A Four Year Vacation

by nycgadgetgirl on July 7, 2008 · 22 comments

in Family and Friends,Life In NYC

At least that is how I am thinking of it. Let’s please not call it “leaving NYC.”


I moved here 21 years ago, still a teenager and totally in awe of everything around me. I made the mistake of leaving in 1991 and spent the next few years desperately trying to find my way home from SoCal and then MS. In 1995, I landed back in midtown Manhattan and swore I would never make the mistake of leaving again. Over the years, the city has become an inextricable part of who I am. Sometimes it feels like the city has woven itself into me. It’s not a "place." It is more of a being. NYC is a friend and it is home.

Although there are many things I love about NYC, it’s a tiring, expensive, and challenging place to be a single parent. As most of you probably know, Miss T went to Florida last summer to live with her dad. The choice was hers regarding whether to stay there for high school or come home. At first, she said she wanted to stay in Florida, but then she decided a few months ago that high school in Florida was not in her plans. Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about a bigger place to live and a decent place to enroll her in school. (She was in private school up until the year before she went to Florida. We tried one year of NYC public school and it was horrendous.) I really can’t afford to put her back in private school for four more years or to move to a neighborhood with a rocking public high school. (There are specialty public high schools, but the application and enrollment process takes a year and a half.)

What’s a single mom in the city to do?

Well… my sister’s entire neighborhood was recently purchased by a developer, so she’s been house hunting and just bought a big house in a commuter town outside Indianapolis. The day before she put the offer on the house, she IM’d me… "So, do you wanna move to Indiana?"

new house

Hmmm… what had always been a kind of running "what if" scenario between us suddenly seemed like it could be a really good idea!

Long story short… I decided to do it and I’ve spent the last couple weeks figuring out what it would take to make the move. T is psyched about living with her Aunt Debbie and also about what looks like a nice high school. Debbie and I have been planning paint colors and furniture arrangements. My little foster dog, Penny, was adopted this past Friday. I found someone to sublet my midtown apartment so I don’t have to give it up. NYCSR is all taken care of. I’m looking for a new organizer for my meetup group. I started packing boxes last weekend and, today, I gave my job three weeks notice!

The only thing I have NOT figured out is what I will do for work after I get there. I need to get myself and T settled before school starts, so I haven’t had time to job hunt long distance along with everything else. For now, the plan is to live frugally, do some freelancing, and start serious job hunting by mid August. If anyone has contacts in Indianapolis, let me know!


1 kat July 7, 2008 at 9:21 pm

well… you’ll still have interwebs and stuff so I spose I can still harass you.

2 Lachlan July 7, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Best of luck, Jenna. I know it was not an easy decision to make, but I do think it was the right one. You’ll figure it out!

I have contacts at Butler U if that might be a place you’d look for work. Let me know.

3 Ginger July 7, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Best of luck! I grew up near Indy. MSIR is always looking for good volunteers =)

Gingers last blog post was Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue Picnic!

4 Debbie G. July 7, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Hi, sis!

Whew… the cat’s finally out of the bag. 🙂

I’m excited… we’re going to have fun, and I really think T will thrive in TinyLittleTown. It’ll take awhile (for all of us!) to adjust, but it’s an adventure… and a vacation… and in a few years you can go back to New York all rejuvenated.

Lachlan, I’ve got Butler contacts too (one of my bandmates is the Special Collections Archivist and also teaches ethnomusicology classes), but you can never have too many contacts when job hunting!

Debbie G.s last blog post was incarcerated Izzy…

5 nycgadgetgirl July 7, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Kat – I have no doubt that you’ll continue to harass me. 🙂

Lachlan – We can finally meet next time you’re in Indy!

Ginger – You win the prize… I was wondering how long it would take for someone to suggest volunteering with MSIR. I do plan to foster after I get settled. We’re going to have four dogs in the house though (Debbie’s two dogs, Drummer and Thunder; my Snickers; and T’s Secret), so Debbie and I have agreed to only have one foster dog at a time. She may have a foster English Setter showing up soon, so I’ll have to wait until he’s adopted before I can foster another Shiba!

Debbie – The cat’s out of the bag, but luckily not out of the house! And, yes, we ARE going to have fun!

6 Beth July 7, 2008 at 10:31 pm

OMG! I know I don’t see you very often, but I am going to miss you! Sounds like a great adventure though, i’ll try and be happy for you 🙁

7 Lachlan July 7, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Rock on, Debbie! I had no doubt you’d take care of your sis. 🙂

MSIR will be a good fit for you. I can’t see you being totally out of rescue.

