Right before my senior year of high school my parents decided to make this huge move. We lived on Long Island in a very suburban, busy community. It’s all I’d ever know is living on Long Island since I’d been born. And my Dad at the time was commuting to a job in New Jersey and sitting in horrible traffic going through New York City everyday and my Mother was going some of the time with him. And it was very very stressful, just, you know, not a sustainable lifestyle. So they just all of a sudden had this dream that they were going to open a craft store in the Berkshires. And amazingly, when I look back, I think what a big deal it was now, they made it happen. So, they sold their house, they bought a house in Otis Massachusetts which is this teeny little town. So, we had acreage, we lived across from a lake. I did my senior year in high school up in, you know, Western Massachusetts just everything different from anything I had done my entire life. It motivated me through college I was a super good student, and maybe I would have been anyway, I don’t know, but I feel like it just kind of kicked in my motivation. I also, because here we had this craft shop and we had a workshop next to it where my parents were making things and they were bringing things in on consignment from other artists, it motivated me to try some different things. It allowed me to explore the creative side of myself. And I think, obviously, it pushed me to make new friends which is hard when your 18 years old and you’re leaving your best buddies. It’s like that stage of life where it’s really hard to leave friends just like going to college is. So, it pushed me to make new friends they were very different than the people I had been friends with or grown up with, so it was eye-opening for me. Also, I think more than anything it exposed me to nature in a way that I had never been exposed. To me nature was going to the beach for the day, you know, the ocean, because I lived close to it. And not that we never went away to pretty places but this was every day of my life, you know, that I could walk into the woods and take a hike and I could swim across the street in a lake. So, I think it gave me a new appreciation of nature and being outside that I’ve maintained my whole life. I eventually met my future husband out there so, obviously, if I didn’t meet him, I wouldn’t have the daughter I have, you know all of that, just everything would have been different. I always wonder who I would’ve married.
“Are you glad that your parents made the decision to move at such a pivotal age?”
I really am, I really am. Yeah, you know I just think it changed everything, mostly for the better obviously I can’t know what my life would’ve looked like if I didn’t do that, but I feel like most of the things that I can look at feel better. I’m grateful, you know, that I love nature. I’m grateful for the career path I followed which may or may not have been the same. I’m grateful that I got in touch with that more academic side of myself. Yeah, I’m really grateful that they did it, and now I live in Massachusetts, and I love Western Massachusetts! I can’t imagine ever living on Long Island. I still have family there, and I go back sometimes and its crowded and there’s terrible traffic and I just think, yeah, I’m really glad I live here.