Wednesday, May 4, 2011


View from the Liberty Island Ferry, taken with Jenny Tighe about a hundred years ago.
A about a year and a half ago, I was offered a full time position at a regional theatre near my hometown.  At 22 years old, the idea of a full time job (with benefits!) was just about the most amazing thing I could ever imagine.  At that point, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  In fact, I still felt overwhelmingly like a child/college student.  I'd been living at home since graduating from NYU and I had no plan.  So, all of a sudden, here was this job at this great company and BAM--plan.  I had literally no idea what I was getting myself into, no idea the breadth of my responsibilities as programs manager of in-school outreach, no idea how much this job would challenge and change me, but I did know one thing--it wasn't going to be forever.

Almost as soon as I'd moved back to California I began to feel that old, familiar tug of New York City.  This wasn't surprising to me, New York is imprinted on my heart and soul.  So I put a timeline into place for this job-1 season, I said.  Just one and I'm out of here.  On to something else.  I made that choice, told my boss, and promptly forgot about it....until about 4 months ago when we started looking for my replacement.  Then, reality came crashing into me and I realized that I was soon to be unemployed.  After a brief moment of panic, I began to grasp on to any option I could find, all of them included moving out of my parents house to the East Coast (or Mid-West).  Easy, right?  Find a job out East and move my ass back, just like I'd always planned.

Not so much.

Because what I didn't factor in was the fact that, in between living in New York I'd still be living in California.  And I mean Living in California, capital L.  I'd be starting projects and making friends and building a life as an adult here.  I'd be Living.  And these projects turned out to be AMAZING (hello, The Violet!) and soul expanding.  And I began to feel like an adult here.  It happened about 5 months ago, when I realized that I was actually comfortable making decisions in my job and that, in my personal life, I didn't need to run things by my mom as much as I needed to use her as a sounding board for decisions I'd already made.  The change was actually noticeable, which was a very odd experience, let me tell you.

And so, with this new "adult" mindset, I step towards the ending my current job and looking for a new one...but now I have projects that I believe in (again, The Violet!) that truly need development and as much time as I can give to them.  So last night, after a huge amount of thought, I sat down with my mother and talked through my plan.  And I've decided that, as much as it pains me, I can't move to New York....right now.  It is absolutely still my plan to move there, but there are some things I need to stay and dedicate time to in California.  I haven't put any sort of timeline on this--I am going to stay until I feel like I can go.  I'm going to continue to reevaluate my situation throughout the summer and see how it goes.  Perhaps I'll be ready to move in September, perhaps in December.  Again, there's no timeline, which is perhaps the most terrifying thing I've ever decided.  It is also extremely liberating and I feel simultaneously responsible and childish for even considering it. goes nothing.

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