This was one of those - thought I had found free bookshelves, but needed to pick them up. A combination of one friend with van and another who could drive came into focus, but got difficult. I knew in my heart of hearts I should let it go and go see The Muppets Movie with my friend Christian as planned...but No It was Too Important to Pass Up Free Bookshelves. The other friends involved were also extending themselves past their limits. And we all paid for this, the driving friend got the worst of it when she was driving her motorcycle to pick up the van and a car ran into her. She is OK, but her leg needs to be x-rayed. She insisted - in a way I know I would have done but nonetheless made me nervous - that she drive back to her house and go to a hospital close by. When she called me she was waiting in the ER and with another friend. She apologized to me over and over again. Even though that was absurd, I knew if I had been her, I would have done the same. It's psycho. She even wanted initially to drive the van to pick up the bookshelves, even though she was limping. I talked her out of that at least.
There are therefore no bookshelves in my house, which is not the issue at all here. The issue is: why did all three of us extend ourselves past what we knew we could do? I was exhausted even before this little misadventure, N with the van was supposed to be spending time with his partner and E was supposed to be having a leisurely time with friends at a dinner party. I know the answer, sort of, and will let those of you are also friends of Bill and Lois W figure it out all by yourselves. It's that driving force - that can drive you to succeed sometimes but mostly just drives you and in particular drives you mad. It comes stealthily in the guise of 'helping others' or 'this must get done' but it's a liar.
I came back home exhausted and insisted on unpacking more boxes, which is why I'm writing this at 2:50am. I can't let myself be human anymore than my other two friends can. It is in fact a disease.
On the bright side, I only have 11 boxes left on the floor (a few are already in closet). And only 8 are unopened. There will be space in closet and such for most of the rest of stuff but wanted books out. We'll see. I imagine somehow more bookshelves will appear on the island of Manhattan.
OK, I am beyond toast now, so signing off.
I am grateful beyond measure for my lovely friends and hope we all finally learn to take care of ourselves. I think I know my New Year's resolution now, and it will have something to do with putting myself first - finally. It's always the better way - ironically enough for everyone involved. Because when I overstretch Everyone Pays at some point...But even writing it 'putting myself first' I hear the voice of my psycho babysitter telling me I'm selfish, my angry grandmother saying the same and my angry first step-father. Basically the whack jobs of my childhood. So, like, consider the source.
I want to schedule some time at Kripalu, a lovely yoga retreat, maybe at the beginning of the year, to launch this and also to be there on or around the anniversary of my father's death, which is Jan. 7. Please root for me that I manage to do this rather than listening to all the specious objections in my head.
Welcome to my blog..
"We struggle with dream figures and our blows fall on living faces." Maurice Merleau-Ponty
When I started this blog in 2011, I was in a time of transition in my life between many identities - that of Artistic Director of a company (Apocryphal Theatre) to independent writer/director/artist/teacher and also between family identity, as I discover a new family that my grandfather's name change at the request of his boss in WWII hid from view - a huge Hungarian-Slovak contingent I met in 2011. Please note in light of this the irony of the name of my recently-disbanded theatre company. This particular transition probably began in the one month period (Dec. 9, 2009-Jan. 7, 2010) in which I received a PhD, my 20 year old cat died on my father's birthday and then my father, who I barely knew, died too. I was with him when he died and nothing has been the same since. This blog is tracing the more conscious elements of this journey and attempt to fill in the blanks. I'm also writing a book about my grandmothers that features too. I'd be delighted if you joined me. (Please note if you are joining mid-route, that I assume knowledge of earlier posts in later posts, so it may be better to start at the beginning for the all singing, all dancing fun-fair ride.) In October 2011, I moved back NYC after living in London for 8 years and separated from my now ex-husband, which means unless you want your life upended entirely don't start a blog called Somewhere in Transition. In November 2011, I adopted a rescue cat named Ugo. He is lovely. As of January 2012, I began teaching an acting class at Hunter College, which is where one of my grandmothers received a scholarship to study acting, but her parents would not let her go. All things come round…I began to think it may be time to stop thinking of my life in transition when in June 2012 my stepfather Tom suddenly died. Now back in the U.S. for a bit, I notice, too, my writing is more overtly political, no longer concerned about being an expat opining about a country not my own. I moved to my own apartment in August 2012 and am a very happy resident of Inwood on the top tip of Manhattan where the skunks and the egrets roam in the last old growth forest on the island.
I am now transitioning into being married again with a new surname (Barclay-Morton). John is transitioning from Canada to NYC and as of June 2014 has a green card. So transition continues, but now from sad to happy, from loss to love...from a sense of alienation to a sense of being at home in the world.
As of September 2013 I started teaching writing (composition and rhetoric) as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. While felt blessed for the opportunity, after four years of this, the lack of pay combined with heavy work load stopped working, so have transferred this teaching passion to private workshops in my own apartment and working with writers one on one, which I adore. I will die a happy person if I never have to grade an assignment ever again.
I worked full time on the book thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign in May 2014 and completed it at two residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Wisdom House in summer 2015. I have done some revisions and am shopping it around to agents and publishers now, along with a new book recently completed.
I am now working full-time as a freelance writer, writing workshop leader, coach, and editor. Contact me if you are interested in any of these services.
Not sure when transition ends, if it ever does. As the saying goes, the only difference between a sad ending and a happy ending is where you stop rolling the film.
For professional information, publications, etc., go to my linked in profile and website for Barclay Morton Editorial & Design. My Twitter account is @wilhelminapitfa. You can find me on Facebook under my full name Julia Lee Barclay-Morton. More about my grandmothers' book: The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani
Recently, I started a website Our Grandmothers, Our Selves, which has stories about many people's grandmothers. Please check it out. I will be blogging there, too, now. You can also contact me through that site.