Dec 14, 2010

Big Fan of Change

Everyone in my family called my great grandmother Ella a gypsy. In this case, not in the literal sense--it's just that she moved around a lot. A LOT. In fact, there is one story that everyone likes to tell about how my great grandfather left for work one morning from his house, only to return that evening to find a note on the door that said:

"Moved today. You can find us at _ _ _ Carl Street. Love, Ella"

Seriously. This is a true story.

And though there are 2 generations between us, I caught the gypsy bug. I've moved. A *LOT* in my short adult-life so far. I'm very comfortable and happy with change (this is the opposite of both my mother and my husband--imagine the grief every time I donate boxes worth of things just to start fresh!). For me, there is something very therapeutic about packing up, starting anew, and settling down again. It's like my old life revised.

I just feel bad for everyone who has helped me move over the years :-\
Besides my husband and my parents, I've never asked the same person twice. I want to actually KEEP my friends, after all.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic.

In my youth, another thing I did was change my "identity" over and over and over again. Though this is pretty typical of all teens. I was goth, I was thug, I was an athlete, I was a philanthropist, I played the violin, I was a thespian, I was a geek, I was a punk-rocker, I was a party-girl...the list goes on. I couldn't figure out WHO I was or wanted to be. I went through a phase where I dyed my hair pink, then green, then orange (mom just about keeled over when I came home freshman year with a pink head), I've tried all sorts of clothing styles, and you don't even want to see some of the make up I've worn over the years (brown lip-liner and cream-colored lipstick anyone?? 1995 was a strange year, indeed).

But now I'm all grown up. I have a husband and a dog who don't like to be uprooted all of the time. And I have a professional job--I can't just dye my hair blue and expect Nancy to be happy, now can I? So I'm taking my need-for-change out on the NCLit Blog. This is the third template we've now gone through, and in honor of winter and the holiday spirit--there's snow! I love it. Let's see how long it lasts.

Overall though, as the year comes to a close, I realize that I have a lot to be grateful for that I won't even begin to list here. The one thing I will mention though is my job. Over and over this proves to be the perfect job for me, and now I realize--it's the perfect job for my gypsy-like nature, too. One minute I'm marching through the darkness of the Unsea with a military unit around me and monstrous creatures flapping above...the next I'm hatching diabolical schemes with the world's greatest supervillain, Zachary Ruthless. I'm falling in love with the slimiest player at Hamilton High School, or I'm trapping a baby elephant who will soon turn into my only friend in the jungle. I'm on the road in an old RV with my dad, or I'm being fissured into the middle of a fae war.

I could go on (see my tweet from last night about the 4 hot dog nappers!), but I think you get the picture. Thank you to all my clients who keep me on my toes and teach me to never underestimate what's around the corner....

....still eying a bottle of electric red hair dye though....


E.J. Wesley said...

Snowflakes ... pretty! I love change, especially to things that can easily be changed again.

Happy holidays!


storyqueen said...

I am trying to picture you with all of the different colors of hair...or the brown lipliner.

Jo, you continue to surprise a good way of course.

You are amazing.


Katie said...

I'm with Shelley. YOU are wonderful in all your changing glory :)

A true work of art.

Loretta Nyhan said...

You know how much I love gypsies...

And I love this post--there are so many wonderful layers to your personality! And, truthfully, do you think Nancy would mind the blue hair all that much?

beth said...

You sound like you're having a good time ;).

Jennifer Kade said...

I'm having a hard time picturing the thug phase. ;)

I want to read Leigh's book even MORE now. Sounds so good.

Also, I think I've told you a kajillion times how thankful I am for you too!!

Holly Bodger said...

Gypsies huh? *cough*

I went through the same hair thing in high school- cut it, permed it, shaved it, dyed it... I decided to grow out of that and inflicted my need for change on my husband instead. He came home one day a few years ago and discovered that the TV room was now the dining room, the dining room was the living room and the living room was the TV room. Oh, and they were painted different colors too. Oops. I guess he should be happy I didn't pull an Ella and switch houses instead!


PS. Tell Nancy I vote for electric blue.

Joseph L. Selby said...

Between 17 and 22, I moved 13 times. By the time I moved from Denver to St. Louis, everything I owned could fit in the back of my truck. I woke up at 8:30am March 22nd and by 10:30 I was on the road moving two states away.

I have since settled down and have only lived three places in the last ten years. I did have a job that let me travel, which was great. That scratched the itch to keep moving. Now I commute on the train to work (NH to MA), which isn't really traveling when compared to life in Colorado or Missouri, but is travel enough for New England. Still wish my current job had me travel more.

Lynne Kelly Hoenig said...

What a fun post! I'm interested in seeing the electric blue hair, too.

We're thrilled that you love your job, 'cause we want you to keep doing it! That is a great feeling, isn't it, loving the work you do every day?

We'll try to keep mixing it up for you!

Matthew Rush said...

It says this post was by NC literary, and I always thought that was Nancy, because it used to say posted by Joanna when it was Joanna, oh well.

I LOVE moving. I call it wanderlust and I used to never be able to stay in the same apartment for more than sixth months, sometimes not even the same town. Now I too have settled down, but it won't be forever!

Thanks for making that point about reading. It sounds even more exciting when you're actually representing those books toward publication.

Amy Lukavics said...

Oh my GOD Jo. Why oh why didn't we go to high school together!? I loved loved loved this post, and could relate to it so much.

(I want to see old pics of your awesome hair, dude. Srsly.)

Kate Larkindale said...

You're never too old or responsible for pink hair! And I refuse to listen to anyone who tells me I'm wrong about that.

Great post. I'm a gypsy too, but something must be right about where I am right now, because I've been here almost 6 years. A record in my life!

Sometimes you do just find what you're looking roe, right?

Sarah said...

Agree, Kate. I was a changeable kid as well, with lots of different hair colors and identities. Then, one day I tried something and it just stuck. I guess the trick is to keep playing around until you find what you love.

Jennifer Pickrell said...

I like the new blog layout - very nice!

Em-Musing said...

Snow flakes? Phew! I thought I was getting more flashes and floaters. Sounds like you finally landed in the right position for you.

Hardygirl said...

Oooo! I think you'd look great as a redhead.

And, what fun to try on a million different personalities!! That's what being young is all about--and it's great to get a little older and still keep that spirit. Infectuously wonderful spirit, actually!!!

Your snow makes me so happy!!


Donna Hole said...

I've moved about 8 times over the last 6 years. My kids have packing down to a fine art :)

I could definitely love your job; getting to read all those stories and help them come into their full potential. I guess that's why I do so many beta reads and critiques; the adventure of seeing the story come together. Fascinating.

I love the snow. Will it be raining in April?