I’ve been on the road again.
This past month has been a blur, as I finished up with classes at Florida Atlantic University, packed our sweet little cottage and my studio and hit the road. I loved the challenges of teaching full time, getting to experience the culture & climate of South Florida, and I’m leaving many good friends behind. However, the chance to go HOME for a few days, followed by new adventures with old friends, balances the bitterness of leaving with the sweet lure of the road.
As I was working out the logistics of the drive home, I decided to slow down and make the most of the journey. Over the past years my road trips have been characterized by 10-14 hours of driving, pushing to get to wherever I’m going, no time to stop along the way. I dreaded the driving, but felt it was necessary to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. This trip has been different, no deadlines looming to push me on, and many friends and family to catch up with, both along the way and back home in Western New York.
I realized as I was driving that this road trip, with a night spent here or there, visiting people I haven’t seen in years, is a miniature version of my life since grad school. Residencies, teaching gigs, summers spent in Maine, Montana & North Carolina, road trips to do workshops and install shows, the annual pilgrimage to NCECA, were all symbolically there in this two week journey. AND I realized that although there is always the struggle with how to pay the bills, I wouldn’t change a minute of the last three years. It’s always exciting to go somewhere new, to really experience a place in a way that just doesn’t happen unless you live there. I love meeting new people, making new friends that will be with me wherever I go via Facebook and Instagram. Groan all you want, but for those of us who are gypsies, social media is how we stay connected with all of those distant friends, how we still feel a part of their lives.
I am happiest when I have people around me, and this trip made me sing loudly in the car, smiling to myself as I drove on. It was wonderful to stop for a few hours, or overnight, and experience the lives of family and friends. To share what we had been up to, eat at their favorite restaurants, see where they work and most of all, laugh together.
I love being a gypsy.