is defined as modernization, restoration, redecoration, refurbishment, revamping,
makeover, reconditioning, rehabilitation, overhauling, repair,
rebuilding, redevelopment, reconstruction, remodeling, updating,
improvement, upgrading, and refitting.
So, when I had a financial upheaval in January 2013, I was forced to vacate my premises, where I resided for six years. I had three move-in options that all dissipated, one by one, leaving me homeless, that is, without a place to move my belongings. By providence, my friend MG, who was helping me move, had a vacant room in her townhouse. She said, immediately, “put your things in storage and move in with me for a while.”
This was music to my ears, at that moment, on February 13, because I had no idea what to do. I was in the middle of my own personal perfect storm, wondering how I could survive. There was my friend of 20 years, offering her love, support, home, and comfort. I had a little money, so the storage unit, truck rental, and movers were paid for. However, I didn’t have a job or enough money to pay to move into a place, by the end of February. Fortunately, my car was paid off, so I had reliable transportation. But how long could I stay there with her?
The best laid plans of mice, men, and Joan! Whew!
Turns out the Universe had a plan for me that was far better than my plan. I stayed with my friend in her townhouse, located 1.5 miles from Hollywood Beach, Florida, for six months, which was probably five months longer than she or I anticipated. We grocery shopped together, drank good wine and ate good meals together, and watched movies on her widescreen TV.
My room was comfortable and there was WiFi, so I could complete my PhD course assignments and do the work I do for my non-profit. I didn’t really know where I was going to wind up but I kept a positive outlook and when I thought about being depressed, my friend reminded me of the blessings I had. So, I sucked up my tears and thought about how fortunate I am to have a good friend like her and a cool place to live in the hot Florida sun.
Just to rewind, 10 years earlier, I was engaged in renovating four homes, two in Florida and two in Georgia. I had plenty of money in the bank and Home Depot was my store of choice. Now, 10 years later, my bank account was nearly empty and I was sharing a home with a friend. How things change in the course of life.
Never ever doubt the Universe!
In May, I was invited to attend a Women in Music conference in Italy. I laughed because I had about $50 in the bank and the airline ticket alone was $1,600. Lo and behold, my non-profit organization members and my friends donated $3.645 to my crowdfunding site at www.gofundme.com/jc-wimust and I was able to attend the WIMUST Conference from July 4-7, 2013, in Fiuggi, Italy!
Then, I continued on to the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, where I met several friends, new and old. Finally, I took the train up to Switzerland, where I attended the Montreux Jazz Festival, and stayed a week with my friend who owns Seehotel Baren, in Brienz. Wow! How about manifestation! My seven days spent in Brienz were totally renewing and I got to visit with my dear friend Monique, who runs the hotel, after not seeing her for 18 years!
Upon my return to Florida, after 23 days of travel on planes, trains and in automobiles, I decided to renovate myself by cutting my hair. I had been twisting my hair for about four years and it was definitely time for a cosmetic overhaul. My cousin Paul Miller had a salon in Hollywood that I had never visited. So, I returned on Saturday, and went to get a hair cut on Monday, which is usually a closed day for salons. But Paul’s was open and he did a great job because I got so many compliments from the moment I left his shop.
So, now it was time to get in gear to move out of my friend’s townhouse. But where would I go? I put the word out on Facebook and in email that I was in need of a new place to live. BAM! Another friend sent me an email about a townhouse in Delray Beach, Florida, that would come available September 1, but I would have to share it with a young woman named Kat, who had a dog. UGH! Dogs are not my favorite things. But I needed to move. Still, I had not money, no job, and only a social security check that really wasn’t that much because I chose to take it early, at 62, since the government was screaming about cutting benefits and I didn’t want to lose all that I had paid into it, all my working life.
Ask and ye shall receive!
I took a ride 30 miles north to Delray Beach to see the place and fell in love with it, immediately. The wheels in my head started turning to make manifest this opportunity. I took photos of my room-to-be and the common areas Kat and I would share. Still, with no money in the bank, I had to figure out how I would pay the deposit and first month’s rent. I reverted to a child and went to my father, who agreed, immediately, to help me. I had to borrow from two other friends to pay for the truck and storage unit I would need, since all of my belongings that occupied my two bedroom, two bath I lived in from 1997 to 2013, would not fit into the townhouse. Up until the Saturday before the move on Sunday, I was $120 short. But my dear friend LH went to my bank and made that deposit that put me in the black. I was on my way to Delray!
The final blessing of the move was my son’s best friend, Sean and his son Sean, Jr., who packed the truck from one storage unit in a way that my bedroom furniture and kitchen table and chairs and whatever small items I would need could go right into the townhouse, and the remainder could go to the storage unit up in Delray. I was finally back in Palm Beach County, after living in Broward County for 28 years, with short intervals living in Atlanta, GA, with my daughter, in Shanghai, China, where I sang for three months, and in Europe, where I lived and toured from 1990 to 1998. I had “returned home”, as my brother Carlton, said.
Back in 2009, I was inspired to write a blog on Reinventing My Artistry. As all in nature renews itself, so must we humans refresh, reboot, re-energize, and recognize that we are ever evolving. I AM happy to know that my life is under renovation and that I AM moving toward my new selfhood.
One Final Note
Today, I took the opportunity to interest a dear friend in purchasing some of the art I had, since I owned Motherland Bridge Gallery back in 2001, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She took three pieces and helped me move five larger pieces to a consignment shop, where they were received, graciously. Trustfully, they will sell and give me enough money to repay my Dad and be a little further ahead, financially.