So, I don't know how this happened, but I have boxed myself into moving tomorrow. All of my stuff save a few things are in my new place, including furniture from Ikea, Housing Works (A NYC-based thrift store (Brits: charity shop) that focuses on helping homeless people with AIDS - they have amazing stuff donated and I got a gorgeous desk and sofa from them - just amazing - hint to NYC folks: the East 77th Street store is the best one - donations are kind of incredible) and the generous folks that make up Freecycle (the virtual version of leaving stuff out on the curb - if you don't know about it, check it out - it exists in London and NYC and all over)...plus an embarrassing amount of Stuff (pots, pans, pillows, sheets, kitchen stuff, bathroom towels, shower curtain, bath mat and Whatnot) from Home Goods, a discount place that carries mostly designer stuff but on deep discount. Home Goods is like crack when you have to furnish a place from scratch and don't want everything to look like it came from the local Dollar Store (which by the way is furnishing the whole rest of my house with excellent and dirt cheap stoneware and kitchen/bathroom/trash can/dish rack, ladder, etc...stuff)
The other major contributor to my new place are the folks at Home Depot...air conditioners, bamboo blinds, curtains and lamps...to be delivered tomorrow...
The furniture all arrived (thank you...Finally...Ikea) and assembled, some by friends and me and other stuff with drawers by two nice men from a place aptly called StressLess...a good deal New Yorkers if you look at your Ikea needs-to-be-assembled-bed-with-drawers and it makes you cry...call on Alex at StressLess and let him send you his helpful young men.
As you can see from the above, I have devolved into the land of Thrifty Martha Stewart...Thrifty in that I am doing this for bargain basement prices but Martha Stewart because I am choosing each and every item that gets into my new place and most of it, aside from the amazing rocking chair from Freecycle, is something I've needed to buy.
But what I wanted to say tonight is: I am spending my last night in the sublet that I have called home since October 1, 2011 and that seems weird. The reason there needs to be a firm date is that my cat is involved. When he moves, I move and tomorrow is the day my friend Nathan can help me move my more delicate stuff, which includes Ugo the Cat and of course, well, me. I can't keep wiffle waffling back and forth between the two place.
My desk is still set up here. I spent all afternoon wandering around Hunter figuring out what had happened to my appointment certification so I can get paid once I start teaching next week, getting my syllabus printed out and envying those who have full time teaching gigs so they get paid for all that time.
On the other hand, I don't need to go to staff meetings, so there is that.
Also, once I am finally set up, and my study is up and running, I am going to have the Precious Time I need/want to write. Also SPACE. I devoted a whole room to be my study and made the other room a combo bed-living room. All of my books will be on one wall, desk (gorgeous Norwegian mid-century) on another and a plywood/filing cabinet (Freecycle/friend donation) combo as another work surface. A great chair and the aforementioned rocking chair. Oh and a drawer system (thanks Ikea) for all my research materials. So now if I don't finish the book, I'm just an asshole.
So, of course, now I am fucking terrified...of moving, of writing, of having what I want, think I want, do I want it? What the fuck....?! Etc.
I fully expect to be sitting among all the unpacked boxes in the office crying my eyes out tomorrow night and assuming I've made a terrible, terrible mistake.
Which is why it's cool that the day after that I have a meeting to go to with lots of folks like me who come from similar backgrounds and can talk of such things and get the love and support I really, really need right now...not to mention the Courage to just walk through this.
Now, many of you don't know this, but most of the comments left on my blog at times like this, signed in cryptic ways were from my stepfather, Tom. The one who died in June. At times like this I feel his loss so acutely. This is the moment he would smile or say something encouraging and tell me I wasn't a fruitcake for trusting myself and my sense of a Higher Power (I hate that word but all the words are so loaded...maybe I will steal another friend's word for this, which is simply: Grace). And I can trust the feeling I am being held, taken care of and will be OK.
Of course I see him and hear him anyway, Tom that is, and in some ways even more so now, kind of like when my grandmother Jani died back in 1980...which is right around the time Tom came into our lives. These are powerful times when a beloved person dies, sacred times...listening to the divining rods as much as possible...sometimes well and other times, not so sure.
Not sure of much of anything anymore, a symptom of ageing I suppose...maturity? Maybe or just getting the crap beaten out of you by life and realizing: oh, duh, it's not My Show...something like that.
So, goodbye sublet, you have served me well...and it's now time to take ownership of my big, beautiful, sunny one bedroom that is on the 5th floor of a walk up so I never have to join a gym, like, ever.
Wish Ugo the Cat and me luck, I'm scared shitless....like usual.
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.