Because I have so much to cover in a very very short amount of time (We still don’t have the Internet at our place so, again, I’m doing all this from the Lee County Public Library where they limit my compy usage to 1.5 hours daily. That’s just inhumane…) I’m going to give you a bulleted list of topics and you can scroll down to the one that interests you the most. See? I keep my readers in mind. Don’t say I never did nothin’ for you.
Also, I’ve been having blog-and-Internet withdrawal so please excuse me if this is rather rambly and self-indulgent.
1) The Move
d) Kinda Wistful
2) Meeting People
3) The New Projects
1) The Move
Oh man, it’s like I’ve said before: I’m positive there has never been a single human being more excited about moving to a small town in North Carolina than I have in the last couple weeks. I’m sure the novelty of it all will wear off but, Holy Crap, I feel like I’ve wandered into Pleasantville. I ventured out last Saturday, got myself a little cup of coffee, and checked out the local farmers’ market which was really more of a Stuff Old People Grow in Their Backyards Market, which is actually even better in my book. Anyway, while I was wandering around downtown buying a local paper and taking pics of the town for this here blog, I was delighted to find that every single person who passed me bothered to engage in mini conversations. Not just “Hi, how ya doin’?” but “Good morning! What on earth are you taking pictures of?” type conversations. I’m one of those people who thrives on getting to know local, grassroots culture so this was particularly exciting to me.
Sanford is a pretty cool little town, to be honest. It’s not one of those places that dried up once a Wal-Mart came to town and has one of those downtowns where people actually patronize and enjoy. There are tons of cool old houses where people throw block parties for anyone who wants to swing by. There are two local theatres, including one that I’m auditioning for in the next week but I’ll get to that later. Plus, the whole city is only 45 minutes from the Research Triangle area (Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham) and the Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point) so we’re close enough to the awesome forward-motion of city life without having to deal with the traffic and higher rate of crime, etc. (I was jazzed when I realized that we get the free weekly Independent Arts newspaper all the way down here! Culture! Life! Things happening! Whee!)
Also, in talking with some of the local people, this is one of those rare towns where kids are still kids. In Myrtle Beach it wasn’t uncommon for 11 year olds to be talking about giving blow jobs and where to get drugs, but here the kids still believe in Santa Claus until they’re 10 and don’t have cellphones until they start driving. Obviously, they grow more aware of the world as they get older (there’s drugs and sex everywhere) but it’s at a more traditional pace, which I’m a big fan of.
Again, I’m sure the novelty of small town life will wear off eventually but at the moment I’m loving the relief of not having to deal with godawful tourist traffic, not having to look at rundown outlet malls and shady strip clubs everywhere I go, not having to be blinded by neon signs and hideous billboards en route to EVERYWHERE. Getting to be around people who take pride in where they live and strive for better educations than a GED. It feels like I’m back where I started from originally and strangely, that’s exactly what I want right now.
So we’re in the process of unpacking everything in this cute little 2-story, 3 bedroom house in a quiet little neighborhood and are feeling unbelievably optimistic about the whole thing. I like it.
2) Meeting People
It occurred to me that, while living with a small child who isn’t in school, I have the potential to spend the next year in almost complete seclusion. Knowing my history with depression, this sounded like a good way to sink into a state of lonely hopelessness, which is something I prefer to avoid at all costs.
SO! I’ve taken it upon myself to push aside all my weird social anxieties, actually reach out, and meet some people. First, I emailed a local blogger who writes a lot about living a green lifestyle while being a mom. I just wanted to pick her brain about what Sanford life is like, if there were any places she could recommend in the way of preschools, family physicians, etc. Knowing that it’s totally weird to send a probing email to a stranger, i wasn’t really expecting much in the way of a thorough response. However, a few days later I received a 4 page email detailing everything from her preferred childcare centers to where not to get my hair done (apparently they employ drunk stylists). I was doubly impressed that she withheld any discussion of religion or spirituality because she didn’t like to push that sort of thing on people but if I wanted to know more about her church or what sort of spiritual gatherings are in the area, I was more than welcome to ask her about it. Even more impressive was the fact that she picked up on my mention that I wrote in my blog about depression and alcoholism and she casually recommended a psychiatric facility that members of her family had found success with. I was touched and refreshed with the knowledge that there are people here who don’t mind going out of their way to help complete strangers.
