Thirteen years ago, after an epiphany which occurred on a ferry crossing the Puget Sound, I heard the voice of “God” and decided to move to Washington D.C. instead of San Francisco. The voice said “Go back home and see if the family you ran away from when you were 15 are the same “monsters” you then believed them to be.”
At the time, I heard that “voice ” I had been living in Nantes, France and had temporarily returned to Seattle to litigate a case. To lure me back to Seattle, my clients agreed to let me stay at their Bremerton, Washington beach house and use their spare Jaguar, and of course, a bunch of money. This was why I was on the ferry, in the first place.
That voice was heard in June. I returned to Nantes, France in August and left a month before my lease had expired. By October 03, 2003 I landed at Dulles Airport. I had a tiny amount of cash, no place to live and no license to practice law-nada. Needless to say, this was crazy, especially after my mother would not allow me to stay in an unoccupied home she owned in College Park.
Nevertheless, within hours of my arrival I had found a room to share in a ramshackle apartment building near P Street NE. I don’t recall where that apartment was because as I was walking up the stairs to my “new home” my niece, my mother and my Aunt showed up to take me in.
I lived with my Aunt for five months. During that time I was seeking non-legal work, a whole new career as a lobbyist or perhaps something completely outside the area of law, while simultaneously obtaining a license to practice law in Maryland .
These transcontinental and cross country moves were the result of needing to say goodbye. My first goodbye was to my second husband who left the day after Christmas in 2001 and has never been seen since that day. He was divorced in “absentia ” , a process that took two years and which bankrupted me.
Seattle, my second goodbye, my dream city was where two divorces, a drug addiction and the loss of the custody and visitation with my children had occurred. When 9/11 happened it awakened me to dreams and life issues which I had yet to resolve-like with my parents.
9/11 reminded me that death could come swiftly and unexpectedly and that I had better give up my illusion that I still had plenty of time. I had wanted to live abroad in France . A month after 911, I advised my employees of my desicion to close the practice , letting them know they had a year or less to seek other employment.
I physically moved from my office in downtown Seattle and took no new clients for a year. I literally walked away from a luxury condominium over looking the Puget Sound and a German automobile and flew to Paris in the fall of 2002 and then to Nantes where I pondered life.
During that time in Nantes I began writing about my life, which 12 years later resulted in a novel called “CRACKED ” and where I am today which is refining my book tour.
These days, and I mean recently, I am saying goodbye to the practice of law and easing into my last phase as author/ lecturer.
The road from Dulles Airport in 2003 to the present has been rich in life experiences. Some of these experiences have been painful like the deaths of my husband , two close friends and my father. Each experience has forced me to grow and to become wiser and resilient. I have been humbled and brought to my knees and I have been helped up and helped out.
Finally, (at long last) the puzzle is complete and I am ready for new adventures and more fun and I remind myself that detours from one’s passion or purpose for the sake of convenience or ease are usually costly and not worth the time, which brings to the photo in the blog.
In 2005, a large hospital group became interested in hiring me as their spokesperson. It was not the kind of position that I wanted, but instead of saying no I put myself through this poorly executed audition. It killed any hope of getting the spokesperson position, and my sloppy “what the hell” approach killed off any chance of a legal position.
Don’t do something you don’t want to do; if do it, do it well and know when to walk away and bid farewell.