At 40 I was living what most on the outside would call the American Dream life. I was selling real estate in a suburb of Seattle WA living with my husband, teenage daughter, and our 4 year old Wheaten Terrier in a classic looking suburban home on the corner of our 9 home cul-de-sac. When you walked into my house, the first thing many noticed was the smell of a “Pink Sands” Yankee Candle my daughter had given to me as a birthday present. I kept this bright pink candle in my foyer because it was my favorite though the color scheme wasn’t what the remainder of my décor looked like. Deeper into my home the scent changed to Yankee Candle’s “Beach Wood”. The soft sand colored candle matched my main home color themes of shades of tan and I used red as an accent color. The tan colored Beach Wood Yankee Candle not only matched the main rooms of my house, but it matched my beach themed bathrooms as well. It was the perfect transition color and these candles matched every room in my house. I was in Seattle but spending a lot of time at Yankee Candle and thinking of the beach.
Then 2008 hit all of us like a tidal wave. My once thriving real estate career started to dry up as the economy crashed and my marriage started to crack. A few years later my husband and I parted ways, my real estate career was slow to rebound, and my daughter left for college. Suddenly I needed to re-invent who I was and what would fulfill me as my life radically changed. I sat in my now empty suburban home and knew I needed an overhaul to re-establish myself and find my feet as I made a new life.
The path to re-invention is not an easy one. Anyone else who has been though it would say the same but it is hard to find someone who hasn’t had to re-invent at one time or another in their lives. I find solidarity with others who have gone through their own re-inventions, whatever that may look like. Relating to others comes naturally to me and as I thought about what would make me feel whole as my own new person, I drifted back to my roots.
I headed East to NJ where I grew up and closer to where my baby was going to college. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I knew I was looking for change and looking for my next calling. Summer neared and like most East Coasters, I headed “down the shore” to spend time in the places I spent my summers as a child. The warm sun, salty air, scent of beach wood and my Jergens fake tan had me feeling top of my game. For the first time in a while I looked back through my path of re-invention and felt like a version of my best self. I was relaxed and at peace at the beach. The beach was my soul’s home.
It was no surprise shortly thereafter my path to re-invention led me to permanently move to the DE beaches; 4 seasons, beautiful, tax free, Delaware. The question became, what am I going to do with my second act? I investigated and spoke to people in the community to discover Schell Brothers: a company devoted to community wide happiness and building brand new homes -- what a find! I applied right away feeling like I had found the convergence of my soul and my strengths.
I began with Schell Brothers 2 years ago and I immediately felt at home with the warmth, the laughs and the most caring, loving, team mates I have ever been associated with. I like to tell folks who visit us that the Schell’s really ARE 2 brothers who created an incomparable culture of happiness….and they walk the talk! I know them, really I do! Now, as I spend my days at Truitt Homestead meeting with strangers who become friends and watch new friends become like family, I pinch myself as I relate to others on their path to reinvention or their soul’s connection to the beach. I work to spread happiness in the Truitt Homestead community and feel blessed to live out my dream as I help others try to find theirs. It’s all about the journey, let’s make it fun!
- Carole Britain