Point of No Return

Yesterday, I gave myself an early birthday gift….

I turned in my letter of resignation!


I have to say, I have a lot of emotions running with this one.

I have waited so long for this opportunity and I thought it would be one of the best days of my life. But to tell the truth, I was in shock after I hit that send button. All of a sudden, this adventure became more real than it has ever been.

After the shock wore off, I could feel this small voice inside saying…

“Are you sure you can do this?”

“Are you sure people are going to come?”

“Why are you leaving a job with a stable salary?”

“What are you doing you crazy person!”

After I took a deep breath, I answered my small voice.

Yes, We can do this. We have a great love and passion for this plantation and we are going to do whatever it takes to make this successful. We have a great vision for the years to come. And we know that all the dreaming and planning and research will pay off.

Will people come? How can they not?

What a wonderful plantation full of history and beauty. It only took us one visit to be hooked on it and it will do the same for others that venture to the plantation.

Yes, I have a stable salary, but I don’t have satisfaction in my job. I have worked for over ten years for this corporation. When I hit my ten year mark, my reward was a block of plastic that had the corporation’s brand on it and the words “Ten Years”. My first thought was really? I worked hard, over produced and got this? I can’t give another ten years for another block of plastic. I want my life to mean something. And I know through this venture, it will.

Yes, I am crazy. Crazy about what endless possibilities we have working for ourselves. We make the decisions, we reap the rewards. Our limits are only set by the limits of our imagination and drive. And best of all, there are no blocks of plastic.

And just for the record, my birthday is tomorrow. I will be 47 years old.

No, I am not ashamed of those years. I have earned each and every one of them.


358 thoughts on “Point of No Return

  1. lazarioana says:

    Happy B-day and may your adventure be amazing, full of accomplishments and of course … plastic-block free πŸ˜€ !!!!

  2. Happy Birthday, Congratulations and Best Wishes! What an exciting way to start your 48th year. This adventure you are on with Belle Grove should definitely make it an amazing year.

  3. throve says:

    Happy Birthday.:) It takes courage to do something new. Most people don’t jump. Well done for following your bliss. You know you are doing the right thing. If we could see around the corner every time then there would be less anticipation or excitement in our lives.
    Make that wish when you blow out the candles and savour that moment.

  4. Happy Birthday! I had similar feelings when I left the corporate rat race (to be a stay at home mom). Congrats and best wishes on ALL your endeavors!

  5. ccblittle says:

    What a great gift of courage and adventure you’ve given yourself! Brava!

  6. tucsonmike says:

    You have to go with the flow. It is difficult and a risk. But your gut is the best thing to go by.

    • Thank you! You know I have never been the kind that goes with the flow. We travel off season, we eat out on Thursdays and we never do or go where most go. We have found more out of life by not doing what is normal than those that follow along never to the difference!

  7. Happy Birthday! and just go for it. From reading your many blog posts, you have the determination and the passion and those are the building blocks I think. Although I was made redundant from my ‘career’, I took the opportunity to do something creative, something I had a passion for and although I still have to work in the corporate world part-time, I am a much happier person than I was earning a much bigger salary but being a full-time wage slave. Best of luck to you. As soon as my partner and I have some money, we will be right over to stay in your beautiful house… πŸ™‚

  8. Congratulations! Because of the economic crisis, my husband and I lost our corporate jobs and had to retire at the age of 62. My husband was laid off 3 days before his 62nd birthday. Money has been tight from time to time. We now have part time jobs that we both love and would never go back to that. So happy for you that you don’t have to stay as long as we did. I loved your description of corporate work and the appreciation. I now work in daycare and I love the thank you’s I get everyday and the hugs aren’t to bad either. I get up every morning looking forward to going to work compared to corporate America when I got up every morning enduring and hoping someday my life would begin. Your Life Is Beginning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Susan Norden says:

    Good for you! I certainly can relate to how you feel and what’s really important in your life. I, too, am in a job that isn’t at all rewarding. I’m just hanging in for another year or two and take an early retirement and starting doing all what I want to do. I’ll still be in my 50s, so I have a chance at a “second career”: working for myself! Congratulations!!!

  10. Craig Cribbs says:

    Congratulations! I was in banking for 23 years and left the profession in 2001 so my wife and I could start a business of our own. It’s been a struggle at times, but I have been able to do and accomplish so much more in life. Using a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson…Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Happy Birthday and have a GREAT day!

  11. Happy Birthday, good for you!! You are living your dream and although quitting your job is a huge (and scary) step you have the drive and determination to see your dream come to fruition. I know you will have tremendous success!

  12. iknead2knit says:

    I felt the same way when I retired last December. I stay busy and maybe we don’t have the discretionary income we had, but I’m happy and my spouse is happy and that’s priceless.

  13. Pam says:

    “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Quote by Neale Donald Walsh which I remember often as I begin to reexamine and rebuild my direction. More power to you – believe in your dreams! You GO girl, and happy birthday!

  14. uribg says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for “liking” my post “Desert in Bloom” on

    Happy Birthday to you! Yes, you can do it! Be brave,it might be hard sometimes but you will be doing what you like, what you believe in. What’s better than that?!


