I want to thank very much everyone who contributed to such a lively discussion in the previous post.
I am sorry that I haven't been able to keep up. As I've said, my mind is preoccupied. I thought once I gave notice at work that things would slow down as I started to wrap up, but it's been as busy as ever. When I'm not dealing with that, my brain is bogged down with hopes, dreams and panic attacks about the move. Every morning, as I step into the shower, I involuntarily ask myself, out loud, "Are you sure about this?"
No. No, actually, right now, I'm pretty damn scared. I am hurting already about the friends I leave behind. I know there are new friends in my future, and old friends who've stuck together despite the years and the miles and the transitions waiting for me on the other side.
As always, the spectre of my unrealized career ambitions looms large over all of this. A new acquaintance came by yesterday to look at some of the furniture I'm giving away. He noticed the framed posters I have in my entry way from some of the performances I did in Switzerland. "Wow, how amazing that you sang with these people!" he exclaimed. Indeed. Then there are the black and white production photos in the hall: my debut, an opera in Zurich, and the world premiere of a Philip Glass opera in Chicago, among others. "These are awesome!" he said. Yeah. They are.
Part of what makes this hard is that this really closes the door on those ambitions. No, I haven't made any attempt at resurrecting my singing career since that awful day nearly four years ago when despair, frustration and financial concerns led me to abandon my dreams and a decade of hard work. Over time, my voice has healed. Physically, I think I could do it again. It's still there. But my heart was broken. I don't have the drive anymore.
So I'm not just leaving a city, I'm leaving a life, a dream that almost was. I should be -- no, I am, I am -- grateful for the opportunities I had. I went further than most. But three weeks from today, as I turn right on 179th Street and point the rental car toward New Jersey and beyond to Oregon, it's not just going to be the George Washington Bridge in the rear view mirror, but the me I wanted to be.