Saturday, January 30, 2010

Where the Journey Began

This is my first attempt at a blog...although I have been writing for more than 20 years. I have a been a professional journalist in the bayous of Louisiana and the foothills of the Sierras. I also was a trade journalist in Manhattan covering the commercial real estate industry. Probably the highlight of my career was covering the redevelopment of Ground Zero or the lack thereof. I was privileged to stand on the hallowed ground when they placed the Freedom Stone there on July 4th, 2004. It was later moved to someplace in NJ I believe. Being a writer has been exciting. My career has taken me to places I would have never went otherwise and I have met many interesting people during my career.

But as I continue to grow spiritually I realize that being a writer is merely a label I have given myself this lifetime. And now at midlife, I want more than just to write about someone else's life. I am not saying I am not totally grateful for the journey up till now. I am very much appreciative of all the experiences I have had.

I left Manhattan in October of last year, because the heyday of the real estate industry was on its downward slide. I had been laid off at the end of 2008 from a real estate brokerage house, after the stock market took a dive. Manhattan real estate or so it was said was isolated from the rest of the country's woes when it came to real estate, but it wasn't so. I don't think it has found its bottom yet, especially in Manhattan. I was offered a job at a public relations agency that shall remain nameless for it's owner could have played the lead role of the Devil Wears Prada without coaching. I took the job reluctantly and I was miserable. She started losing business almost immediately and started threatening layoffs, as the real estate industry in New York continued its decent. It would be my second layoff in less than a year. So I took that as the final blow to get the heck outa Dodge and seek my happiness out West.

So after much research (and a week long vacation in Albuquerque, NM) and a lot of soul searching I put my household items in a moving POD and headed to the Southwest. At first I loved it but it soon became a struggle to survive. Long story short, I couldn't find full-time employment. But many spiritual revelations began to emerge that otherwise might not of. I think Spirit needed me to be quiet. I think literally it was my desert period, my dark night of the soul.

I saw how materialistic I had become, how selfish I was and how much I identified with labels. After all, I did spend seven years in Manhattan, the label capitol of the US. I had criticized those whose God was money, but I had also succumbed somewhat to the city that represents greed and capitalism at its very core. You were judged not only on what clothes you wore, but where you lived in the city. It just wasn't me, but apparently you are forever changed by the experience. Hobnobbing with the snobs did have it perks after all. I drank the best champagne, had the luxury of car service, attended parties to write home about, was wined and dined and had the opportunity to date millionaires. But it was an empty existence and I found it hard to trust anyone, especially those who wanted to buy the ink I had as a journalist. I knew it was merely their way of ensuring they would only get favorable reviews in the press.

The publisher, me, my editor and staff writers of Real Estate Weekly before the REBNY Gala in 2004.  

So I grew tired of the parties and the perks and wanted to change. I wanted a life with meaning and Spirit was calling me. I prayed for change and so when the desert of New Mexico served it up to me, I could hardly complain. My roommate situation went belly up, nearly getting violent at one point. Three jobs that I thought were pretty much a sure thing dissipated into thin air. So I worked Christmas retail and waited for Spirit. But it seemed Spirit was asking me to connect to my inner self, so I sat with myself and I prayed. I meditated, while the money was dwindling ever so close to homelessness. My family helped. Thank God.

And a weird thing happened. As I was driving the streets of Albuquerque, I saw a license plate that said THNK JIM. At first I ignored it, but after several weeks of no movement in the job arena, and the urgings of my family to do something, anything, I called my ex.

And he said "come home." I left him 12 years before, but we parted ways in an amicable way. So here I am in South Louisiana once more. Trying to figure out what the heck I am suppose to do with the rest of my life. But no answers are coming to the fore. I am sending out resumes to Dallas, relaxing, resting, working out and enjoying the time off. My ex and I are just friends at this point and he enjoys the company as much as I do. After all, we were married for 18 years and if we had stayed married it would be 30 years. We both didn't get remarried. But that is another subject entirely.

So I am waiting again for Spirit to move me...hoping it will be Dallas, but knowing I don't have all the answers. I forced New Mexico to happen and although I learned much about myself, it wasn't to be my final destination. So I am here following the light...wherever that takes me.