When I was nine years old and living in the backwoods of Georgia in an old sharecropper’s cabin with my five brothers and sisters and my mama, pregnant again for the seventh time, my daddy came home one day with a box full of books he had hauled away from an old mansion he was painting on Peachtree Road in Atlanta. This was my introduction to the world beyond that hardscrabble red clay existence. I read those books like a person starved for the life-blood of intelligent life. Later I went to college and later still graduate school, and became a psychotherapist. Although being a therapist was good work, I always dreamed of being a writer. I began talking about it in my early fifties but it was not until I could see my sixth decade looming in the distance that I knew I needed to make my dream come true and re-invent my life.
Ironically, I decided to write my book about hearing the call of your soul and acting on it after fifty, since that was exactly what I was doing. The book Second Act Soul Calls – Your Guide to the Re-Invention of Your Life at Midlife and Beyond with Passion, Purpose and Possibilities was published in July of 2013 But just writing a book and doing nothing else didn’t seem like a true re-invention. I decided I had to get rid of my old life and create a new one. I sold, gave away or stored all my belongings and went on an adventure. I put the word out to my network and within 24 hours I had offers of places to stay in California, Georgia, North Carolina and a home base in Denver.
I call this being “gypsy for a year” and it’s been eye opening so far, but not without its challenges. The first and most daunting challenge of course, is the marketing of the book. Naively I thought since the book was so important to me it would be seen that way by others – but I guess they didn’t get the memo. I sent the book out in droves to reviewers. I started at the top and waited for responses. Most didn’t even bother to acknowledge that they had received it.
After three months I got a little down, but I woke up one morning and said to myself, “Buck up girl, you just wrote a book about re-inventing your life so get busy and take your own advice.” I decided to change my tactics and started looking for outside the box ways of marketing. As for my life, I’m still re-inventing it, but no matter what happens I will always be a walking, talking, smiling example of what you can do if you just put your heart, soul and mind into it. I’m still in my gypsy year and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I remain open to the possibilities, which to me are endless.