Waving Goodbye To Yet Another Version Of A Woman I Thought I Could Become

The email came through while I was on my dream trip to Paris, my first adventure alone since university, “You’re license has expired!”

It came as no surprise. I knew the date was looming. I knew I’d be in another country. And frankly, I was happy it worked out that way.

I purposefully decided not to renew my real estate license before I left and to just wait a week… see how I felt once I was in France, see if I had any big revelations.

Insight and inspiration arrested me around every ornate corner of Paris, but nothing specific regarding my impending decision to terminate my license or not. I was seeking some specific clues and certainty, but in the end, went home with no answer or clear next step about that area of my life.


About 2.5 years ago, I barged into my house, and declared out loud to anyone who would listen, “I want to make millions!”

Then, 6 months later I passed my real estate exam on my first try.

Real estate felt like an ambitious, albeit doable way to transition back to work and if done well, it could provide me with the flexibility and finances I needed as a frazzled mom of four. If I stretched my imagination a little I could also reason real estate was the perfect career for me.

Perhaps, this is what I was meant to be doing after all.

The multiple years I spent living in other countries, my passion for guiding people through big life transitions, my habit of moving every 2 years over the last 2 decades, my ability to converse with strangers and become someone they trusted rather quickly, my undying love and support of my local community, and my flair for writing, all of my experiences and skills felt like they could coalesce and contribute to a successful career as a realtor.

I remember feeling so professional and wealthy now that I could call myself a Realtor, even though I hadn’t made a cent or even joined a brokerage.

Anticipating the Charissa who would bust out of the fog of motherhood and a blank resume, donning red high heels, a black mini-skirt, and a fitted blouse filled me with newfound confidence.

She was ready for business- for buying that second home on the beach, breaking into the luxury real estate department, and showcasing beautiful homes during the weekend.

For those 2 years, I gave it what I could– printed the cutest custom business cards and postcards, and placed my website strategically on the side of my cargo bike. I hosted open houses and created elegant buyer and seller packets, all the while trying to slather my unique self and personalized touch over every real estate interaction or email I sent out.

But as the months wore on, I fizzled.

Blame it on being a busy mom.

Or my shattered ankle, which broke my much-needed early momentum and took an entire year to fully recover from and finally regain my ability to walk and resume my somewhat normal activity levels.

Or was it my lackluster marketing skills or real estate expertise?

Perhaps, at another point in my life, this career would have been perfect for me. I had loads of friends and family who said they could see me being an excellent realtor.

Who knows what could have been and really who cares.


Right now, today, I need to fess up to the facts- it’s not happening and I’m also leaking out hundreds of dollars every month for realtor fees to keep my license and business afloat, all the while selling not a single home. I’m hanging on because it’s too painful to wave goodbye to yet another version of a woman I thought I could become.

I thought a career in real estate would unlock my millionaire mama era, my boss babe self. I had visions of her raking in the dough alongside her radiating smile ready to charm every new or potential client.

It appears however, this Charissa has won.

The Charissa sitting here at my desk on a Wednesday afternoon with her comfortable, vintage New Balance shoes, buttery soft black leggings, a sleek black zip-up hoodie, and a hot cup of tea has come out on top once again.

She is happiest surrounded by her books and journals and pens, awash with dreams of Paris and owning a French-themed bookshop, and weaving together her first fiction story in the little corners of her imagination while she sweats on early morning runs.

This Charissa who grows wildflowers, thrives outside with fresh air on her face, and rides her whimsical cargo bike around town with no shame.

She prevailed in the end.

She pulled through, strong and capable and damn stubborn. Against all odds, even when her writerly heart was ransacked and she was launched into a career where the dollars were literally whispering to her just behind the door.

To think this Charissa remains after all the clamor and strife astonishes me. I didn’t think she was so persistent.

And frankly, I’m not sure how to feel about it.

Truthfully, I assumed I could sand her down, she was so soft after all, to fit into a seat behind a desk perusing the stats on recent sales in my city. I was on the hot pursuit to be MORE, have MORE.

A flashier career, fancier title, more money in my bank account by making killer offers on little kingdoms. More style, pizazz, professionalism, and profit, please!

The only more I came out with after these 2 years is a more obstinate and determined Charissa, a woman dedicated to becoming her unabashed self in a world trying to hypnotize her down paths she knows she wasn’t created to walk.

My real estate license expired, and with it my first (and maybe only?) shot at six figures and financial success, but already a new endeavor is underway- becoming more and more me– undeterred by dollar signs and opulent dreams and devoted to the tune of my heart’s desires.



The Gathering Room Podcast, Your Genius Is Calling, June 26 2024 – Highly recommend this episode with Martha Beck. She discusses the three main characteristics of our genius:

-It hides in plain sight…

-It makes you curious

-It makes you feel the “rage to master”

One Comment

  • Oh, how I love this. You know I have a harder time letter go of past versions of me. This was such a beautiful reminder. I can’t wait to see what comes next in your heart!


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