Additionally, one of my good friends takes an acting class once a week in Charlotte with a gal from Sanford and sent me her number. Once again, I pushed all my weird insecurities out of the way (By the way, it’s come to my attention just how unbelievably awkward I am, but I’m planning that as a post later on.) and just called her. She and her husband had me and mine over for cards and drinks last night and I was really relieved at how good of a time I had. We all seemed to get along, seemed to be like-minded, seemed to have a lot in common (although her kids are significantly older than mine) and, even though I don’t think we’ll be connected at the hip or anything, it’s so so nice to know someone else in town.
Although this merges into my next bulleted segment, I’ve also made it a point to join a couple Meetup groups and will be attending a tribal bellydance party in a couple weeks. I haven’t been part of a bellydance community in about 2 years but I miss it a lot and would love to meet other people who are into it and may be interested in traveling to events, etc. I’m thinking once I get settled I may attempt a book club in the area but that’s a few months off. Anyway, the point is that I’m trying, dammit.
3)The New Projects
At the moment, I’m having so much momentum from the move and the possibilities of new opportunity that I’m not sure where to put my immediate interest. The thing is, I’ve been wanting to get my writing career back on track and pay attention to working on a byline and getting a portfolio under my belt. (I just picked up an old Playboy from my collection a few days ago and realized that Sloane Crosley has been getting published WAY longer than I’d originally thought. Since she’s around my age, I kind of strangely consider her a peer and a bit of a pace-setter, although this usually leads to unnecessary comparisons between her career and mine and then the ensuing frustration that I’m not anywhere close to where I’d like to be.)
And then I just decided to do my first theatre audition in like, 3 years, so I’m preparing a monologue and short song for that. I’ve really wanted to get back into theatre but was really hesitant with the knowledge that it will eat a LOT of time and evenings with Greg. After talking about it and getting his encouragement and blessing, I’m going ahead with it and I guess we’ll navigate through our schedules if I’m actually presented with an opportunity for a role.
After taking the GRE, I’ve been looking at psychology degree programs and/or counseling certification programs. I’m ELATED to be in North Carolina as the university educations accessible from my location are incredible and seem ideal for what I want to do. This is something I probably won’t have the freedom or funding to get into for another year or so but I know I need to start working on applications and financial aid sooner than later so I’m not crunched for time.
And then there are countless extraneous things I’ve just been putting off for various reasons like working on scrapbooking these hundreds of photos from the last year and getting this website up and running and following up on my applications for grants for this book I’m writing. I don’t know how I plan to actually do all of this but I know I want them all to fit into my 5 Year Plan (such a ridiculous stereotypical idea…) and I know that means I actually need to do them. It just feels like everything’s been on hold since we’ve been waiting around to see if we’d be moving, so I hope that I can actually get back to living once we get settled in.
And THEN I noticed that there’s this old movie theatre for sale in downtown Sanford that flickered back to life that crazy dream I have of opening a mini multiplex that would consistently feature 1 indie/foreign flick, 1 children’s flick, 1 old film and 1 recent film and lend itself to a plethora of audiences. (I’ve written about it before but can’t seem to find the entry about it at the moment.) I’d love to do stuff like have a “Wizard of Oz” week where we play the movie all week and then have a big “Wizard of Oz” party on the last night. Same with “Rocky Horror” or “Tommy” or “Grease” or “Sound of Music” or any array of cool cult-y classics. Anyway, I’m going to call the realtor in charge to ask what the going price is…
… A girl can dream, right?
So that’s life in brief. Again, I’m using a compy that’s not my own so I don’t feel right posting pics at the moment. It’ll happen soon but I’m sure isn’t pertinent or urgent to anyone’s well-being so I’m not terribly worried about it at the moment.
In brief though: We’re happy. We’re optimistic. We’re relieved. We’re grateful.
These are all incredibly refreshing feelings.