It could be timing, or love or age or all three. In the end, we strive for a moment we can sit down and say, “I am happy. I have what I need, to stay put, dare I say… settle.” A friend recently sent me this quote: “With the adventurous lives that we live, the real challenge is seeing the adventure in stability.” After over two years of wandering and displacement, it seems I have finally found a comfort in “home” and love. With that, I have obtained an artist visa and decided to remain in Berlin to pursue my writing, life, and other endeavors.
After two years of living Wayward Betty, I am retiring the project. It is interesting to look back on her as a character—she is me, but I am not her. A friend of mine recently noted me that she gave me the kind of strength I needed, an armor and a kind of shield, the kind of person I would have been without weaknesses and doubts. She is the outfit I wore to face the world and I penned her with the greatest admiration.
I never believed in “finding oneself” through travel, but I do believe that new experiences, people, cultures and ideas can bring perspective. You will find this in your neighborhood, in your family, in your country: diversity is at large. Listen to it. This should continue on, whether we are 18, young and free, or 85 and bound. There is always something to learn or to experience: never be afraid to stray from who you think you are.
As a writer, my goal was to tell some stories, and to reveal a common humanity: we are all people, doing the best we can. Life is drama…challenges, loss and regrets, relationships struggles, transitions, family, loneliness, and ultimately, a life-long negotiation with the self.
In the end, Wayward Betty had more to do with finding common ground (personally, spiritually, culturally, and politically) despite geographic distance. I never wanted to romanticize a travel lifestyle or to glorify another country or culture. If I have learned anything, it is the similarities in people and place, as well as the distinct desire we all have to find love and “home,” wherever that may be. And “home” has nothing to do with where we happen to land. It is where we find peace, with ourselves, and the ones that we love.
As an artist, all projects come to an end. As an evolving person, there comes a time, when reinvention, and letting go of a past-self is necessary to move forward. This is not to discount where I have been or what I have learned, but I have decided to recalibrate and refocus my efforts.
Like any story, Wayward Betty has a beginning, middle and end. I wanted to thank those who have continued to read and follow my work. On the upside, I am still making advances to have the collection summarized, expanded and formally published. At this point, the goal is closing a chapter on a writing project, a character, and a past-life. Any investment in this publication would be greatly appreciated and I will keep the website and FB page updated on its availability in print and online.
Again, thank you to everyone who has sent me emails, encouragement, and support along the way. Writing to the wind, is always a fear.
And with that (as I am, if anything, dramatic)