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  • Joy

New Chapter

We just did something I never imagined and I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around.

Joe Gabriel and I, who have spent our entire adult lives in New York City, in varying bug infested but charming apartments (and one rent stabilized gem we planned on handing over to the kids upon our death, where they would find us holding hands, having peacefully died in our sleep, anticipating our Saturday night date at the latest great restaurant) went and moved to the country.

For us, for a lot of reasons, it was just time.

The pandemic gave our family the pause we needed to look long and deeply at our lives. Those first few terrifying months in crisis (not knowing if we would ever work again etc) allowed us to reimagine things we simply could not picture before. My natural survival response in a crisis is to freeze, so it was strange to actually be stuck (with all y’all) and so much unknown.

All that not knowing turned out to be a gift, freeing us up to use all the skills (and learn from the mistakes) we’ve made in crises of yore (and as that very popular very good Burnout book says “complete the cycle”). We just kept moving through the tunnel, doing that hard spiritual and emotional work so when we saw this house in this place, and a tiny window opened up to change our whole lives, it only took a split second to recognize what we were really looking at, and we jumped through that tiny crack in space and time. I’m sure this all looks insane on the surface but we’ve been in that tunnel a long time.

I know the ideas about NYC are that if you leave you’re a failure or you’re not as tough or not a real NYer or you were never meant to be here to begin with.

Maybe that’s true.

I also think it’s possible to love something so much but for whatever reason it just stops working and you can hold on to it forever because it was perfect for you once or you can thank it for being all those things and tuck them in your heart and cry as you turn the page to begin a new chapter.


Yesterday, the kids were OUTSIDE while I was INSIDE and I did not help with coats or masks or need to make it an outing or even notice.

They were “sledding” down the basement stairs and when I opened the door my daughter said, “What? We aren’t doing anything!!” and I just laughed, “This is what a basement is FOR!” The look of relief and shock on her face was equal parts thrilling and heartbreaking. We try to let them roam free and have a long leash but dang city logistics and pandemic have made that a challenge. Just time to throw the leash away. I threw them a ball they could use for stuffie bowling or whatever and handed them every pillow (not many because moving van pending) so they could jump down the stairs into a soft landing.

Here’s to our life in the city and all that comes next ❤️

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