For the last two years, my husband Rob and I have been looking to move off of Long Island. We're not used to being in the same place or job for too long - it seems a decade is our max on anything. When you combine two creative people with LOTS of goals, ambitions, drive, and things they like to dabble in and Master, there's little room for stagnation. There's a lot of impatience, honestly.
We've travelled around upstate, visited PA, and toyed with the idea of North Carolina. I went to college in Mars Hill near Asheville, so I lived in the Blue Ridge Mountain region for 3 years. My parents lived and died in Asheville, and my aunt still lives there. We even recently went to Seattle, to scope out that area.
Our criteria for housing are pretty odd to most, but like you, we have some standards we require. Moving isn’t just something we will pick up and do.
Right now, we live in an over-populated town (300k+), on a busy connector road. We have the BEST situation possible, though...a great landlord who's a friend and lets us landscape however we want (we've planted bushes, trees, cleaned a 10-year patch of leaves, we compost here, and love our property). We pay an extremely competitive rent, which makes a search for cheaper housing difficult, to be honest. We have a large house, which we fell in love with the moment we traipsed through the snow to see it. No one enters our home without commenting on how calm it is.
But we're on a busy road. We have a lovely family next to us, who have 5 children (I believe) . 2 are near-teen girls, which we've discovered are pretty loquacious and jubilant. We've had tenants on the other side of us who swept the dirt lawn at 2-3am. We have a screaming kid two houses down, and a family across the street, who has 4 full-sized garbage cans out at the street 1-2 times a week (a family of 4--who has that much garbage, EVER!?!). We have people parking in front of our house constantly, though every home has ample driveways and their own parking lane on the street. We've had car alarms go off repeatedly from an electrical malfunction and then deny it's their car, when politely confronted about it. We even had a neighbor decide to put her dog's poop in our recycling bin as well as behind our bushes. Thankfully, it was in a bag, since we had to hand it back to her when we confronted her about it.
Every time we take a walk into town or around the neighborhood, it seems as if there's an altercation of some sort. A crowd of young girls with adult chaperones bumped into us without apologizing. When we addressed it, it unnecessarily became a "thing" - you apparently can't tell children how to have manners and respect in these days. (Are we too PC?) We've had a child stalk my husband at work. Literally…a 13-year old, who stared and followed him around. Had I not witnessed it when we went for a walk and we accidentally ran into the kid, I wouldn't have believed it was possible. We had 10-year olds throw rocks at us for no reason, as we walked down to Islip beach. Our last venture 2 weeks ago, led us down to the same beach at night, only have a guy chastise us for not having reflectors on.
You know me personally, so you know I do my best to handle these situations in a peaceful and calm manner. However, you may not know I have a volatile temper, which a couple years of martial arts tamed quite a bit. You also don't know I was bullied as a child - so most of these instances triggered that feeling again. After the peaceful talking didn't work in these situations, my ego + Rob's temper can equal a quick escalation that leaves me shaky and regretful we even left the house.
And you thought I was perfect! ;)
Rob and I want to advance our careers, and move into the next phase of our passions. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cooking – but I hate delivering. I may have time for podcasts and audiobooks to advance my brain power and relieve stress while driving, but the time wasted is counterproductive. Never mind the sheer 3-4 hours it takes me to drive 80 miles in heavy traffic! (The hugs from clients and their animals has made up for the time issues, thankfully!)
Dean Graziosi says to eliminate the things wasting your time, and focus on the things you love most. Well, I love writing, and I love cooking. With my schedule, I have little time for the aforementioned passion.
I'd love to build programs to help people heal the Mind, Body, and Spirit. I know so much more than just how to cook a healthy meal, which you probably know from the array of topics you’ve seen me teach at library's, health food stores, and yoga studios.
Rob wants to dive further into creating movies and soundtracks. He wants to write and produce more music (you should see this guy’s resume that I recently helped him create!). None of those things are easy, when you live on a busy road. I remember it taking him a week of 2am recordings, just to create the voiceover for our Food Flix Cinema trailer.
We've been let down time and time again by business associates and "friends," who didn't have the integrity they spouted to have. We've watched as people proclaim to be one way, and live completely differently (I.e. don't cry poor, when you eat out all the time, and don't want to pick up extra shifts at work. Don't claim to be a networking friend, when you do no promotion unless the other person does, and insist on the "like-for-like" mentality).
Sounds judgemental and preachy, I know. And perhaps it is.
The point is, we've been let down A LOT in the last couple of years, and it feels as if this island has pushed us away. The amount of trends we've had to endure over the last 12 years of living here is insane. I've worked with health food stores for a decade now, and he's tattooed for a little longer than that. You'd think as talented as we are, we'd be millionaires in these fields. But getting people to stick to appointments, promises, and HOLISTIC, proven facts rather than the latest trend, is a difficult battle, to say the least. We've hit our limit.
My father raised me to detest fads (a fact I didn't actual realize until Rob pointed it out a year ago). I've lived through the Mona vie trend, raw food trend, juicing trend, essential oil MLM trends, Acai bowl trend, Paleo fad, tattoo fad (as has Rob, obviously), and now the CBD oil trend. The list is endless, really.
Yet we both struggle to get people to understand nutrition, the importance of healing your body properly, and the real process of tattoos and food vs what's being shown on reality TV.
Fate heard us.
