Tuesday, May 12, 2009

There's No Place Like Home.....

Preface: There are a lot of people struggling and hurting out there due to the state of the economy. I hope this story comes as an inspiration to everyone, that good things are still happening, and this whole mess WILL turn around.

Exactly 2 months ago, I was sitting in Hartsfield-Jackson airport, on my way home from visiting Terri for her 80s prom party, and crying my eyes out on the phone with my husband. My friend Liz and I had just had lunch, and it was the first time I had seen her in months. She asked the same question everyone always asks me....."So how are things in Chicago?"

Instantly I teared up. It is the same story over and over again. Chicago is a nice enough city, but I don't like living there. It's cold and gloomy 9 months a year, the other 3 months when it is warm its fine. So for 3 months out of every year, I am semi-happy there. I have met some great people, but I miss everyone in Georgia, I miss my family. I am depressed every holiday that I can't come home. I go to Atlanta all the time, because any chance I get to get out of Chicago I jump on it. I gained 30 pounds because I go to work, I come home, and I am typically by myself because Ken works so many hours. I don't want to do anything when I get home except curl up on the couch and watch mindless television. The worst part about it is, I don't see an end in sight. The blessing and curse of being married to an overachiever, is that he is doing so well at his job.... 3 years and 3 promotions with his company......why do something to shake that up? I can't move, the economy is terrible right now, and we would have to sell our house and find new jobs. That is NEVER going to happen in this RECESSION!

Elizabeth said something to me that instantly changed everything. "You and Ken are talented enough to get new jobs, smart enough to get your condo sold or rented, and young enough to make a mistake that you can make up for later."

She was right. Since when did i let obstacles get in the way of something i wanted? Since when did i start believing that extraordinary things can't happen in my life? I have always been a person of GREAT faith. When did i start letting what people tell me effect my course in life?

I went home to talk to Ken about it, and at first he didn't really take me seriously. He has heard this before. He knew that I wanted to move back but wanted to wait a few more years. Ken was born and raised in Chicago, and had only left to go to college. He wanted to stay in Chicago, for the same reasons why I wanted to move back to Atlanta. I knew that he was going to say the same things that I did, think the same things that everyone thinks about making any changes right now. After about a week, he came home and very simply told me that if I wasn't happy, then he wasn't happy. He had called his boss, told him the situation, and submitted a request for a transfer to the Atlanta office.

When things happen in my life, they happen like a tidal wave. If I am suppose to make major changes in my life, it's like the sky opens and a bright light shines down showing me the way. The next series of events showed that to be true again. So much so, that even my husband was amazed.

The next day I gave a call to a recruiter and asked her if she knew of any jobs in the Atlanta area that I would be qualified for. She had the perfect job. An Atlanta hotel, looking for someone with Midwest sales experience to take over their Midwest accounts. Two days later, I was on a phone interview with the VP of sales, 2 days after that I flew into Atlanta for an interview, 4 days after that I was faxing them a signed offer letter accepting the new position.

When I let everyone know at my current job, they were sad to see me go but happy that I was leaving. They all knew how desperately I wanted to get back to Georgia. I left with warm hugs and well wishes......and was paid for 2 weeks and didn't have to work! It gave me a chance to begin packing my house, have a FAB trip with my Four Fat Chicks, and spend some time with my Chicago friends before I had to leave.

My new job was so flexible with me. They were going to allow me to work from Chicago until Ken got everything settled with his transfer. Well, that never happened, because Ken was hired, and they needed him to start a project with them immediately. So, in 7 days, I had to pack my house, find movers, get the condo cleaned and painted, get it on the market....oh wait...did I mention that I had to be in Atlanta training for 5 of those days??

It all worked out. We got everything done, moved, and it all happened in perfect timing with my aunt and uncle's townhouse in Atlanta being recently vacated by their renter. This place was in a perfect location for Ken's job and mine, the perfect amount of space for the two of us, and in a great location filled with lots of fun dining and shopping options. When I was training in Atlanta, i got the keys to our new place. When we pulled up on the day that we moved in, there was a whole team of my friends and family waiting to help us unpack and get settled. You would not believe the amount of work that we got done that afternoon.

I hope this post does not come off like I am bragging, or that I don't know what is going on right now. I am very aware of the unemployment rate, I am very aware of the state of the housing market, I am very aware that there are tough times right now. But I am aware of something else too. There is nothing that is too big for GOD. I had everyone i knew on their knees praying for Ken and I, and I know that it made all the difference. I had just met Tiffany Mendenhall and her sweet family in Chicago, and after knowing them for about an hour, I even had them praying too!
Ken and i have a new motto. WE ARE NOT PARTICIPATING IN THIS RECESSION. I truly feel that if everyone took on that attitude, things would get better. Whether you believe in God or not, i think we can all agree about the power of positive thinking. Your thoughts create your reality, you attitude creates your environment. If you consume yourself with thoughts of how bad things are, and live in fear of what could happen, you don't leave room for positive things to come in.

These past 2 weeks have been wonderful. I have spent time with friends, seen my entire family, watched my little brother graduate from college, and have had my whole attitude and outlook on life completely change. I am happier now, I love my husband even more, and there is a peace in my spirit that I haven't ever felt.

I am thinking about buying some ruby red slippers and putting them in my house just to remind me of exactly what can happen in your life when you have the courage and faith to change it, despite all the odds. There truly is no place like home.....