Not everyone is a fan of change. But as much as I love order and routine, I also get hungry for change after a while.
This past December, I made a big change when I decided to leave my full-time job — and the company I’d worked for for almost 10 years — in pursuit of a longtime goal of mine: to write a book about our time living in Japan, specifically my experience as a so-called “trailing spouse.” I wanted to write the book I desperately needed during that time, when I was just married and trying to figure out what it meant to be a wife but still independent some 6,000 miles away from home. I needed a way to work through all of the unexpected emotions of that time, both good and bad.
I recently finished it(!!) and am in the process of pitching to agents, a new experience that feels like a mix between dating and applying for a job. Two things I haven’t missed AT ALL. Good vibes appreciated.
My husband and I also decided to make another change this year. While we couldn’t be happier in NYC, we still have the urge to explore and live outside the U.S. for a while. So my husband accepted a new position that will be relocating us to one of the cities I’ve wanted to call home since college (or, if I’m being honest, since I saw Notting Hill): London! We actually almost moved there before Japan, but the universe had other plans.
We signed the contract, told friends and family (I curse you, social media) and started making plans. And then the moving date changed. And then it changed again. And now it’s a big question mark. With America still very much in the throes of this pandemic, it’s not hard to see why, and we certainly don’t want to go before it’s safe.
But as the months tick by in this limbo/transitional period, it hasn’t been easy to stay positive about this change that never seems to be coming. Some days I’m excitedly making lists and looking at my 10,000th apartment and others I’m wondering why I decided to remove a level of stability from my life in pursuit of a goal that may ultimately end up just a file sitting on my computer. Inspiration ebbs and flows. What if it was a failed experiment?
But that’s the thing about major life changes — if they were easy, we wouldn’t learn anything from them. We have to adapt and evolve. Find all of the silver linings.
For me, the silver lining is the same as the struggle: time.
More time in my favorite city on Earth with all of our friends here. As parts of the city start to open back up with appropriate safety measures, we may get to experience a bit of the New York of last year and give this place where we fell in love a proper goodbye. More time for action, to keep moving this city, state and country along the path toward true equality, work we’ll continue no matter where we are.
Most importantly, it’s time to be grateful. Grateful for the immense privilege we have to live in a safe, secure home, for our ability to work from home and most importantly for our continued health. These past four months have been scary and surreal but we have a lot to be thankful for and we need to keep paying it forward.
I’m planning to share some of my favorite places and sights around NYC here and on my Instagram in the months to come as we await the big move. The image above is from the 2019 NYC Pride March. We live in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and the parade goes right down Seventh Avenue, just steps from my front door. I popped in and out for hours last year to enjoy the incredible celebration of love. For days afterwards, the streets were still speckled with confetti. Seeing the entire city band together in pure joy will remain one of my most treasure memories of living here in this amazing city.
Until we set out across the pond, I’ll keep finding the joy in time and the growth that comes with change, no matter how unpredictable it is. Because to ignore it, well, where’s the fun in that?
P.S. Wear a mask.