How to re-start this?
Date: October 4, 2014
Days Spent on Project: 593. I figured it out this morning… I believe it’s been 99 days since I’ve contributed to this project- no wonder I had trouble remembering how exactly to do it!
Location: NW Portland, OR. So long, New York. So long, Washington Heights. So long, Manhattan.
Person I would have sent it to: Jeez, I guess when I left off, I was still knee-deep in thanking all the people I met when I worked on my first Broadway show, Fela!, back in 2009.
I’m having a bit of a struggle wrapping my head around how much distance there is between the myself of 2009, the myself of June 27th of this year, and the myself of today. I worked on Broadway: past tense, really past tense, probably forever past tense?
Well, I should keep going with the people in New York before those memories become even less clear.
How about thanking Sarah C?
She is a costume designer in New York, around my age and graduated from NYU’s grad school around my year as well. I first met her in the summer of 2010, when the Fela! team re-assembled in that studio space on 22nd Street in Chelsea to remount the show for the upcoming production at the Royal National in London. Sarah was hired to help shop materials. We would send her out to hunt for all the fabrics in the Garment District that could be easily re-shopped. It was fun to work with her; she had a great energy.
I have (had?) tried to hire her for additional projects since then. She’s always incredibly busy, so it’s never really worked out. Still wish it could happen though.
Music I listened to while sewing: Portland is surprisingly quiet on a Saturday morning. It’s 10am here and it’s just quiet.
My dog is snoring in the sun room, so there’s that. Yeah, my dog is snoring in my SUN ROOM. I have an apartment now with a SUN ROOM?
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Well, it’s been 99 days since the last entry on the A Thousand Quilted Cranes Project. It’s also been 81 since I landed in Portland, having just taken a six hour flight out of JFK with my dog.
My life is so completely different than what it was. On April 26th, change started. I had dropped my dog off with my parents (who were in New Jersey for a cousin’s wedding) the day before, and very early on the morning of the 26th, I took a car service to JFK to fly out to LA where I would spend about 17 days “workshopping” a play a friend and I had been working on. It went well, really well.
On May 12th, I flew to Arkansas to finish a production of Pippin I was designing. It went okay. The production got up and ran itself. I learned some more. I saw some parts of Arkansas. Memorial Day weekend, I was told of a job posting for a Shop Supervisor position out in Portland; being so frustrated by the experience I was having at the time, I sent my resume out and a brief letter of introduction. Days later, I was emailing with the theater.
On June 12th, I flew to Richmond, Virginia, to get my dog and spend some downtime with my parents. Days later, I had my first phone interview with Portland. Two weeks later, several emails and phone calls and interviews completed, I was offered a full time, year round, salaried job. In my 35 years on Earth, that’s the FIRST time I’ve ever had that.
On July 1st, I drove back to New York. I had 14 days to pack my stuff in boxes, get movers scheduled, sell my furniture, and donate or trash the rest. In the next two weeks, I sealed my New York Life in moving boxes and kinda just left. In true NYC fashion, 99.9% of the people I wanted to see were all too busy to meet up for a last drink. I managed to say goodbye to a few people; the rest were told by a vague post on Facebook that seemed to come out of nowhere for many of them. I made a point to see the Charles James exhibit at the Met, get my haircut (why that was a priority…?), and then spent my last evening on the 14th of July back at the McKittrick, seeing Sleep No More for the TENTH time, and spending half that show on the verge of tears because the performers were on fire that night and it seemed like that experience, that building, those people were going to send me off, away to another challenge, in lieu of people on the outside.
July 15th, after sleeping for two hours on the floor of my empty apartment next to my dog, I took another car service to JFK with the dog, and boarded an early morning flight to Portland.
And here I am, 81 days later if I counted correctly.
Life is different.
I was wanting change. I was needing change. Change happened. Change is still on-going, and will be for a while.
I float between loving the experience of HERE (Portland) and NOT THERE (NYC), and getting extremely nostalgic and homesick for the IDEA OF THERE (the life I wanted in New York) as opposed to the REALITY OF THERE (the life I was living in New York).
I just got an email invite to attend the Halloween Party at the McKittrick, and… wow… can I tell you how low I felt when I realized that I couldn’t just go? (I am tempted to fly out for the day… which is crazy but exciting because I could actually do that with the money I’m kinda making these days).
I miss the rush of New York. I miss that you had to have drive to do anything there… even getting a cup of coffee took EFFORT. I miss the diversity. I miss hearing several languages as you walk down the street and seeing so many identities mashed on top of one another. I miss the resources of New York. I miss knowing that I could get ANYTHING in New York. Dear Lord do I already miss the Garment District and easy access to SILK.
I miss the comfort of my life in New York- as hard as it may have been- I did have my creature comforts, my places, my people, my activities, my gym.
Change is change.
And I might still change some more. I’m not convinced there’s a finality here. I’m not convinced this is “my place” yet. I’ve already thought, guilty, that I don’t want to “settle” by living here. Portland is great and awesome, yes, but I’m still trying to figure it all out.
One day at a time.
Since April 26th, I guess I’ve learned how impermanent everything can and might be in life. With one email you can initiate a series of events that flips your life upside down. I have a job that I report to. I have people I oversee. I get paychecks. I don’t have to buy my own supplies for a home office; I have an office. People listen to me. I have a title. I have insurance. I have an apartment with a SUN ROOM.
I still have my dog. I still have my debt. I still have my ambition. I still have my side-projects that need to get re-visited.
I drink beer here; I no longer drink wine to kill time and boredom.
Change can be good. Change can bring perspective. Change should be constant.
How about that?