Homes slowly become decorated in tinsel and garland, as front lawns become winter wonderlands. Retailers rush to stock up while the dreaded shopping season escalates. City trees are lit and every downtown bears a holly wreath. It's the same every year but for some reason, even with the holiday music and christmas movies, I can not even force myself into the groove. Maybe it is because I have lost one certain sense of comfortable familiarity or perhaps it is my belief that christmas should come once every other year to really make it something special, like how the Olympics or the World Cup or Madonna don't come around every year, making them that much more fabulous.
As most people anticipate Christmas (or which ever other holiday you care to check off), I anticipate rebirth. A new beginning to enrichen my life. In less than a month I am packing up my clothes, my mandolin and my laptop to relocate to the Southern land of Austin, Texas. Yes, Texas. Where I can be beautiful, talented, productive, successful and feel completely out of my comfort zone, which in a way will be inspirational. Nervous is an understatement and ecstatic is overkill; disbelief still fits but the opportunity just reeks of self-discovery.
As I become older and live more responsibly, I realize, little by little, that our goals in life are what drive us to create the most well-worth life to live and actually live it. The best reality television show you can star in is your own reality. I have long term goals of settling down on the East Coast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, making a living as a writer for a travel magazine that also sends me to exotic, impoverished, boring and amazing places in exchange for a few articles. That'll take a while. For now, when I get to Austin, I need to focus on my short term goals of being a published writer and volunteering time to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in their fight for equal rights for all. I have received confirmation that I can start helping plan and prepare the HRC Austin 2011 gala event in February. Check out their website at http://www.hrcaustin.org/. For work, I am hoping to transfer to a Southern CVS or apply at a new bank for part time work. I have also submitted an application to Whole Foods. Check out their delicious website at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/.
When I think about the last year of my life and how I have gone from feeling completely content and happy and in love, to ending a one-of-a-kind relationship (in which I will never be over), engulfing myself in 60-hour work weeks at two jobs and making the decision to completely up-root my entire life, I get a sharp, pleasantly, unpleasant tingle up my spine. What used to be his hands along my backbone is now guilt, which crawls through my stomach, reminding me of what I had planted and what could have grown. Afraid of the rain. For the past four months I have been a racing railway train (with a big red bow on the front), grasping for the blades of grass I can reach as I speed by, sometimes running on nothing but fumes. I have traveled across New England to eat a fried Oreo on the shore in New Jersey, to feel the freedom of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, to ride a Segway around Washington DC, to catch up with friends in my own home town. I have squeezed in the time to magically make scarecrows and ginger bread houses come to life in Portsmouth, to sleep in a burlington motel with blood bearing box springs, spent Halloween in the ghost town that was Rockland, ME on a Sunday afternoon and got to sit in on a "Gender In Music" lecture at UMASS Amherst with the talented Amy Ray (of Indigo Girls), the wise June Millington (of the 60's chick band Fanny) and Zoe Lewis, full of stories. I have been chugging along looking for the balance of dreaming big and working hard, overloaded with christmas trees in my caboose, quickly loosing their pine needles.
My experience at the bank since August has been quite the endeavor. I knew virtually nothing about the financial aspect of our Earth that basically revolves around the green. Learning is easy, but retaining the information and putting it to correct use is tricky. Day by day I feel more confidant. Listening to the married women I work with speak of their married lives forces my life into perspective: Why am I still spending every day in Peterborough? I feel more than lucky to have two great jobs but if it is over, it's over and should I need to start at the bottom and work my way up all over again, I know I can be just as successful no matter where I am. I refuse to wear this elf hat any longer.
New England will forever be my home but for now I need to be uncomfortably transplanted to Austin, Texas, where it doesn't snow, where I can soak up some sun like a solar panel, where I will soon learn many lessons on music, art, friends, writing, viewing and especially on how not to (or, how to) royally fuck things up. I will either topple over at the weight of my bad decisions or I will stand strong, rooted in the opportunity of choice and chance, tangled up in blue christmas lights.