50: Laid Off and Living the Dream

50: Laid Off and Living the Dream

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life

Laid Off and Living the Dream

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.

~Gabriel García Márquez

It was just before noon on a weekday when I walked up to the front door of my home. I was carrying a box full of stuff from my office. I took a deep breath to compose myself.

I opened the door and looked to the living room where my wife was playing with our two little girls. She stood up, looked at the box and then my face, and knew instantly what happened. I watched as a look of fear flashed across her face. Then tears welled up in her eyes.

“What happened?” she asked almost rhetorically.

“I got laid off.” I simply stood there watching her.

Then something happened. Her face changed. “You’re not getting another job!” she said. “Jobs aren’t helping us get any closer to our dreams. This is it. It’s go time!”

Her words rocked me to the soul. She was absolutely right. In one stroke she single-handedly took away my disappointment and gave me hope. Deep down I knew she was right. It was time to go for it. It was time to live the life we’d always wanted to. At that moment we didn’t know what we would do. That didn’t matter. It just seemed right.

What followed next was a whirlwind of activity. Through prayer and inspiration, we made two very key decisions.

The first was to start our own business. Based on my own career experience, we formed a company that would help local businesses grow through marketing on the Internet. Because this business was based online, it would allow us to work from literally anywhere with an Internet connection.

This led to the second decision, which was to leave our home in Orange County, California behind and hit the open road. The goal was to see places we’d always wanted to see. Being tied down to a job never let us get out and truly explore.

Within less than a month, we sold most of the stuff we once held so dear. If it didn’t fit in the car, it didn’t go with us.

Part of us wondered if what we were doing was right. It was challenging getting rid of stuff we’d worked so hard to accumulate. It was also hard knowing we’d be saying goodbye to friends and family, at least for a while. But we held onto our resolve.

We moved faster than our fear.

Over the next two years we explored the Pacific Coast — the Puget Sound area and the San Francisco Bay area. We loved every minute of it. We were able to grow the business and make many new friends along the way.

The time finally came to make an even bigger jump, to go international. Our first stop was Cozumel, Mexico. Being a family of ocean lovers, living on an island in the Caribbean seemed like the right thing to do.

In fact, we’re still here and we love it! We sometimes have to pinch ourselves just to make sure we’re not dreaming.

~Sean Marshall

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