Leaving Cleveland

The choice has been made. After wondering where to go next, my husband and I decided to move to New Orleans later this spring.

Moving down south was something that we had pondered for quite some time, mostly being that the cold weather is really bad on my bum leg now. The California desert wouldn’t be bad, but there are no jobs (perhaps we’ll end up there later). As much as various spots in Europe would be great, moving with cats + my medical issues do not make for an optimal situation. We also needed a kick in the ass in that we wanted somewhere new and unfamiliar. Actually, I wanted my life to get a little weirder. If we could move to Dubai for a few years, I would enjoy that too; a shame neither of us became a diplomat where moving all the time would suit us. Oh those silly cats! I have nothing tying me down in life but the damn cats!

I thought that in moving to Cleveland, I could keep it as a home base and travel. Somehow that never happened. I’ve made great friends here, but the city as a whole let me down. There was so much potential. Things didn’t quite pan out as expected over the years, we got too comfortable, and misfortune kept hitting us over the head. The last and final straw being a bizarre cancer, and I’ll always have a mild handicap because of it. We played it safe, and bad shit happened anyway. It’s very easy to live in Cleveland, and we do have it good here in many respects — yet, somehow we’ve known we couldn’t stay. Granted, we never stay anywhere. It’s a combination of getting bored, and feeling like I am wasting my time or missing out on something. I’ve learned that if you don’t like a situation it’s not that hard to change it. My lack of fear is even greater now because I know that bad random shit can happen at any time; why bother worrying about being mildly reckless? I still regret not cashing out the retirement to follow The Damned and Motorhead on their European tour from the UK to Russia!

I look at people in their mid-late twenties who are buying houses, settling down, and I wonder what the heck is wrong with them? It’s like they’ve given up so quickly, partly because they haven’t been taught any better. I also see people who have been doing the same things they were doing when they were 22, and nothing has changed (not even their maturity level), and I wonder what the heck is wrong with them, too?

Having children is not something I want to do and I’m not going to do it just because I can or it is expected of me. It doesn’t fit in with my lifestyle — end of story. I’ve never bought a house, and all signs have shown me that home ownership just doesn’t suit me. What if I want to move? Which I know I would. Fixing things? A yard? Spending my free time dealing with house problems? Forget it! So with none of these things to tie me down, my husband having a gift for professional reinvention, and my own lack of any real “career” I’m free to do what I want — pretty much. I want to live my life as far away from this as possible:

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it.”

– Ellen Goodman

Someone asked me, “but what if something happens!” Guess what? Something DID HAPPEN. So now we just have to get at least one job, an apartment, hire our previous movers that we used to move from L.A., hope the cats don’t go nuts in the car driving down, and all that other stuff. It would help if I knew some people down there too (anyone wanna make some introductions?). I’m going down in late February or early March to suss everything out, but yes, at least my new city has been chosen. All signs were pointing us to NOLA lately, on top of the fact I’ve been told it’s a good place for artistic types these days. What have a I got to lose?


7 thoughts on “Leaving Cleveland”

  1. So exciting! I’ve never been there but have always wanted to visit based on everything I’ve seen and read of it. I feel the same way about home ownership. I do see us buying an apartment here in the city eventually though. I think that Rob Muzick (guitarist from David’s old band) lives there now, I’ll talk to him. Best of luck.

  2. Wow. This is bittersweet…we’ll miss you.
    But I’m happy and excited for you: new adventures!

    The (deep) South’s a whole different animal from either the Midwest or the Coasts but interesting as hell. Also sometimes head-scratchingly exasperating. It’ll be cool to see how it inspires your work.

    Anyway, hope you’ll keep up your blog so we can vicariously follow along.
    Best of luck to both of you.

  3. Well, now we are thinking living there full-time would not be the best idea. I’ve had some honest opinions on the matter just as far as the rent, taxes, utilities, bugs, city services etc. I still want to go there somehow and get out of Cleveland at least for winters. Winters on my bum leg are really painful now, and I can’t deal.

  4. Thank you, Arabella. Don’t ask me how, but I just happened to land on your blog this morning and read this even though I know you only thru your magnificent paintings and what my step daughter, Allie, tells me of you. Your words are an inspiration to me. I asked the universe a question and you were the messenger assigned to answer. Thanks and I hope your ongoing adventure is magical.

    1. Hi Karen! I luuurve your photography, been to a few of your exhibitions.
      Yes, we’ll see how we can make it work or swing this adventure. I’ll know more once I go down there for a visit at the end of February.

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