Never say NEVER . When I was a child, I first wanted to be a teacher. That idea wasn’t really encouraged at home because teachers have to work really hard, for not a lot of pay and deal with a lot of “stuff”. My dad used more creative words. My parents didn’t think teaching was the career for me, so I went in another direction. In high school, I discovered that I really liked writing. I’d write silly poems and fun stories, because I loved the creative part of my brain that writing tickled. I helped edit the school newspaper, was editor of the literary magazine and found something I loved to do. I distinctly remember fussing at my whole class (who were being typical, uncooperative teenagers) that “this might just be a class to you, but this is what I want to do for a living”. They were unimpressed. And as life would have it, life happened. I had some medical issues that encouraged me to get married and start having babies early, which meant I completed one whole semester of community college. My dreams of writing for a newspaper and “getting the scoop” seemed unreachable. But I knew I wanted children, so we put other ambitions on hold. We became a military family and hit the road! I am blessed with three great (now grown) children who make me proud (almost) every day. They are my greatest accomplishment! In our travels, my young family and I stopped here in 1998 to visit my Uncle in Perry / Warner Robins on a cross country trek from south Florida to Alaska (13 days!) with two toddlers in tow. We ventured down Russell Parkway toward the base TLF (hotel) and I looked around. It was a typical Georgia July with the temperature hovering at about 147 degrees and the humidity just shy of “underwater”. Everything seemed, well, brown. As we drove past the typical businesses that were just outside every military gate, I thought to myself: “well, I know what place is never gonna’ be on our dream sheet”. And as life would have it, life happened. We were stationed in Alaska, Wyoming and Hawaii and during that time, my grandfather and then my mom and dad relocated from Florida to Middle Georgia. When an out of nowhere divorce happened 46 while in Hawaii, I suddenly, for the first time in my adult life, had a choice in where I would go. But “home” was not home anymore. I remembered what I had seen of Middle Georgia many years earlier and promptly moved to Texas. It wasn’t a mistake, necessarily, but more of a learning experience. It was not the first I’d made, nor the last, and my year there gave me some great friends and memories, but it still never felt like “home”. And so, over 13 years after I swore I’d never live in Georgia, I packed my kids up and we came to Perry. And as life would have it, life happened. I made friends, I settled in, found a job meant for me and fell in love with this area. Who knew that I could love a place (and it’s people) so much? Perry is home now! I have been here in Middle Georgia for almost 10 years and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Well, except in July. And August. Those months, I dream of visiting Hawaii again! And now, look what I get to do “for a living”! I started here at CB Free as the receptionist and have grown so much! I have become a licensed instructor and actually get to teach real estate classes. Do I have 25 littles to look after? No, I have 45 biggies I get to help on the daily (and no—or very little nose wiping). I have been lucky enough to find bosses who let my inner kindergarten teacher shine. I currently have a makeshift tiki bar in my office! (Who gets to do that?) And here I am, publishing an amazing magazine, with people I love and admire. I encourage you to never say “never”. Find good people, (they make all the difference) share your strengths and don’t give up. But also, don’t be so quick to judge. I never thought I’d be a teacher, a writer and live in and love Perry, Georgia. But here I am, literally living my dreams. -- Meredith Meredith Plummer Marketing Director marketing@cbfreerealty.com

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