When I left America, I left behind a loving, supportive family and friends I would take a bullet for. Anyone would be glad to have the life I had there. It was a good life.
When I go back, I am often asked how I did what I did, and how I knew this was the life for me.
I give them a cocktail party line about living only once or some such nonsense, because I still remember the moment I decided; that moment is so private and precious to me that even tonight when I tried to explain it to Cal, to illustrate why I was so happy, I suddenly was struck by an uncharacteristic shyness. So much else came between that moment and the moment when I stepped off the plane and into my new life; things that changed my life and the world we all live in today.
My life as it is right now is so different, and exactly the same as I envisioned. Did I picture myself living here? No. But what I did want, before I even knew I wanted it, is exactly what I have right now. And it took a winter of my extreme discontent, and being broke, and a man who loves me unconditionally, and a retarded cat to make me realize that here, in fact, was exactly where I wanted to be.
I cannot begin to describe the freedom I feel in being a freelance… whatever I am. It’s yet another profession that my mother is unable to explain exactly to her friends. But whatever it is, it is exactly what I saw in my head when I saw myself living this life.
As magical as my time was in Rome – I would not trade even a minute of it – and even though I know Montpellier is not the town for me, at all, I know that this is what I was looking for. I feel like Dagney Taggart, as I see her; making a true, honest day’s living in a forthright give and take that simply does not exist in today’s world as I know it.
I sleep when I am tired; I wake when I’m ready; I work until I feel I have done my best and not a minute more. I no longer have to compromise; I no longer have to deal with middle management; there is no one’s vision I have to subscribe to except my own.
Not everyone has my circumstances, and not everyone has the same desires as I do. But whatever your ideas mean to you, I beg you to follow them until you drop. I am coming to you from the other side of my dreams, and I am telling you it is worth it.