“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have” — Anna Quindlen
It’s been an interesting ride, these past six months. As I sit here — taking a break from organizing our suitcases once again — I am contemplating where do we go from here? Not just Noah or Noah and I, but our family and my yoga studio?
But first, let me backtrack for a moment…..we arrived home on Monday, Nov. 19 and turned around the very next day to head into New York City. That was a whirlwind, albeit a successful day. We hit Massachusetts again on Wednesday at 1 am and I spent that day preparing to host 20 people at our house for Thanksgiving. It was a fabulous day but I’m glad I can check that one off the list. I taught a post-Thanksgiving detox flow yoga class on Friday morning. We hit the Nutcracker opening night on Friday night and spent the weekend organizing our lives to hit the road again — for six months!
Packing for long trips can tell you a lot about yourself. I’m serious here. For me, I’ve discovered that I don’t need much to live comfortably. Which brings me to my life as I used to know it. Coming home to my big house in the suburbs (never felt big before but after living for months in one hotel room, it sure feels big now), on a couple of acres of land with a yoga studio on the property was my dream. I guess the operative word here is “was”. I’m not sure it “is” anymore. I thought this was going to be my life. Living in this beautiful place with my incredible family. Running a yoga studio. Teaching classes. Being a mom to my children and having the flexibility to be available when they needed me.
But my oldest son is a junior in high school with only about 18 months left living here, I am living on the road with Noah, my husband works in Boston and my step-son lives closer to the city as well. Nobody’s life seems to be here or will be here anymore. The reality of all of this hit home this week, this Thanksgiving week. I can’t see Noah going back to Sharon High School after Billy Elliot. Not sure where he’ll go but it likely won’t be here. And what about me? Do I want to try to go back to my old life? And therein lies the struggle.
Should I stay or should I go? Being on tour could give me a good excuse not to think about this pressing question. But this would be just a temporary escape in just about every way. I’d rather deal with it head on as it just won’t leave my head otherwise.
You see, it’s not just a matter of whether or not to stay in this physical place. It’s a matter of moving on emotionally and spiritually. We’ve all experienced this in some way or another. Even if you don’t think you have — trust me, you have. More often than not, we opt not to deal with the fork in the road. It’s easier to stay stuck. Why? It’s familiar, it’s routine. It’s simply easier than moving in a completely new direction. But the signs are usually there. In fact, they are ALWAYS there. It’s just a matter of being open to seeing them. It’s a matter of listening when the noise seems way too loud. As one of my yoga students said in class Friday, “no matter what decision you make, you need to be at perfect peace.” You need to listen first in order to arrive at this peace.
The signs were loud and clear a couple of weeks ago. In early November — before we went to Indianapolis for the Billy Elliot run — Noah, Joel and I spent three days in Los Angeles. We had some meetings there, Joel was going to work out of his law firm’s L.A. office, and we were going to see family (ironically both my 1st and 2nd husbands are from Southern California so about 2/3 of Noah’s extended family lives there). I also lived in L.A. for 14 years and went to college at U.S.C. (before Noah was born) so it always feels like a homecoming to me. But this time felt different from every other time I’ve been there to visit over the past decade. We stayed in Studio City, where I used to live. It felt eerily like home, like my “current” home. About 14 years ago, when Ethan was two years old, I convinced my ex-husband to leave this place. I didn’t want to raise my kids in this showbiz bubble. Yet, somehow we ended up in this showbiz bubble. I even married Joel, whose family works in the entertainment industry in L.A. Somehow this felt uncannily comfortable to me.
The signs have been loud and clear this week too although I’ve had to fight not to muffle those loud signs. After a week in Indianapolis and coming home to the Boston area for a week, the only thing that really feels like home to me here is my family. All of them, quirks and all. Yet the place, this place, doesn’t seem to matter to me anymore. My career, my studio, my house…..they all feel like paperweights. They no longer define me (in fact they never did, I just thought they did).
Which brings me back to that question: Should I stay or should I go? And if I go, where to? I guess the important thing for me is……the place doesn’t really matter. I know the answer and there’s no looking back.