  15. Happy Birthday and best of luck!

  16. You can do it! I too am entrepreneuring it, starting in June (I gave them six months notice–silly me). Frightening, but exciting!

  17. Lynda says:

    Do you know how excited I am for you? That was a big decision, but the rewards will be coming in no time at all! Take a deep breath; let it out slowly; it will all work out in the end. Oh yes,


  18. talkavino says:

    Congratulation! I’m proud of you! You will make it!
    And Happy Birthday!

  19. Laura says:

    Happy Birthday, and congratulations! I am excited to read about all the exciting adventures.

  20. jodyfisher says:

    So inspiring! Good luck! You will be a success! I would love to link to this post in my blog tomorrow.

  21. Shari says:

    Congrats! Happy birthday! When will the plantation open?

  22. sued51 says:

    Happy Birthday! It’s scary, but I think judging by the work you have shown on this blog, you WILL BE successful! Best of luck…don’t look back!

  23. Mark1 says:

    Good luck and Happy Birthday. I am 52 and on major decisions like this one you just made I try to say to myself, “If not now, when?” You will surely succeed.

  24. romantic09art says:

    Good luck and Happy Birthday!

  25. David says:

    Happy Birthday!
    I hope you kept that “10” block for display at the plantation. So when a guest asks how you came to Belle Grove, you have an ‘artifact’ to begin your story. Now, let’s have some cake. πŸ™‚

  26. twoscamps says:

    Wishing you the best – there’s no time like the present to follow your heart. Life’s too short.

  27. Happy Birthday…I felt the same way when I left a 15 year law enforcement career to follow my passion for wine making. Don’t look back, you’re not heading that way…

    You will do great…you are following your passion – people will come…


    Cindy Cosco

  28. When I resigned from my last job, I burst into tears. Very difficult, no matter how much you have planned. Go for it and good luck. Dianne

  29. museconfuse says:

    That;s great! Congratulations on taking a bold step forward. While it’s scary, I’m really envious that you are now able to focus on something that you’re passionate about!

  30. Sandi says:

    Many kudos! It’s hard to walk away from something stable, but I am in hopes that you will be happy in the long run. The biggest regrets are from not doing what we feel we should have done.

    And I’ll be 47 this year, too. It’s a GREAT time of life to be adventurous. πŸ™‚

  31. sarahlouisek says:

    Happy birthday! And remember the words in the book Shoeless Joe: “If you build it, they will come.”

  32. gwynnem says:

    I wish you all the best in your venture. I need folks like you to inspire me to not get in a rut. Happy Birthday!

  33. Happy Birthday! After a couple mornings of sleeping in, or of sitting with a cup of coffee or tea, relaxing in the morning, you will smile. Been there and done that. And I probably smile about it every day now. Follow your dream.

  34. Happy Birthday, Michelle! And congratulations on the next step. I believe in you!

  35. gooseyanne says:

    Happy Birthday! And congratulations of having the courage of your convictions.

  36. cookazido says:

    I love how you answered your small voice. Happy birthday, and congratulations on having the courage to follow through with your dream.

  37. Mama Bear says:

    Happy Birthday!!
    Congratulations on the next step of your life!

  38. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman says:

    Happy Birthday! And congratulations on moving forward. I know it can have mixed emotions, my husband had to make the decision to retire 3 yrs earlier than planned…it was scary after working since he was 15, but he did it and is better for it. He loves retirement and doing what he likes, just like I know you will be rewarded doing what you enjoy in caring for Belle Grove. You go girl!! πŸ˜€

  39. A Liebster Blog Award is headed your way. If you would like to participate, you can display the award on your blog page. You can find more information including, who to pass the award onto and 11 fun questions to answer, when you post your award at-
    I really enjoy your blog and hope you continue your awesome posts! Have fun with your Liebster!

  40. rosekat08 says:

    Best of luck in this new chapter of your life. It will be challenging and exhilarating! Happy belated birthday too πŸ™‚

  41. leo brady says:

    Best of luck!

  42. Happy Birthday and best wishes for the future…I’m sure it will be great!

  43. pommepal says:

    Happy Birthday, today is the first day of the rest of your life and you are going to be doing some thing you really love. I look forward to following your journey it will be hard work for you but also exciting. and rewarding

  44. Pat says:

    “Hallelujah”!! You took that leap of faith and it will pay off! “Happy Birthday”!! There is nothing like doing what your heart cries for! Yes indeed keep looking at what you’ll gain and forget that plastic,I am so happy for you all and I know the success will be running over.
    Love you and enjoy your “Birthday”!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  45. swabby429 says:

    We only go around once in this life. To live it according to your own values and priorities is the best gift you can give yourself and others.

  46. […] great post from Michelle Darnell (Virginia Plantation here on wordpress), who earlier this week quit her job to run her new bed and breakfast full time. Her story and her conviction to remake her life makes me want to visit! Congratulations and good […]

  47. Happy Birthday, and what a great thing to do, We did just that 3 years ago, packed in work and moved to the country to set up a B&B. Haven’t looked back although last year was a difficult year, what with the worst weather in a summer for 100 years and recession etc, so we didn’t have as many visitors as we would have liked, but even so don’t regret the decision. Still lots of work to do renovating the derelict third of the house but see how far we have got, look us up at

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