Mind the Gap

“Mind the gap is an audible or visual warning phrase issued to rail passengers to take caution while crossing the horizontal, and in some cases vertical, spatial gap between the train door and the station platform.”

Most stories start at the beginning. But we’re going to start somewhere in the middle. Closer to now-ish. Eventually, and over time, we’ll loop back and fill in some history. But for now, we must start somewhere…

Forewarning: this blog represents an exploration. And with that comes honesty. These are my words.

The Realization

Life happened. The “American dream” came into view. I got the job. I got the car. I got the house.  And then realized, “I don’t want any of this.”  None of this is fulfilling.  I’m 42 years old and chronically single. I lack motivation. I have no plans. I’m out of shape and in questionable health. Something must change.

I… must change.

A Plan Comes Together

So about six months ago, I decided to make a change. I knew I needed time… time to reflect, to slow down, to breathe. I’d just visited Ireland, and with those memories fresh on my mind, I could think of no place better to find that much needed escape. And then, almost in a flash, a plan began to formulate in my mind.

I put my house on the market. I was going to quit my job. I was going to sell all of my belongings. I was going to pack a bag… and move to Ireland.

And then things slowed down a bit. Ninety days later, my house hadn’t sold. It wasn’t my time. The Charlotte market, although hot when I listed, came to a crawl over the holidays. We pulled it off the market, my dreams came to a halt.

Fast forward to spring 2017.

A little less impulsive, and sightly more planning involved… the house goes back on the market. A week goes by, two weeks, three weeks… “my house will never sell!!!

And then one morning, my agent calls at 730am. There’s an offer on my house. What… what… is this really happening?!? After a few adjustments, an agreement is reached and my house is under contact. UNDER CONTRACT… the sweetest words I’d ever heard.

And that brings us to the present.  I’m under contract, working through a few inspection items, but in just four weeks… I’LL BE HOMELESS!!!!

So What’s Next…

I’ll break down the current plans:

  • My notice has been given at Ally Financial (my place of employment these last five years)… Thursday May the 4th is my last day (and may the force be with you!)
  • Closing on the house is scheduled for May 26th
  • Following closing, Riley (my pup… you’ve maybe not met him yet) and I begin our pilgrimage south
  • A week later, my beautiful, sweet, sassy sister gets married in Florence, SC
  • Following the wedding, Riley and I head further south… destination: Key West
  • Key West!!  Approximately 30 days to let things settle state side… final pay check, insurance, 401k, etc… in paradise! Key West is definitely my happy place.
  • Speaking of paradise, check this place out… I think Riley and I will be quite happy:
  • And then there’s Riley… my little smooshy faced lover:
    • Riley goes to live with Aunt Robin and all his cousins. For up to a year. This, admittedly, is the hardest part of this whole plan. A whole year without my baby boy?!? I just have to have faith that I’m doing the right thing, and that he’ll be happy and well taken care of.
  • Ireland… I move to Ireland!!!
    • For at least three months. Still trying to figure out European immigration/visa/passport laws… but I know I can stay for at least three months on my passport.
    • I’m focusing on the town of Cork. Admittedly, I was only there for about four hours last year, but it really spoke to me. So idyllic European, so not the hustle/bustle/Starbucks lifestyle of Dublin. Such friendly people. Ideally situated for transport via train, bus, bike, and foot. And the Irish coffee…

But no, really, what’s next…

And then back to the beginning. Well, at least the middle. What next? The impossible question.

This is not an escape. But rather the opposite. A rare opportunity to explore internally.

With the forthcoming sale of my house, a plan has been set in motion. A time of self help, of needful introspect… time to reflect, to slow down, to breathe.


The Gap Year

The Gap Year (1)

This is not your typical college aged gap year. Nor is it a sad excuse for a mid-life crisis. I claim this time in the name of ME! The Gap Year…

Based on three tenants:

  • Well Being
  • Exploration
  • Planning

Of which each will be explored and plotted in further detail…

For now, folks, this is my plan. I hope you join me on my adventures. But most importantly, your feedback, comments, and cheers will keep me going.

Stay tuned, my friends…

PS… join my postcard list here

— Levi