Where We’re Going Next

So what’s this all about?

I don’t talk a lot about what Kendrick does on a day-to-day basis. Mostly because while RG certainly includes my family, it’s not about my family.

But something – a big thing – just changed, and I (we) decided to share it both because it’s going to have a big impact on our day-to-day routine for the foreseeable future…and because it’s majorly on my mind. I’m excited. And nervous.

Super nervous. (I’m not pregnant; just clearing that up before we go any further.)

Let me back it up for a second. I met Kendrick in 2007, and married him in 2008. During the first two years of our relationship he was in a touring band, which sounds fun in theory…but in practice involves long separations during which there is very little contact, thanks to the strange hours that on-the-road musicians keep and the problematic cell phone service often present in places like rural Montana.

Around the time that I moved back to New York my acting career imploded, and we decided – together – that what made sense for us was for me to find a job with a reliable salary and insurance to support us both while Kendrick was away. I had zero experience in any fields beside bartending and acting, so the job I ended up with wasn’t exactly my dream position, but someone had to keep things going in the meantime. And at that point it made sense for that person to be me.

In the fall of 2009, two things happened: Kendrick’s band broke up, and I decided that I wanted to give becoming a writer and a host a for-real shot. And so we decided – again, together – that we would effectively swap positions for the time being: Kendrick would find a steady job with benefits while I tried to get what I hoped would be my new career off the ground. And – surprising no one more than me – it worked: I found a career that I loved and that continues to splinter off in exciting new directions almost every day.

It was great. Is great. But great for me isn’t the same as great for us, and something still had to change.

It just did.

A week and a half ago, Kendrick found out that he got into Yale for business school. Today is his last day of work; tomorrow morning he returns to the world of being a full-time student.

I am so excited for him. And so nervous. I mean…we have a house. And a son. And while my job is remarkably stable for someone who’s self-employed…I’m still self-employed. I could…I don’t know, get sick and be unable to work. Anything could happen.

But right now, right this moment…we can do this. We’ve done the math and made the Excel spreadsheets, and we’ve put stuff in place like FAFSA loans, transportation, and insurance (I formed an LLC, so I’m eligible for small business insurance; more on that later) – and it’s time to take another big jump. In a year, two years, three, things might be different, and we might not be able to do this for whatever reason, and it’s too big of an opportunity – too wonderful and special and exciting – to miss out on.

Now, I’d be lying if I said that this decision was an easy one for us to make, or that it didn’t occasionally (daily) throw me into a total panic. It’s a great thing, but I know that it also means a lot of time spent alone, a lot of stress, and more than a little struggle. I know there will be days when I feel burdened and angry and frustrated, and I hope I won’t take that out on Kendrick, but let’s get real: I probably will. I know that.

More than anything, more than it all, though, I also know this: from time to time I may get lonely and angry and frustrated, but that doesn’t change the fact that no part of me  – I mean that, none of me – thinks that this is the wrong decision. This is something that my husband wants, and needs, and will hopefully benefit from in ways that we can’t even imagine right now. Most importantly, though: it will make him happy, and while sure, Indy and I make Kendrick happy…I think there’s also been a lot missing for him in recent years.

His happiness – his ability to unstick himself and to move towards the future that he wants…it’s worth making some in-the-moment sacrifices for. It’s priceless.

I suppose you’d call this back-and-forth we’ve done over the past few years “compromise”…but that’s not what it feels like, not really. It feels like evolution towards a shared dream, and the dream isn’t about money or having “stuff” or flying off to wherever to stay in fancy hotels…it’s about loving whatever it is that we spend our days doing. We’ve both taken our sweet time with the whole “figuring out what we want to be when we grow up” thing…but in the end, I don’t think that’s what matters. I think what matters is that you keep going forward, even if that means moving in different directions than you initially planned.

Most of all, it’s this: when our son grows up and starts to find his way towards whatever he chooses as his life’s work, I want him to love what he does and be fulfilled by it and not stop until he feels proud of himself. I want that for him so badly. And I want his parents – both of us – to serve as living examples that even if you screw up and flounder and take more than the occasional step backwards (because wow, have we ever)…you keep on going anyway until you find whatever it is that you’re looking for.

I want Kendrick to find what he’s looking for. I think he will.

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