They say that it takes 28 days to truly change a habit. Today marks the 28th day that I’ve lived on Nantucket and while I’m happy to take a day away from the island to see friends and take a few meetings in Boston tomorrow, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that living away from the chaos and incessant speed of a big city has grown on me. I have always lived in conflict between which lifestyle works better for me. Am I a city mouse or a country mouse? A balance of the two is where I usually end up happiest but that is rarely a realistic possibility financially and professionally speaking. I suppose many can relate.
The fact that today marks the 13th anniversary of 9/11 makes the thought of meaningful change even more poignant to me. Every New Yorker and people around the globe have their own 9/11 stories complete with specific moments of fear, horror and undoubtedly, love. Mine is no different. But like most folks, I prefer to keep the specifics of my story personal. On 9/11, I was moving from NYC to Providence, abandoning the chaos and craze of big city life for a smaller more intimate city and of course a guy. It was a difficult time to be away from NY and I found myself going back and forth quite a bit. We weren’t in Providence long before we moved to the outskirts of town. Renting a wonderful railroad apartment over a hair salon on the edge of a huge park we found our greatest enjoyment in that wonderful gift of nature, grass. Who knew how much we craved a tree to sit under and the feeling of grass between our toes. I think it was that move that taught me how much I love and need to have a quite outdoor space to hide in.
It is only now that I realize, after returning to NY, I have never lived in an apartment that didn’t have a back yard or a park within in a three-block walk. I like to read scripts outside. I always have. I like to feel the wind in my hair and hear people in the distance when I’m stuck on a creative problem. And when I’m really lucky, I spoil myself by sitting on a lawn that is seaside or on a beach to do all of the same and more. This is where I am the most creative. This is where the distractions and the judgments fade away.
There is no question that I am blessed. I have worked hard for every opportunity that I have had and I have risked a good deal to put myself in places where I believe that opportunity lies. I’m on Nantucket because I believe I should be right now, and after 28 days, some good, some not so good, I know that my intuition was right. I like living in a place where you can hear yourself think. I like the routine that I have here. Nantucket is in fact starting to feel like home. And while in just two more weeks, I am sure that I will be thrilled to be back in NYC among people who know and love me and who I love very dearly, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I see another adjustment period in store. I am will go back, but I will not be rushing. I feel no need to rush. So, maybe it does 28 days to change a habit or for me, a lifestyle.