During the summer, I happened upon a newscast on NPR, about the Live and Work in Maine website. The founder of the site explained how Maine was a great place to live, and was thriving economically. Since Rob and I had the New England area in our radar a few years ago and are looking to open our own business, the interview piqued my curiosity. I updated my resume, signed up for job alerts, and added a search to Zillow for a home. We started researching the different areas, pricing, and how the state was portrayed.
In early October, we took a visit to a log cabin we saw on Zillow. We were already in love with how the state operates politically, socioeconomically, and ecologically. We mapped out different areas, made notes on our interests, and looked at multiple factors for opening a cafe. The state proved to accurately portray its slogans...
"Vacationland." "A great place to live and work." "How life should be." These are mottos of the state/license plate slogans. They weren't kidding.
We made notes about which towns felt right and fit our criteria as we drove endlessly for 3 days. We envisioned where we could see ourselves living. There’s a different life and world out there, once you leave the island...I'm not from here, so I have less of a connection than Rob does. But even Rob's outgrown the Long Island pride, having also lived out of the state for a few years and coming back to it. Life here just isn't fulfilling for us anymore. We have no room for progression.
We felt a sense of calm in Maine...a sort of calm you become obsessed with feeling, especially when you think of how different it is to your current situation. We craved the freedom that came with open land, and a more rural lifestyle.
After several let downs and shattered hopes on homes, we happened across a place near Bangor (yep, yep - Steven King still lives there and yes, we visited his actual house when we were there. Could you visit a famous author’s home here on Long Island easily? Hmmm...).
I contacted the landlord about the home we saw 2 Sunday’s ago, and anxiously waited for a reply. He said the home was available, but there was a bit of a list of other rental inquiries ahead of us.
Rob and I were instantly in love with the home. Despite wanting to move in 6 months (April was our original deadline), we knew this felt right. Down to the core. I said we'd pay 6 months up front, and hit send. This was Sunday November 5, one week prior to me writing this to you.
It was the most terrifying thing I've done in probably 10 years. Maybe even 12 years, when I decided to sell my home in Florida and move 1500 miles up north, with only a PT job at a bagel store and Rob managing Starbucks.
After some further research and conversations with the landlord, it all fell into place. Fell into place so easily, you actually question reality. We have no jobs, we have to pack a house by Dec 15th, close our businesses/relocate them, and catch 1-2 outdoor cats we care for so that we can move them with us. We've fed them for years, and are now responsible for their well-being. Besides, they're both black cats, we already caught one stray black cat here, and who doesn't need 3 black cats!?!
We're pushed into very uncomfortable places right now, to make these changes. I suffer from anxiety, if I've never told you - I've had a couple of panic attacks about it all. It's the most illogical thing you can do, it seems.
But I remember the information I've sent you and told you through the years, about following dreams and listening to the Universe. You've asked how I get so much done. You ask how I've gotten to where I am. You ask how I maintain sanity. You ask how I have energy and manage to stay sane.
It's time to use the tools I've taught through the years, take out my cahoonah's, and jump from the safety net. If I want to really launch a program in January, now's the time. We've financially set ourselves up, so we don't have to work in the month of January. If I don't distance myself from the mayhem of clients and cooking a bit, I'll just never get to it. If I'm not FORCED to earn an income, I'll delay it until the program is just perfect.
Time and time again, I read the best way to launch is to just DO IT. Don't wait for perfection. Don't wait for the perfect time or perfect website. Don't wait for the ideal equipment and shooting location.
Just Do It.
I started my meditation practice last week. It's been lacking, I've been craving it, and didn't see how to fit it in. I had some short conversations with the founder of TrueWellth.org, and he urged me to just get in 2-5 minutes of meditation in the morning. I explained my struggle to him, because I'm up so early already and am so pressed for time, a meditation, yoga and planning the day as they suggest, are just impossible.
I know I have to meditate, if I expect to keep sanity over the next 6 weeks. If I want to stay organized, I had to list out our deadline, all the tasks required to meet that deadline, and when these tasks would be accomplished. I also had to delegate. (Who needs more time? Thank heavens I wrote that blog for you, so I could refer back to it!).
I have to maintain eating well, if I expect to have energy and wake up at the hours we wake up at every day. Never mind that I also need to have the strength to move a 3 bedroom house, drive 9 hours to Maine and back, and THEN move 5-6 cats to a new home.
We're leaving "security." But we also consistently tell friends to take the plunge and move, when it feels right.
I know I've been looking into shipping methods for my meal delivery service for some time now. I know we're two highly intelligent, reliable, and talented people, who can EASILY find jobs. I also know we moved like this once before and when we both have our minds set on something, we can make the "impossible" seem to look so simple to everyone.
So stay with me even when I move...stay with the information I send you. Have patience as I continue to fill your needs. Stay in touch with me and tell me what YOU need me to do to keep you healthy and vibrant. You're not a client, you're a friend. You're the reason this is even possible for us.
I appreciate you deeply. (I’m actually tearing up as I write this to you…)
Follow your dreams no matter how crazy they seem, but do it logically. None of this happened overnight, and it took us years of planning, saving, paying off business/personal debt, and logically analyzing all of our options. When the final part happened, the flood gates opened...so while it seems I'm just up and leaving (OK, I am), this is something we've been working towards for years. It's why I wanted to build a program to "reach those I can't," which is part of my mission statement.