And Now for Something Completely Different

Posted September 14, 2012

After 12 years in corporate communications, I said goodbye to the corporate world in January, and I must say, I haven’t looked back. No more staff meetings, no more performance reviews, no more executive egos … I don’t miss any of it, at all.

Last year, my novelette (Taking the Shot) was published online and my full-length novel (The Color of My Soul) was published in softcover, and I kept thinking that my lifelong dream of being a published author had come true and yet, there I was, stuck on the corporate wheel watching my dream pass me by.  Since childhood, I had always wanted to be a novelist. Being practical, I had pursued journalism as a way to write while making a living. As a single parent, I stepped into the higher-paying corporate environment, which served me well while I raised my son.

Change is the one constant in the world, and this year, it was time to do just that. Being a full-time novelist does not guarantee your bills will get paid – unless you make the New York Times Best Seller list, but I’m not there yet. I had to consider another way to earn some money. Something that would allow me to connect with people in a more tangible way, but not have me tied to a desk or in meetings all day. Something that wouldn’t drain me emotionally and mentally, hampering my energy to write on a regular basis.

Inspiration came from author and former syndicated columnist Donna Britt who also teaches yoga. Sitting in her class one Saturday morning, it seemed like such a great balance between a physical activity and writing.  I reflected on what would fit me. I love yoga, but didn’t see myself as a teacher. As an occasional recipient of massage, I began to consider that as an option. I had always thought it would be such a great way to help people.

Me with Ms. Lovejoy, my massage teacher for six months.

So in March, I embarked on a new vocation as a massage therapist. I spent six months studying at the Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage and graduated at the end of August. I am now furiously reviewing all that I learned in those six months to sit for my certification exam. With that exam under my belt, I will then be able to get my state license to practice. Talk about making a change!

I love massage. It’s an activity that places me firmly in the moment, completely immersed in erasing stress or easing discomfort in the person on the table. Watching the body relax, the muscles soften and, sometimes, hearing the person’s snore – the ultimate compliment that my hands are bringing complete relaxation to another – brings me joy.

Who knows where this path will lead me, but I’m excited at the possibilities of moving my life in a brand new direction.