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On June 5 I began my journey to Boston to start a new job and possibly new life. I’ve named my journey “Breaking Boundaries,” as I am physically breaking boundaries by crossing state boundaries and I am breaking figurative boundaries — attempting to break out of my way of thinking and doing things. More than anything, it’s a journey to discover what I really want to do and what gives me joy. It’s a difficult journey, but I need to do it. I need to experience it — even if it reduces me to tears every other day.

My journey -- Breaking Boundaries (Photo by Rafael Gomes)

My journey -- Breaking Boundaries (Photo by Rafael Gomes)

My life in Florida as it was, was holding me back. I was confined to a certain role that was too small for me, too restricting. During the past six months I thought long and hard about how to change it. I decided to go back to the place that has always made me feel happy — Boston. I created a plan and fulfilled it — got a full-time job and have relocated there. Don’t ever let it be said that I can’t do what I say I’m going to do. But now that I’m here in this life, I’m questioning it. Actually, I started questioning the decision when I started packing, and several times during the drive north considered turning back, but I am going ahead with it to learn if my fears and doubts are true or if happiness truly resides here.

As I start my second week of work, I am feeling a slightly better about the change. However, when I stop and think about everything that’s going on, I feel fear deep in my stomach like the bottom is falling away bit by bit, I’m on edge, and I’m often on the verge of tears.

I question whether a full-time job that requires me to be in an office for nine hours a day is right for me. I question whether I can work such a job and care for my daughter if she lives here with me. I fear that having such a job means losing quality of life, as I have little to no time for social activity. I fear getting trapped in a job and losing my creative outlets. I wonder if my return to the Boston area is an attempt to relive my previous life here. Read the rest of this entry »

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I admit it. I have a crush on Keith Urban, the country-singing hottie from New Zealand who is married to Nicole Kidman. I also have crushes on Rick Springfield, John Rzeznik (of the Goo Goo Dolls), George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Brad Pitt. And I have an on-again/off-again flirtation with Prince. But right now Keith is my man. I’m a member of his fan club so that I can buy tickets to his concerts before they go on sale to the public. I bought tickets to one of this summer’s shows during the first five minutes tickets were available. And I purchased his new album the day it was released.

Keith Urban

Keith Urban

My celebrity crushes started young. When I was in elementary school I fell in love with Donny Osmond and his purple socks. Every Friday night I’d plop myself in front of the TV for The Donny and Marie Show. I then moved to Shaun Cassidy, former Hardy Boy and pop singer. “Da Do Run Run” and “Hey Deanie” constantly played on my record player, and every other Sunday I tuned in to watch the Hardy Boys solve mysteries (they alternated with Nancy Drew). I, of course, also had posters of Shaun all over my bedroom walls.

In 1981 the object of my desire became Rick Springfield aka Dr. Noah Drake from General Hospital. Every weekday afternoon I could watch Rick save lives and romance nurse Bobbie Spencer and in the mean time listen to him sing “Jesse’s Girl” and “I’ve Done Everything For You” over and over again.

While I dreamed of seeing Rick in concert when I was a tween and teen, I didn’t get the chance until I was 38. Once at the concert, I suddenly felt like I was a teenager all over again. The lights went down, Rick came out, and I (and hundreds of other women) ran for the front of the stage. I got a spot front and center. New to the Rick Springfield concert experience, I didn’t know what to expect. But I was quickly schooled by the women around me who had been to many shows — how he takes the bouquets of flowers women throw on stage and thrashes his guitar with them, how he comes out into the audience so that women can touch him, and how he allows one woman to jump the barricade and be on stage with him for a song — with his arms around her while he plays guitar. Rick knows his fans and how to work them.

I was not the one who jumped the barricade to get on stage, because I thought I would be escorted out and would miss the rest of the concert. (I’d be damned if I was going to miss “Jessie’s Girl”!) The woman next to me did that, and I helped her. She asked me to give her a boost, and I thought she was crazy. But next thing I knew she was up on stage, Rick’s arms around her with his guitar in front. Doh! Read the rest of this entry »

Not long ago a Facebook Friend tagged me to write a note that was going around called “One Word.” It’s a questionnaire to help your Friends get to know you better, and all your responses need to be one word. One question asked, “When was the last time you cried?” My answer was Saturday, or two days before I wrote the note. That response is a little surprising, not because I cried that day but because I hadn’t cried the following two days.

(Photo by Christina Snyder)

(Photo by Christina Snyder)

The thing is, I cry nearly every day. I am, as my daughter likes to call me, a crybaby. While what’s going on in my life is surely cause for such emotion, the fact is that I have always been emotional. My mother likes to tell a story about how when I was 3 years old, she found me crying while watching Lassie on TV. She was in the kitchen when she heard little sniffs coming from me in the living room, and there I was with tears running down my face. I don’t remember that, but Lassie must have been in some kind of danger. However, I do remember as a child watching Born Free and sobbing at the end when Elsa is returned to the wild. Hell, I’m tearing up now just thinking about it!

As an adult, I get teary-eyed about many things — when I hear an emotional song, when I read a moving phrase in a book, when my daughter performs in her piano recital, when someone tells a heart-felt story about themselves, when a momentous event occurs, when I say goodbye to someone I will not see for a while. And yes, I still cry while watching movies and TV shows. Two movies that actually had me sobbing were Finding Neverland with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet and Brokeback Mountain with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Both deal with loss of a loved one. I’m sure if I watched them again today I would still cry.

Relieving stress
The stress of dealing with a traumatic event can also trigger tears for me. I remember one event when my daughter was 3 years old. I was shopping with her at a farmer’s market where they had samples of apple. I gave her a piece, and the next thing I knew she was choking. She looked up at me, eyes wide, not breathing. Acting on instinct, I calmly and matter-of-factly put my finger in her throat and pulled out the piece of fruit. That fixed it. She went back to her happy self, not crying a bit, while I melted into a pool of tears. Women in the store who saw what had happened came over to console me and told me I did a good job. Read the rest of this entry »

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