BIG. LIFE. CHANGES.
I will be leaving NYC.
I will be leaving my apartment, my teaching job of 16 years (that one hurts), and the greatest city in the world - the only city I have known and called "home" for the past 26 years, since I was 18 years old and moved here from small-town Groton, Massachusetts.
I know this is the right decision for me at this time, and I know it is a decision and a choice that will bring better things to me and to my life - but that doesn't make it any less sad or hard or heart-wrenching. What is keeping me sane and keeping me from crying my face off every second of the day in sorrow, is the knowledge that I have built a family here in NY - and that family will welcome me back, and NYC will welcome me back with open arms, whenever that might happen.
It has ALWAYS been a struggle living here. This city likes to make life impossible, and that "impossible" became excruciatingly harder when my husband died 5 years ago. It is SO much harder doing this alone, on one crappy income. The dreams that we had for our future, are much more realistically chased, when you have another person who can hold down the fort while you go on that audition - or who can work extra shifts and get you both through the summer, because you lost your summer job unexpectedly. So, I am not giving up on my dreams. NEVER. I am merely shifting them a bit in order to make them more reachable, for the life that I have today. I'm taking a slightly different route to get there. Let's call it the scenic route. And it will be a terrifying, beautiful, and absolutely poetic adventure.
So where will I be going, you may ask?
I can finally announce and say with absolute confidence, that my book will be published and released, sometime in 2017. How do I know this? Because I have a plan. This will be my last semester teaching at Adelphi (again - still can't talk about that without crying. Told my boss and friend of 26 years, Nick Petron, yesterday, and it was so emotional for both of us. Going to miss those kids/students like mad ...) This year, when I go home to mom and dad's for Christmas break, I'm not going to be returning to NY. Instead, somewhere around December 20th or so when the semester is over, I will be packing up a U-Haul one more time, with my 2 kitties and everything I own that I don't choose to throw away - and driving it home to mom and dad's house in Massachusetts. For the last 2 years, ever since I did the fund-raising campaign for the book, I have been super-stressed out about writing it and finishing it. When Im not working multiple jobs teaching, writing, directing shows, just to get by - Im STRESSING about NOT working, and trying to find work. I can't write in a constant state of stress.
The portions of the book that still need to be written, is our love story. How we fell in love. Our dating life together. Our engagement. Our wedding. Our marriage. The highlighted beautiful moments that live in my heart. These parts must be written from a place of joy and happiness, and absolute hope. I can't get to that place, emotionally, when the space around me is filled with stress. So I can't write. And when I can't write, I stress out about not being able to write, and I stress out that I OWE YOU PEOPLE A BOOK - all these beautiful people who donated and who believed in this book. I kept saying over and over these past couple years, that if only I could have a few months of sanctuary - where I could just write my book in peace and quiet - with NO worries of job or money or bills - then I could FINALLY get it done.
Enter my wonderful parents. My dad called me one night with an idea. Knowing that I have been feeling restless lately about NY, and about just wanting something different, and knowing that I want to finish the book desperately - he said: "Why don't you come here and live with us - temporarily - for 3 or 4 months or however long it takes - with the specific intention and purpose and goal of FINISHING THE BOOK. You'd have your own room / home office to write in, your kitties can come with you and we will take them in, and no worries about bills or rent. Plus, you could see your niece and nephew more, and be home with family for awhile. You could treat it like your full time job. Get up 5 days a week, and just write, until its done. Once it's done, then you decide what comes next, where you'll end up, what you'll do. Hopefully all of that will become more clear once your book is out there. It might open up new doors."
As soon as my dad said these words, I could literally FEEL the stress slowly leaving my body, just at the mere thought of having the tranquil space and time and luxury of no job or bills hanging over my head - to write in peace. It made me feel so calm, and that is how I know it's the right decision.
So, I will be in NYC until late December, and then going home to complete the book. Im guessing I will be there until March or April, but Im not really going to worry about it. My goal is to finish it, and then continue down whatever path appears in front of me. There have been many signs pointing me toward Chicago lately, as a possible city for me to attempt life in for awhile - so that is a very big possibility. There also may be a specific job situation happening in Florida (another top secret thing I can't talk about just yet - but if it happens - it would bring me to that state eventually), so I could end up in a number of places, and right now, I feel open to all of it. The future is in front of me, and the unknown path awaits. I'm terrified. I'm anxious. I'm incredibly excited. And I'm ready.
I have no idea what's going to happen next, but I'm following my intuition, my heart, and a path that's been built on love. Isn't that what life is all about???