Happy 21st Birthday, Willow!
I hope you are having a fabulous day.
If you are reading this blog, I want you to know how much I look forward to meeting you, and how much I can relate to the weirdness of having step-parents thrust upon one. If you read back into this blog, you will see that my mother and father split up when I was young and there was much re-marrying and relocation in my life. I found it a bit dizzying and by the time I was your age, frankly annoying.
So, if you are annoyed by this post even, I get it. Unfortunately, I now also know what it was like for the step-parents. I thought, when I was young (yes I'm old enough to say that, which makes me even More annoying), that these people were trying to curry favor with me or one or the other parent, etc. I found their efforts to be disingenuous or lacking in some way. Now, what I know is that they just wanted to get to know me. However, I - especially in my teens and twenties - did not want to get known. So, if you feel like that, too, I get it.
I also didn't talk to my father for years. Understand that, too. Though I am glad we did reconnect later on. Was our relationship perfect? No. Did it exist? Yes. Could I even venture to know what you want in this regard? No. Do I hope you'll someday want to get to know your Dad again? Yes. Is that my call? Absolutely not.
So, why am I yammering on anyway...well, just so you know, whenever, if ever, you do want to be in touch, I'm here, happy to get to know you in any way you'd like to be known. My virtual and actual door open to you at any time.
But no matter what, have a great birthday and welcome to 21! For me, that was a wonderful, scary, strange but gorgeous year. I wish for you that your dearest dream come true.
All love to you from your (probably not evil) step-mother.
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.