May 18, 2005

big enough

The TV networks announced their fall lineups this week. Dan's show got cancelled. Which is sad, because it was an extremely likeable show. But honestly? I'm relieved. Can you imagine walking away from a guaranteed job, a reliable gig with people you've become comfortable around, for… well… the great unknown? No sure thing, this move. No guarantees at all. Just contacts, connections, friendship, and a sense of rightness. And so we go. I told Damian that's it's all a huge adventure. I meant the house sale, the move, the drive across country. But really, it extends way beyond that, doesn’t it? New town, new school, new life, new weather pattern, new definition of self and work and everything, almost.

I think now about Toronto, about how serious we felt this past winter, how it felt like a tangible, appealing option. I feel some regret, admittedly. I still think this country's current government is freaky-scary and I worry how far things will go before the hoped-for, longed-for shift back to the middle, back to some semblance of sanity. But this move to New Jersey, which really means New York, which means a return home, even this move, which has so much comfort built into it (an immediate and rich social life! familiar places all around us!), even this feels like diving into a cloud with our eyes closed, the sensation imaginable but unknowable, nothing to grip onto, nothing to do but trust that we'll float and not fall, that the cloud, balloon-like, will buoy us up. And with this transition we're not just moving away from a city that hasn't ever jelled for us but also moving toward a place and people that do.

If we'd gone through with the Canadian immigration paperwork, how would that have felt two months before the big move? Much, much harder than this, I think. Toronto sounds like a very pleasant city and maybe we would have adapted, found a social circle, found work, found a good school for Damian. Maybe. But it would have meant starting over in the most elemental way. Ground level. Build a life. Hard in your forties. Doable but hard. And to choose it just because we want to leave a city and a country? I'm not sure that's enough, at least not for me. I want to go to, not just away from.

I think some people have a sense of adventure built into their DNA, they wake up as infants, and as their eyes learn to focus they learn to crave change and newness, and as a corollary, they seem to know how to build worlds around them wherever they go. My cousin has more friends in LA than I do, I think, and he's only been here half a dozen times. I know I'm capable of making friends; at certain points in my life it's happened easily, though maybe that was because I was in the right place for me, or maybe because I felt comfortable with myself (though perhaps these are two ways of saying the same thing). But I find that I don’t want that big an unknown. I want my adventure life-sized, manageable, imaginable. This is huge enough, to uproot my family like this with no immediate jobs on the horizon, no tangible reason except that it's what we want and maybe need to do for ourselves, our careers and our son. This is huge enough, and it comes complete with a social safety net, friends to support us through our inevitable panic attacks, even family nearby. This is huge enough, and anything that makes it feel saner and more secure is a good thing.

So I'm sorry that Dan's show got cancelled, but in a way, selfishly, I'm not. I wish everyone luck finding jobs on quality shows easily and quickly. And I wish us luck in our metamorphosis into… whatever happens to someone who hitches a ride on a cloud.

Posted by Tamar at May 18, 2005 11:44 PM | TrackBack

A very positive outlook...I do think that when shows get cancelled everyone looks at the actors and wonders what will happen to them, but rarely thinks about all of the people on the crew and about how they are out of work as well. I can't imagine the uncertainty of being in the entertainment business where your future lies in the hands of incredibly fickle viewers and network execs.

Posted by: Rachel at May 19, 2005 06:14 AM

So can you tell us what show now? My money's on Judging Amy. :D

I'm looking forward to reading about all of your new adventures in life. I'm sure it's going to be everything you've imagined and more in a thousand different ways.

Posted by: Dreama at May 19, 2005 07:40 PM

I do know the show, and am ruefully pleased because, after 2 excellent seasons, it seemed about to jump the shark in a big way,

Meanwhile yes, sometimes the indicators nudge us in the direction we want anyway....Think what sad news this would otherwise have been, and now it feels a friendly bon-voyage!


Posted by: Chris at May 20, 2005 04:32 AM

Well, it's a shame that you're not coming up to the Great White North, but it sounds like New York is going to be an excellent move, and I bet it's going to work out beautifully.

Posted by: Sage Tyrtle at May 20, 2005 02:27 PM

Just stumbled upon your photoblog when googling "jacarandas in bloom in L.A." and have spent a wonderful time seeing my native home through your keen eyes and droll wit. It's as if Cartier-Bresson had turned distaff, gave up Paris for the lure of Hollywood, and spent his/her days amusedly documenting the bizarre juxtapositions of this--this modern Babylon, this 21st-century gold camp. I was disappointed to see that you stopped posting your images in 2004! Of course life takes precedence. Now I understand that you may have to relocate, but I'm sure you'll document your new surroundings with a similar acuity. Perhaps a random fan could encourage you to update the site as a final postcard *to* L.A.? It's such a great showcase for your talent. You've inspired me . . . and made me look at my city in a new way.
Best wishes, Nancy in Los Feliz

Posted by: Nancy in Los Feliz at May 23, 2005 04:29 PM

My brother lives in L.A. and has been employed at a large animation studio for a decade. In fact, he just finished work on The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. But next month he's coming east for a visit with his wife and infant son, to figure out alternatives to life in L.A. He's not sure he can handle NJ/NY winters anymore and is looking around Chapel Hill, North Carolina too. But basically he's looking for options.

After years of telling me I should come out to L.A., he finally realized what I've been saying since I started my family almost nine years ago -- I can't raise a family in L.A. I'd have to give up too much. Not that I wouldn't mind visiting. I like the L.A. vibe. But I still prefer NYC.

Posted by: Lizbeth at May 24, 2005 03:22 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?