Earlier this year, I had acquired a stencil in NYC that read “In Pursuit of Magic”, and proceeded to stencil the inside of my planner to remind me to focus on those things that feel like magic and to make my plans bigger than my comfort level.
2016 couldn’t have been further from magical. It certainly ended in a way I never, ever imagined.
Finding out your child is autistic is kind of a double edged sword. On one hand, after a year of testing, you find out it’s not brain cancer. It’s not terminal. It’s do-able. We were so quiet about it for so long. We didn’t want it to become a “lifestyle”. We just wanted to do what was best for Atlas, and move on. Everyone we were meeting was giving us the feeling we needed to join this new “autism club” where we would all be instant friends and grieve together and talk about autism 24/7, and I wasn’t having any of that. It was so unbelievably hard to figure out what to do next, but there was an actual light at the end of this muddy tunnel. After saying “no” to four different professionals trying to prescribe Ritalin, one OT professional completely dismissing him after a year, and days and nights in the hospital for discovery processes – we came out this year with a plan, and action, and it’s working. Therapy works! OT and speech have been our magic bullet this year, and lots and lots of good, old fashioned play. Which brings me to the magic, and the “big change”. So, we began this crazy plan. It’s started with selling everything, included our two Nashville homes. As I write this, I am sitting in a house that is no longer ours, renting it from the new owner for the last few weeks we are here.
We announced we are leaving Nashville, but the shop will stay. What we didn’t say is what was next. Because, well, it’s really scary for us.
We bought a building. Three buildings. Residential and retail. Because, why not? If you are going to try something new, you may as well go big. So we went as big as we could push it.
It’s basically it’s own village. Three buildings + two parking lots right by the ocean in Florida. This is part of the plan that didn’t bring us to back to New York so quick. Let me rewind…
Step two of the plan is to move to Florida. Moving to Florida and not NYC was never a thought that crossed our minds, but, like I said, this year was quite unexpected and really shifted things.
Florida is just a pit stop on the way to the life shift we have been planning this year. We actually need another year of planning and Atlas needs another year of OT and speech and autism services, and Florida is the perfect place to focus on the plan. This is why we decided to not move to NYC quite yet, and not buy another home just yet either. We can’t spill the whole plan, but it’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for the better part of my life, and I can’t believe it’s actually happening. This building is a small, but important first step.
Our new home is something we are pretty excited about too.
It’s about the same size as our Nashville cottage, brand new, and comes with a whole lotta perks. The saltwater pool, cabana, meeting rooms, free play arcade, clubhouse, gym, kids’ play area, and bike trails are way more than our community offers now, so it feels really exciting to get all these extras for the same amount of mortgage we are paying now. I am really excited to decorate this sunny spot. We are moving in, sight unseen.
Nashville was so good in so many ways, but also I learned a lot about myself and my tolerance level for certain things. I think it’s a great place to visit, I am going to be back a lot, but it’s not our forever home.
We can’t wait to share the rest!