a big decision. I referenced my experiences as a trauma survivor, I shared much of my grief at the loss of my beautiful grandmother, one of the most reliable wellsprings of unconditional love I had in my lifetime.
My last selfie with the most beautiful woman I have ever known, the day after her 92nd birthday, April of 2021
I shared about our journey as entrepreneurs, and how much of that was shaped by my own lived experiences. All leading up to the biggest announcement in over 5 years as a small business. And per usual: our customers greeted this news with pure joy, elation and support. We felt like we fell full force into a safety net, somehow knowing that some way, everything would just work out.
So we got busy- I reached out to a childhood dance friend Karolina Podolska of Rovi Homes to help us get the house listed (you won't find a better agent; I cannot recommend her enough!!) We did a few minor upgrades and painting and within days our house was live on the market. One weekend open house (and multiple offers) later, we got the offer we were hoping for: a family with three small children to call this beautiful place home. At around the same time, I happened upon a Facebook post in a home school group for a 10 acre property for sale. While we weren’t planning to house hunt before the trip, we figured it couldn’t hurt to go check it out. We fell in love with the property and decided it was worth rearranging our plans for.
We shifted gears and started prepping for a shorter term road trip of 5-6 weeks instead of 5-6 months. A week before our scheduled departure we learned that this house we fell in love with wasn’t going to pan out. We were saddened by this, mostly because we had all been so excited at the idea of being settled into a new home by Christmas. Rather than wallow, we quickly scoured Zillow and started driving by properties we were interested in. One property in Hampden caught my eye online. While Hampden was definitely not where we saw ourselves living, there was something about this house, in particular the back yard, that drew me in. There was an open house from 12-1:30 and as we rolled up just before 2pm I realized the agent was still inside! We quickly circled through the interior so as to not keep the agent much longer and when we walked back out we perused the back yard. And then I saw this view- and I realized I needed to wake up to it every single day.
Even though the house would definitely need some updating- it all seemed mostly like things we could DIY over time. We decided to put an offer in, and I even wrote a letter telling the sellers just what I felt when I stood out in that backyard and watched my kiddos running in the leaves. This felt like the place we were supposed to be. We submitted our offer that night and after a few anxiety inducing days we learned our offer was accepted.
I write about this like it was ages ago when in reality it was about 72 hours ago from right now. Here I sit, under the canopy at camp, while the other campers around me bustle getting everything buttoned up for winter. And we are just getting this adventure started. T minus 26 hours until we head out from Oak Haven in Wales, MA and start the first leg of our Wanderlust 2021 adventure at Circle CG Farm in Bellingham, MA. Stay tuned!!