I am so excited for you all! What a cool adventure to be undertaking.

8 nycgadgetgirl July 7, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Beth – We must get together before I go. Bean and Snickers MUST PLAY!

Lach – No worries there. I’ll still be working with NYCSR on corporate stuff long distance and will most likely foster for MSIR, AND I have other future rescue plans also!

9 Rae July 8, 2008 at 1:28 am

Wishing you the best of luck. It has to be one of the harder decisions in your life but I think you’ve chosen wisely under the circumstances. No doubt it will be an adjustment for eeveryone but nice to know you could sublet your NYC apartment! I hope everything goes smoothly for all of you and of course all of us who follow you want to know al the details of your new lives!

10 Monica (Plans for Pups, LLC) July 8, 2008 at 10:56 am

Wow! How exciting for you and your daughter.

I, too, wish to do something similar and am just in the beginning stages of working on it. I don’t have a daughter, but I just need to take a serious break from NYC. I have been here 19 years now. You are an inpiration.

The group organizer position, is a hard one to fill. I have a Westie group that I took over only because the organizer stepped down. I too, would love to step down–I am so not organizer material–but no one is interested in taking over.

Good luck, Jenna!

11 Janet July 8, 2008 at 11:52 am

I was wondering what was going on when I got the email from NYCSR! There’s a blogger I’m friendly with from that area…her blog addy is http://fleur-de-lisa.com/

Good luck with your move and I hope you all settle in nicely. The house is gorgeous!

Janets last blog post was age and beauty

12 Bayou July 8, 2008 at 1:05 pm

J, Kudos to you for making the sacrifices necessary to give your daughter the best possible options that you can. We look forward to following your journey and YES- eventually meeting up with you in Indy!

I could also use some of your website expertise for my (sitting on the edge of oblivion) portfolio site! So, let me know when you want to get rolling with some freelance work.

Bayous last blog post was Splat

13 Donna July 8, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Hi Jenna, The house looks so nice and the pups are going to LOVE it… Good Luck you will be missed..

14 Karen Stevenson July 8, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Wow, Jenna the house looks really nice. It will be an adjustment but that is what being a Mom is all about, they come first LOL. Anyhow I wish you all the happiness with your sister, daughter and dogs. Have a good move and keep in touch…

15 nycgadgetgirl July 8, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Thank you everyone. 🙂

16 Jaqi or T July 8, 2008 at 11:06 pm

the highschool thing not so much looked forward to but its another adventure and i cant wait to see aunt debbie, never get to see her 🙁

Jaqi or Ts last blog post was Where in the World is Jaqi G?

17 cathy July 8, 2008 at 11:09 pm

Holy moly!! I’m surprised (you do love nyc so much) and not surprised (you’re an awfully good mother)! I’ve lived in NYC for 35 years and it does get in your blood. But I have come to love the time I spend away from here, too. The quiet of almost everyplace else is so wonderfully…quiet. New York will miss you, though, that’s for sure. All your dashing energy in Indiana–they won’t know what hit them, lucky people. Have a wonderful 4-year vacation. I know you will!

18 Debbie G. July 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm

T, it’s gonna be great to be able to see you for more than just a few days at Christmas or on vacation. (And I think the paint colors for your room look great… at least on the cans… hopefully we’ll like them once they’re on the walls! :-))

Debbie G.s last blog post was And now for the rest of the story…

19 nycgadgetgirl July 9, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Cathy, you always say the nicest things. <blush> I hadn’t really thought about my energy level clashing with Indy. Hmmm… that makes me nervous. I remember visiting my parents in Mississippi 5 or 6 years ago and totally embarrassing my mom because I couldn’t STAND STILL in the incredibly slow moving line at the grocery store. I hope living in the midwest won’t be like standing in that line!

20 Cathy, Nick, Wylie & Tigger July 10, 2008 at 4:58 pm

We wish you the best of luck in Indianapolis!

Can’t wait for pics of Snickers doing the Shiba 500 on the lawn 😉

21 Jack July 15, 2008 at 2:26 am

It sounds like you have got a great opportunity ahead of you. Good luck.

Jacks last blog post was A Few Notes and Some Music

22 kristine August 12, 2008 at 7:53 pm

Jenna!!! I just read this, i’m shocked! wow…. I think you will like Indiana, the Midwest can be a nice break from big cities. I hope u find a job soon….

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