That’s how long I’ve lived in North Adams. It’s how long I’ve been teaching yoga. Within those ten years, I’ve received 7 years of higher education, traveled to Spain 3 times, met my long term match, and created a supportive and loving community for myself. Through those ten years in this sleepy little city, I’ve come into my womanhood, let go of relationships that didn’t serve me, fought to keep the ones that did, and learned that I am so much stronger and more resilient than I really ever knew. It’s first place where I lived on my own, and came home to myself happy and whole. Most importantly, it’s where I adopted my cats. Clearly, that is most important. Understand my priorities, thanks.
Emily Dickinson said “We turn not older with years, but new every day.” As I turn new now, it feels familiar and lovely. It also feels like a cycle has been completed.
The day after Christmas in downtown Portland, Maine, Chris and I stepped out onto a sidewalk in blinding sunlight. First we were like “Sunshine??! In December? What is THAT?” Then we looked at each other and knew we HAD to move. So there it is. I’m moving.
Wait. Let me rephrase. We are moving. Come the end of June, we’ll pack the kitties and hopefully fewer belongings than we have now, and move north, just 4 hours from here. I did leave a hint in this photo of my vision board, posted sometime around the new year. Right behind the mermaid woman, next to the words NEW IMAGININGS is a tiny map of -you guessed it- Maine. For us, Portland.
Now, I know what the North Adams folks are thinking (or maybe you don’t give a flying f*ck what I do with my life, I have no idea). “But we’re just getting started! Downtown revitalization! Business opportunities! North Adams is growing!” And you know what- you’re right. My heart couldn’t be more full for this city that provided me with an affordable place to live and work (my ass off!!) right out of college, and how we’ve gotten some amazing exposure. I hope it continues to grow.
However, impatient Aries that I am, it’s just not fast enough for me. I look forward to returning to visit when North Adams is a thriving cultural hub, where I don’t feel guilty when a new business closes, thinking it’s demise was partly my fault, because I didn’t have time to frequent it enough. To be perfectly clear, I frequent as many businesses as I can, and I see many of the same people doing the same thing I do! That’s amazing, AND, it’s telling that the same people put their money into local business. This is something with which I have struggled. It’s not a judgement, but an observation.
I have dear friends here, who are living their dreams and are truly happy. These friends are the reason I’ve stayed as long as I have. They are the people that make this place a hidden gem (except during March blizzards when nothing makes this place inhabitable). My dreams include salt water and living closer to my parents.
See? You can’t be that upset (were you upset? I’m just assuming you care about my life choices again. Sorry.). If you’ve met my parents you’d know why I’m in the market to be less than an hour away from them. Chris has family there too, and we couldn’t be happier to keep planning big Christmas parties where all of them are together. If I think back to when my parents first moved off of Long Island up to Maine, I remember thinking that I’d like to be there in about 10 years. I’m a few years early on my prophecy, but the time is right.
As the move gets closer, I’ll start to get down all of the things I will miss about North Adams. Right now, I’m going to pare down my book collection again, and be content knowing I’ll be leaving this place more glittery and more enlightened than I found it.