Big News From BURBS + a BARBIE
We’re moving! But not around the corner in this little city we adore, nor out to the real ‘burbs. Not to anywhere, actually. So, I guess the more accurate description would be “we’re leaving Jersey City.”
Yes, we’re leaving. <Insert teardrop face emoji but not the “I murdered a guy” kind of teardrop face. Has anyone ever mixed that up before?> I know you’ve heard this one, but it’s not you. It’s us.
We’re not leaving because of a lack of love for Jersey City (see my Ode to Chilltown for proof on this point). We adore this little city, even if its more seasoned residents never loved us accidental gentrifiers back. We’re not even leaving because they want to #JCTakeitBack.
We’re moving forward because we don’t love New York City in a greater sense. It’s not our happy place. We don’t like winter -- as in we don’t want it in our lives come January -- and we don’t vibe on the rat race hustle that is so revered here despite making people sick and ruining lives. We’re just… not in our place. Here’s what I liken it to.
A couple months ago, we were scuba diving about 45 minutes off of the Miami Beach coastline and I saw the most gorgeous fish. It looked like it was sweatin’ to the eighties because of the vibrancy of its neon hot pink, orange, turquoise and yellow colors, which caught the available light under the water and absolutely radiated. I stalked this fishie for a little while (as non-intrusively as possible), because I was obsessed with its stunning beauty.
“I wish I could bring it to the surface and back to the beach to show my daughter and my parents,” I thought to myself. My next immediate thought (in this conversation inside my head underwater with me, myself and I) was, “But that’s obviously not possible and it wouldn’t even look like this any way. It’s only this beautiful because it’s in its own happy environment.”
As I said that, a light bulb went off in my head. Something can only be at its most beautiful vibrant state when it is in its optimum environment. Sure, it might survive elsewhere (not the given example with a fish above water on the shore, I’m clear on that). But when something is just surviving outside of its ideal environment, its colors are duller, there's less pep in its step and it is generally sad and not itself.
That’s us. Under it all, despite all the wonderfulness we are blessed with, and all that improves our lives in Jersey City (and the bigger one across the river), we’re not happy with the whole picture. It’s not our optimum environment.
So we’re ending this chapter and moving forward. We were gypsies before we arrived in Manhattan and we’ll be gypsies again.
We're only in New York City because of our job (though I lived here previously as a single woman, which was a different story). My Love and I moved back here together three years ago on a mission to change the advertising and design industries for the better, as the Executive Director and the Director of Content + Communications at the Art Directors Club (ADC).
We were as focused as light beams, working day and night on this project (quite literally). Lots of sweat, thankfully not too much blood (like, maybe a paper cut once) and enough tears for all three categories were shed in this endeavor. We’ve been extremely successful in many ways. We’ve also learned a lot that we will take with us. Either way, we undoubtedly achieved what we set out to do here.
And more. We unexpectedly became parents shortly into this adventure and the horizon as we knew it or planned it changed drastically, immediately for me and for my Love in a similar way over time. Children have a marvelous way of highlighting priorities, the fragility of life and a desire to set an example that will shape the rest of their days. At least, that has been our experience.
After three years of hustlus maximus, we have resigned our positions and we move on. Hustlus maximus has exhausted us on every possible level, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Where we came into this journey motivated, energetic and full of life, we are leaving as emptied vessels. We, and life, have stagnated and it’s time to recharge ourselves and our family unit, which has been forced to take second place to, well, everything. Not anymore.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Have you made it this far? Well done.
We’re not ready to settle directly from one place to another. We desperately need a break to reset, recharge and rejuvenate. So we’re putting our belongings in storage, packing up our 4Runner and a sweet little K-Z Spree RV trailer that we bought on our most recent trip to New Hampshire (I’ll formally introduce you to “The Spriglet” later... get ready for an RV makeover!), and we're hitting the road full-time, indefinitely.
Neither of us have ever lived in an RV before.
We’ll visit some of our favorite spots, explore some new territories, stay with some friends and family we’ve wanted to see for years now, and in general, live for a while. Not exist. Live. Both my Love and I die a slow death in the face of routine.
“Get used to routine!” You might say, “That’s life!”
To which we reply, it doesn’t have to be. That’s an excuse to exist instead of live. It takes the same amount of energy to tell yourself why you can't do something as it does to tell yourself why you can. If you want to find another way, you will… and we will. Or are.
So now we will live again. We will spend sunup to sundown with the most precious gift NYC could have given us, our little daughter. Be quiet and think for hours on end. Journal. Read. Take photographs. Create. Write for no purpose, and to cover no topic other than life’s lessons on the road. Meet new people in new places who can teach us new things. Learn. Talk to each other and reconnect. Play! And follow the recommended advice to do something every day that scares you.
Thankfully, life on the road itself does not scare us. It’s the most comfortable place we know. And our daughter is no stranger or opponent either, having acquired her first passport at 3 weeks and boarded her first flight to Europe at 5 weeks.
Any trip is an exercise in 'camping out' for a mama (thus my 5 Travel Tips serieswhere I share my hard-learned lessons). Whether that’s in a hotel room or in the woods, the requisites a mama must prepare -- at least as it pertains to a little one -- are nearly the same. Our little one is only two, so we don’t have to do much in the way of special preparation or take her out of school (although we’re very, very sad to leave our mornings at Lil' Brick Schoolhouse). We’re just free for now.
Since I just turned 33, I’ve dubbed this year of my life “33 and Free.” Whatever comes next will be born of this journey.
So the trajectory of this blog is going to veer off and follow us. After July, it will no longer be the experience of two parents and a wee one exploring Jersey City. That was a fun, amazing, enriching year+, and those posts will always remain available here(<- click to bookmark or share my Jersey City-related posts). I hope they will remain relevant for new parents who move to Chilltown over the next couple years. Please feel free to continue to pass them along as you have.
But BURBS + a BBQ, as of late summer, will transition to share the experience of two parents and a wee one exploring the world -- specifically North and Central America, as far as we can project -- seeking our ideal environment. It might be the road itself, we’ll see. I can’t tell you more than that, because I don’t know any more – and I’m not going to dictate what happens. It will be what it will be, and it will grow and change how it will grow and change.
If you’re interested in such a journey, I hope you follow along with us!
Especially those of you who I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with here in Jersey City (even those of you who are only, or mostly, virtual pals) -- I'd like to stay in touch. I’ve really enjoyed chatting, exploring and appreciating Jersey City at this most unique time in its history with all of you.
So, that’s it! That’s our big news.
I’m sad to leave Jersey City, because I will miss the incredible Jersey City finds and people we’ve encountered this year. So much amazingness is just being born in Chilltown (September is going to be a boom!), but I'm more excited and ready for this change than anything else. This is a ‘smile because it happened’ situation because I love change and I love forward movement. This is the one-millionth time I’ve said goodbye to a “home” that is full of people I admire and places I love (and my Love has done so ten times as many times).
If you still want to know what’s happening in Jersey City, make sure you’ve bookmarked my Jersey City-Lovin’ Crew and stay in touch with them; there are now a lot of folks blogging about Jersey City and they’ll make sure you’re taken care of on your Chilltown adventure.
For those of you now coming along on this new ride with us (literally!), welcome to the next chapter of BURBS + a BBQ. Buckle up! This road trip is gonna get interesting.
P.S. To give this post and our actions reference, these are the types of things that excite, inspire and light us up: