Eddie and I on our first visit to the Statue of Liberty 11/09
One year ago, Eddie and I pulled into a northern New Jersey town with a U-haul truck of our belongings. We were exhausted from packing, loading, and driving 12 hours and had un-loading and un-packing to look forward to (thankfully we ended up having amazing neighbors who helped immensely). My old, faithful dog, Duchess, was in the back seat, and Emily the cat was cuddled on Eddie’s lap. We were unemployed, knew no one in the area, and had absolutely zero clue what would be in store for us. We were brand new civilians, just out of the Army, and both beginning new careers. I hoped I would be a musician. And Eddie hoped he would be a Park Ranger.
In these 12 months, I struggled with finding work, getting rejections, and learning about the business. I played for free, played for tips, and played for idiots. I spent 3 months alone here while Eddie completed his Park Ranger training in North Carolina, and learned through trial and error how to navigate the streets of New York City and mass transportation. The loneliness and frustration were nearly more than I could handle and that’s why I started this blog in February. I needed to force myself to focus on something positive everyday. And amazingly, it has led to unexpected publications and opportunities I never planned on even attempting.
It’s amazing to look back and see how blind and naïve we were, stumbling our way through this learning process. And now after one full year, exactly, what do we have to show for it? Eddie is a Park Ranger, and nearly finished with his Bachelor’s degree. I am a musician. I’ve played at New York City landmarks such as The Broadway Comedy Club and Lincoln Center. I work at a ballet school and company. And I’m recording an EP with a respected, professional New York City music label. We’ve been to the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and all 5 boroughs. We don’t even need a subway map anymore (that’s quite a feat!).
I never would have imagined that we’d come this far in only a year. What amazing and bountiful blessings that have been poured on us! If we’ve come this far in a year, I can’t wait to see where we are next year. We’ve only just begun!