Moving to Manhattan - Part 1

posted on: June 27, 2013

While sitting on Staten Island, just in front of the stadium, I suddenly felt like I had a spotlight shining on me and when I looked over- I could see that the sun was reflecting a beam directly at me bounced off of the Freedom Tower.  I knew how rare and
(all images are instagram iPhone pics in this post)

The entire month of April, and part of May, was doused in nail biting negotiations in between a busy shooting schedule as my husband and I heavily weighed the opportunities and costs of a new position being offered to him by NYU.  Life has been so easy, lovely, and friendly in Lowell, MA and I felt like we were finally in a place where we could relate to our peers on a variety of levels.  There's a camaraderie and a can-do-team-spirit that is inherent in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and I was ready to root myself and settle down for good.  Then, NYU made a game changing move by offering a tenured appointment for my husband, which would provide him academic freedom and the position he needs to accomplish his personal academic & professional goals.  In many ways, I've already accomplished most of my own career goals and created a professional life I love, but a part of me has put a few really big ideas and projects on the back burner to better support my husband's transitions.

Alex (@alexruthmann), Apple Store, and our next Apartment all visible from this vantage point in SoHo.
If I had known 10 years ago that marrying an academic was going to mean moving as much as we have in order for him to find an ideal position and institution, I might have chosen a different career path.  At the least, I would have focused a lot less on running my own business and just focused on freelancing and working for others instead, since it would have meant much easier transitions with less overall paperwork, fees, and headaches- but hindsight is always 20/20.  What these multiple moves have taught me is exactly what it takes to start a business and restart a business quickly and efficiently over and over and over again.  Whether it's been starting from scratch, restarting in a completely different market, or transitioning while still serving clients in a former market, or even trying to find business in a completely foreign country, I feel like I've really "done it all" when it comes to starting a business and gaining new business.  You could say I've become a bit of a Start-Up and Restarting Creative Business Expert. ;-)
Great view of #Manhattan as the Staten Island Ferry takes off

What I can't claim to be is a packing expert- but I may be an expert at getting other people to pack and move for me (there are plenty of people who will do it for money.)  I enjoy purging unnecessary things, but I will avoid actually putting things into boxes like the plague.  Trying to fit oddly shaped objects in with regular ones without crushing everything just isn't one of my resume skills- despite observing and helping with the moving process over 16 times in my life.  Yep, 16 moves in 34 years of life.  Only 1 or 2 of those moves were me deciding to move for myself.  I keep thinking, am I home NOW?!  The part of moving that I actually do enjoy is opening boxes- it's like Christmas morning, unpacking and finding just the right place for every little thing.  I've acquired a finely tuned skill for arranging furnishings for optimum feng shui and comfort in just about any space I'm given, and I'm looking forward to the furniture origami and multi-purposing that is required for living in a Manhattan apartment.

Rainy sky, bright tulips
Our official move is August 6th, 2013, and we'll be settling ourselves into the thick of Washington Square in Manhattan.  This will be our 7th home together as a couple, and the smallest space we've ever lived in together.  In many ways, we've been in training for the small-space living of Manhattan for the last few years.  Living out of a backpack and a carry-on between packed 24-hour flights to and from Australia as well as the small apartments and hotel rooms of Europe make spaces of any size seem livable.  Each move we've purged more and more of that which has not been touched, only remained in a box, or does not have enough meaning to retain any longer.  As much as I dislike moving, I've come to love living more and more simply.  The smaller our space has become, the more we've traveled the world together, and the more freedom and joy we've had in our lives without the burdens of needing big things and big maintenance responsibilities.  I used to think success was owning special or exclusive things, but now I know that, at least for me, it's about having the freedom to experience whatever I'd like, whenever I'd like.  We've done a really good job of that in the last two years and I'm fairly confident that this move may help bring even more of that freedom to our lives.

2 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. I have been following your photographs and adventures since about 2006 when I first found your pictures on flickr and fell in love with what was possible through photography. I am impressed with your kindness and giving nature and your adaptability. The twinge of sadness at having to pick up and start again is apparent in your post but there is no doubt that you'll do it with grace and excel in this new market.

  2. I find that pushing the boundaries out of our comfort zone is making us better persons. Moving from one place to another is also meaning that you are willing to take a risk. The same apply as a wedding photographer , whenever I try something new I get new skills and learn something on my way to become.


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