How One Woman's Brush With Death Encouraged Her To Become An Auctioneer

This is one story from Huff/Post50's new series "This Will Be Our Year: 15 Women Over 50 Shaking Things Up In 2015." We'll be following 15 remarkable ladies throughout the year as they make a radical change in their lives, whether it's embarking on a 500-mile hike, starting a new career or attempting to find love on the Internet. Follow each woman's story here.

Tammy Miller, 55, will be launching her own auctioneering business.

"My goal for this year is to establish myself as a full-time auctioneer and speaker. I've been doing it part-time for the last couple of years, but I just finished my two-year auctioneering apprenticeship and left my full-time job at Penn State University. Now my auction business will pay the bills. I'll do all types, but I specialize in real estate and benefit auctions.

I'm a little bit nervous. I walked away from a job that had full benefits -- I've always said that they made it easy for you to give up your dream. I'm by myself, so I don't have a spouse to help pay the bills until I get established here. I'm trying not to look at challenges; I'm trying to look at opportunities. I'm incredibly blessed with a network of friends and people around me. I live by the philosophy that the answer's always 'no' if you don't ask.

I survived breast cancer in 2001. My hair has hot pink tips and I speak a lot about humor and healing. I believe that attitude is extremely important in everything we do, including the healing process.

I had another surgery in August and as I was recovering from that surgery, I was out driving in my old convertible. It was a beautiful day -- blue sky and white, puffy clouds -- and I was driving around back country roads. When I came around a corner, I saw this cemetery in front of me and stopped. I heard this voice inside me that said, 'Do not die with your dreams inside.' I wondered how many people there did. I know a lot of people may not believe in this, but it really was such a strong and overwhelming feeling. I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I have to take steps.' I went home and really thought about this and started putting things into motion to walk away from my full-time job. That's the path I'm on now.

Why now? I just feel like this is the time I'm supposed to do this."

Tammy in action:

Tammy (left) and her daughter:



This Will Be Our Year: 15 Women Over 50 Shaking Things Up In 2015