"Smallville" and "Glenwood Avenue"
As I travel down the roads of my life by taking my brush and putting it to the canvas, I'm beginning to understand and discover new things about myself, re-discovering people that I've met along the way and reliving memories that I had perhaps tucked away for too long. It's been a great journey so far, and I'm so glad you've taken part in this personal discovery. What's come out of my creations that started this Spring is an evolution in what I do artistically as well. I've taken a very limited color palette and explored different uses of those colors in what's turning into a collection of monochromatic work. I did not realize I was even doing this until some of my friends pointed it out to me. Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to see what was there all along.
My yellow villages are named after my time spent in Meadville, Pa; living on Glenwood Avenue. I moved there 3 weeks before Jim and I were to get married, transferred by the company I worked for just before our wedding was to happen. The town was not in commuting distance, at least not for me...an hour and half from where we lived on a good day, an eternity on a bad day. You Western New Yorkers and Western PA folks know exactly what I mean on a bad day. 5 miles can take an hour on a blizzardy day. Anywhoo--it was not a commute I could do, especially when I worked in retail management so my days were endless and my weeks long and unpredictable. As I mentioned before, Jim and I were about to get married, I still had preparations to do, we had a baby boy that needed to be taken care of and a house that we didn't quite know what to do with now that we were faced with this new fork in our road.
I couldn't really turn the job offer down though--it was a big salary increase and we so very badly needed the money for many reasons, and I really was hell-bent on being a career woman come you know what or high water so for me, it was a no-brainer. As I look back now, it probably was the beginning of the end. The stress of the moves, the job transfers, the financial burden of having a home that didn't sell when we moved and keeping up with tenants, disasters, and eventually an empty house that we couldn't sell was pretty devasting and that was before the economic down turn. Meadville was a good town, we probably would have really learned to love it there if we had only stayed a bit longer.
But we didn't. It took several months before my husband moved to PA with our son. We spent the first 3 months of our marriage apart but the house I rented was very cool and super big, it was an exciting venture. It was also very stressful. I came very close to leaving the company altogether because of my desire to be the leader of a store, not just an assistant. Mind you, I was promoted 5 times in a little over 2 1/2 years...I was a go getter, but I also wanted my own glory. I didn't want to do someone else's work and then let them take credit for it. I had my airline tickets in hand, and offer letter to go to a new company at one point late spring of 1998. But as it turned out, an area executive talked me out of leaving with promises of bigger and better things on my horizon and the horizon was coming soon. It wouldn't be long before the glory of leading my own team would be mine.
My promotion as promised was not but a month later, my hard work paid off and our family was once again separated for another few months. I was transferred from Pa to NC less then a year after we were married and I had changed jobs moving me to PA. My choice to stay with the company forever changed my life and the life of our family in so many ways. I reflected back in the last post of how my decisions would effect so many people, as really do all of our decisions...and as you look back at your life you start to wonder what if, what could have been, what should have been...then suddenly it all becomes so clear. Whatever you decide, was really meant to be all along. All of the choices that lead to the road your on can be compared to a complicated puzzle that would not be complete with out every single piece. It's not always clear how it fits together, and perhap the answer may not be unveiled to the end. But, since it make no sense to undo the puzzle, we must forge ahead until every last piece fits in perfectlly to reveal the beautiful picture of your life. Choosing the pieces wisely can make the journey to the end easier, but by choose you must as difficult as it may be.
While moving to Meadville and Glenwood Avenue might have been the beginning of the end of our family as it was just beginning to start, it also lead all of us to new journeys, new experiences and growth in our own way. I can't imagine how my life or our lives would have turned out had we not moved as difficult as the entire situation was while we were going through it.
Like the old adage goes, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It turned out exactly the way it was supposed to be, and so will this new change, this new leg of the journey. Perhaps now, my canvas will help me sort through the changes as I put the pieces of the puzzle back together again.
Till we meet again, the best way to get ahead, is to move forward.
Just move forward.