The Facts



It seems that rumors are swirling around, here on Beaver Island.

Just coming out of a long winter, that’s not surprising.

It does surprise me when the talk is about me.

That is rare. I keep a low profile.

Rumors suggest that I am planning to leave Beaver Island; fed up, disappointed, I am moving away.

I worry about how that makes people feel.

Those people who have supported my endeavors, employed me, helped me when I’ve needed it. Those who’ve made sure I had heat, or transportation, or wine as the situation warranted it. Those who have been my friends.

Let me set the record straight.

Beaver Island and its people have not disappointed me.

This place has always felt like home to me; that has not changed.

I love almost everything about my life here.

However, I have been sending out resumes.

Well, more accurately, I sent out one resume…which led to a quick trip downstate for an interview, a nice chat with a group of hard-working administrators, and a kind letter of rejection.

And that’s okay.

I may send out more. I am looking into possibilities.

Over the years, I’ve come to many forks in the road, and made decisions based on what seemed most sensible at the time. Sometimes, the options were limited. It often seemed like other, outside, circumstances played a large role in the choices I made. There were always reasons.

But when are reasons only excuses?

How often did fear dictate my choice?

Or a desire to not move out of my comfort zone?

Recently, faced with the possibility of working in a career that would enable me to use my skills, education and capabilities in a creative manner, I realized how much I wanted to do that.

I also realized how weary I am of working without ever getting ahead. I’ve had some good jobs that allowed me to pay the bills, which is grand, and a big source of pride for me. But even in a job that kept me inside from dawn to dusk much of the year, I couldn’t actually afford to finish my house or take on a car payment. A roof repair, broken appliance or sick dog would throw my budget off for a year.

I’ve also been thinking that I would like to retire someday. I have done nothing to prepare for that.

So, I’ve been thinking of making a terrifying leap into a real career at this late stage.

I’m sixty years old. If I’m going to do something, the time is now.

But, the job market is not great, there are still limitations beyond my control, and I’m pretty old. The possibility is real that my endeavors will be met with other letters of rejection.

That’s okay, too.

I am not unhappy here. Not fed up with Beaver Island, not disappointed in its people.

I am happy to have a job, happy to serve, happy on Beaver Island.


19 responses »

  1. The rumour mill always seems to have a life of its own. Like you, we are evaluating our circumstances, our finances, and deciding it is time to wander out and try something new, something liberating, something that doesn’t leave us in financial darkness after fixing the roof! Something fun and liberating that allows us to live rather than survive. Does this mean we’ve been unhappy? Not so much but it does mean it is time to bust out! It takes courage to decide to look for change, to want more. So, as we say in French ” chapeau” which loosely translates to “proud of you “.

    • Thanks so much, Joss, for your encouraging words! Any change is scary, but exciting, too. I’ll keep you posted…and am looking forward to hearing about your adventures, too! Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

    • Yes, Tammy, I have between five and ten galleries and other places – two here on Beaver Island – showing my work at any given time. It helps a bit, but isn’t income I can count on. In my best sales year, it didn’t amount to 3000.00 over the cost of production. That’s unlikely to change enough to make a difference and, honestly, it’s all I have time to produce. It has given me a sense of self, though, while working at other jobs…and of course I love doing it. Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

  2. I wish you luck, Cindy. Wondering what the Universe has in store for you and whether you’ll be moving off the island or staying on it. Glad you’re following possibilities. I also liked the way you wrote this post!

    • Thanks, Kathy, I wonder, too…But, meanwhile, busy Spring goes on as usual, trying to get ready for the season at work, in the garden and in the studio. Thank you for reading, and for your kind thoughts!

  3. Don’t let fear ever dicate a chance at a better life. You need some sort of job security and as you wrote at 60 years of age it is high time to get with it. I feel that surely there is some company, some, organization or, somebody who will recognize your talent and your good heart. Keep sending out those resumes. Even if you moved, after getting on your feet, perhaps you can rent your house to be used as an island retreat for people that want to get away for a short time. Of course that is all work but if I were you, I’d hang onto the house if at all possible. I’m wishing you luck and sending good karma.

    • Thank you, Yvonne, that’s good advice. Yes, I do plan to keep my house…most importantly because of the connection it gives me to the island, but also because in this market, it’s not worth what I owe on it. Thanks also for the good wishes…I need all I can get!

      • Thanks for the reply. I’m glad you will keep your house if you take another job. Just makes sense as you say and the tie to the island is a fortunate one and you surely do not want to lose that.

  4. I’ve enjoyed the responses here Cindy, I hope you have to. Bravo for thinking about making a change doing something different, exploring ideas. Whatever you chose will be right for you and at the right time. Take care my friend

  5. Yes, I have enjoyed the thoughts and encouragement from everyone. I am not one to be unhappy with my situation, or stress over poor choices. Move on, keep going, keep smiling, that’s me. So, whether a career presents itself or not, I’ll be fine. Thank you, dear Claire, for your kind words of encouragement every time you stop in!

  6. ‘If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you… and make allowance for their doubting too…’ Kipling’s “If” has always been a poem that affects me, and it helped me with my decision about moving to Ecuador. I did trust myself and i could also undestand why others questioned my urge to move on.

    It’s so hard to move on, to leave the ones who have been kind, generous, faithful, but we have to follow that yearning that prompts us to our destiny. just look at my floor, which, to me, is proof that i am where i should be! and last year there were three museum shows… and before i moved here = ja!

    ecuador has called since the first time i visited. is there somewhere that calls you?

    • Well, actually, Beaver Island has always been the place that called me. It sounds pretty feeble compared to your daring adventures, but in my family, this was a bold move. Unfortunately, there are few jobs here on this little island outside of the service industry. I’m not unhappy here, just feeling the need to prove a little something to myself and others, before it’s too late to make a change. Maybe nothing will come of it. That won’t be the end of the world. I just think it’s time to try. Thank you for reading, and for your comments (I love that Kipling poem, too!).

      • i remember when i left the south for central amerca. my very emotional oldest sister asked, ‘lisa, don’t you think you’ll ever want to move home?’ and i said, ‘i will always have my memories with me whereever i go.. but there’s no future for me (as an artist) in the mississippi delta…’ like you, i loved that ecosystem and my support system of loved ones.. but i knew that my destiny was elsewhere. i also left behind a really beautiful piece of paradse in costa rica.. if i could transport those amazing trees and quiet stream and monkeys and jaguars and place them here where i live on the river… wow, i would probably never leave! i’d be jungle jane for sure!

  7. I read this post right after you published it and didn’t have time to comment…now I do.
    Change the word “old” to “new” (5th paragraph from the bottom) and your perspective and trepidation will change along with it!
    🙂 Kudos to you for such honest self-reflection in this post and throughout your entire blog. Reading here is always a pleasure!

  8. A second cousin of mine got married on Beaver Island. My father went to the wedding, and said it was a most beautiful place. I didn’t get invited, but I hope to get there one day. Have you considered offering notecard of your collages on your website? I would buy some.

    • Ah, thanks for the suggestion. If time were no object and my computer skills were much greater, I could market my art in many more ways than what I do…but I am limited by my circumstances. It’s nice to know there would be a market if I ever manage that…thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s