I was born and raised in suburbia Rhode Island. It's a good place to raise a family, I guess. I do remember even at an early age, thinking that there had to be more out there in the world. My family spent summers down at the beach. Those are some of my fondest memories. Fishing down at Galilee, watching the fisherman bringing in their daily catch, the smell of the ocean, sand between your toes. There's something about the ocean that grounds me & quiets my mind. Standing in from of it makes you realize that the world will keep turning with or without you. And that this planet which we inhabit is not ours for the taking. It's a gift. I always thought that I'd live on or near the ocean. Then I discovered NYC.
We went there on a field trip in 8th grade. The place blew my mind. The streets were so alive that the energy was contagious. Anything is possible & could be accomplished. It's where Madonna & Cyndi Lauper both got their starts - two of my idols at the time. I returned home & announced that I would be moving, someday, to the Big Apple. I did have to wait a while until that dream became a reality. But, I always knew that it would happen. And RI never really felt like the place that I belonged after that discovery.
I came to NYC to attend college at FIT. Those years were awesome. I had a cute little apartment that I shared with 3 other creative girls right on 27th Street. The school owned the entire block & had security on both ends. We lived in our own private oasis in the middle of the big city. We shopped for food in Chinatown & worked behind the scenes at all of the fashion shows dressing the super models. NYC students get fab discounts to all kinds of shows. We saw CATS for 5 bucks & watched the NYC ballet dancers sweep across the stage for a whopping 10 dollars. Class assignments included trips to museums and galleries. Life in NYC was a constant cultural trip, showing me the best that the world had to offer. College life is not reality.
I briefly returned to RI after graduating, but did not last long. I returned to NYC for good within a year. I was expecting the same flood of parties & exciting events that I partook in college, but that was not the case. Real life in the Big Apple was hard. I lived in a tiny, dirty apartment with 2 other girls. I found out first hand the true definition of a slum lord. Paying the rent and trying to make ends meet was not easy. It was a constant struggle. It took 2 solid years just to get settled. I still was not deterred. The city still held some kind of mystique. I truly did not want to live anywhere else. Fast forward almost ten years & I'm still here. I've met some amazing people (including my hubby) and have a good life. But, daily grind here is not easy. It's so crowded & the hustle & bustle grates on your nerves over time. Everyone we know here is working one job & focusing on their big dreams on the side. And we are always on the lookout for suspicious looking packages, situations, etc. The grey streets really can become so bleak. It's now a necessity to leave, even if just for a day, to escape to more serene grounds.
I recently went to visit Jes & Hope in Maine. I absolutely loved it there. I discovered quaint, artsy towns & larger seaport cities like Portland. Sitting on Jes & Jon's deck on the Plenty To Do Farm was so relaxing. I walked through her gardens & the smell of clean air and grass filling my lungs. And it was so peaceful. The sound of trees blowing in the wind, birds & bees whizzing by replaced the honking horns, car alarms & shouting of the city. And at some point on the very weekend I had a revelation. I'm truly not a big city girl! I love sitting out in the peace and quiet of nature. I miss grass! I want a garden to nurture and care for & a small window box is not filling that void!! And visiting wide open spaces from time to time is no longer enough!!I'm not going to be moving back to suburbia RI anytime soon. The burbs are so not for me. I can only last about 2 days before the dread of the close set houses & strip malls sets in. The suburbs always made me feel hopeless. But, I'm not sure that I truly love the Big Apple anymore. I took this news home to Tom.
I wish I could end this story by telling you that we bought 15 acres of land in the Catskills and we'll be spending most of our time there, commuting to the city a few times a week to make money. The reality is that we both have to be here. It's where we make our living. There's not a big calling for directors/producers up in the mountains. And I'm sure lifestyle designers are also not in huge demand. But, we have begun to do some research for small houses/cottages in Upstate NY, Pennsylvania & Delaware (anything within 2 hours from the city). A weekend retreat to detox from the daily grind that we face here. It may take quite a while to find what we are looking for but, just the fact that we are looking fills me with glee. And makes city life much more bearable. We're just searching for a little piece of heaven.