The idea of running away, escaping into the woods, always interested me. Great scenery, plenty of inspiration and excess time for relaxation. You always think it. You never think you’d actually do it. Until one day, we woke up and realized…..
We did it. Not boldly, so much as inevitably.
My boyfriend and I were living in BedStuy (Brooklyn, NY) when our landlord discovered we had two guinea pigs. Long story short we were out looking for a new place, and soon realized, as any New Yorker can testify, that the current real estate scene is just awful. Overpriced, overrated and sometimes just plain weird. To give that statement a little context: the most appealing apartment within our price range had a closet-sized kitchen, including a stove sitting directly in the center of the room and a landlord who insisted we would “be like a little family” since she would collect our mail and lock us into the apartment at night.
In May 2013 we had formed a post-production company (editing, color grading & animation for film & video) and consequently had essentially no income and very modest savings. Basically, no one (but the crazies) in Brooklyn wanted us. We were reluctant to submit to an such an odd fate so we started looking for alternatives.
Jump ahead and we are homeless, staying at a relative’s empty house in Atlantic City (not the most pleasant place to be) and on a never ending hunt for somewhere to call home. After about four months of uncertainty, we passed by a real estate office in upstate NJ and decided to stop in. An hour later we were standing inside a little lakeside cottage in the middle of the woods. To the agent’s surprise, we shouted that we wanted to move in (if you don’t get your paperwork in for an apartment in Brooklyn within 12 hours, you most likely won’t be considered).
Jump forward again about 1 month– and we live in the woods. It was a somewhat impulsive, somewhat desperate decision– but here we are. One minute you are trying to grow a small business in the largest metropolis in the country, and the next minute you are in the middle of the woods overlooking a snowy lake and realizing that there are hours in the day which never before existed. Every spare moment of my life in Brooklyn was spent “coping” with assholes at the supermarket, and crazy people on my front steps.
We have been here for less than a month and I have realized that despite what I previously believed, I don’t really have interests or opinions or feel like anything “really matters.” Up until now I have lived for complacency– the desire for life to not completely suck. And well, that’s just plain boring and not where I want to be.
My family said I was brave for exchanging the city for the country before establishing my career. I know what they really meant was naive. But I’m okay with that because my life before wasn’t exactly challenging me. Sure, it was tough to get by (lord knows it will be even worse out here with no local client base), but it didn’t challenge me as a person. I wasn’t challenged to be productive with every hour of the day; challenged to take on new experiences; challenged to rethink my reluctance to “downgrade” my life or career; challenged to really evaluate who I am and what I can achieve.
But now there is nowhere to run from that reality. And I don’t think I even want to run anymore. I just want to try– to see if I can really live up to those challenges. So that is what this (blog) is all about. Maybe it will help keep me on track; keep me trying. From now on I will indulge my curiosities, push my comfort zone, refuse my boredom, and maybe I won’t have time for complacency anymore.
So this is where I start. If I’m lucky this won’t just be where that “big life” ends, but rather where the perfect life begins. Here’s to discovery, comfort, bravery and getting a life– a good one.