Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

A Big Decision – Not Forever, But For Now


I don’t know how to say this in a non-shocking way, so I’m just going to say it. I’ve given notice at my job. Those of you who’ve been following the blog for a while, or know me in ‘real’ life, shouldn’t be completely surprised. I have wanted to do this – been talking and writing about doing this – for years. It was only a question of when. Now, that question is answered. My last day at work will be July 3. (Yes, I timed it to coincide with Independence Day.)

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Remember when I wrote about my rural fantasy? Well, I’m finally doing it. After I leave the job, I’ll spend a few weeks preparing to leave Los Angeles, then driving across country with Ruby to upstate New York (Northern Catskills). I plan to arrive in late August.



This move is not forever, but for now. There’s a good chance I could wind up back in California. I just don’t know right now. In fact, there are a lot of unknowns.

For one, I’ve never actually been to the Catskills. I’ve heard it described and seen pictures of the area and apartment I’m going to be renting. I know it’s rural, beautiful and conservative. I could go and check it out first, but I don’t want to spend the money, time and energy. I’d rather just go.

I also don’t know anyone in the Catskills except for the woman who’s renting me the apartment (she’s a friend of the family). When I moved to Los Angeles, I didn’t know anyone and had never been here before either. I drove out here from Philadelphia alone with a 10-day old license because I had just learned how to drive. Granted, I was heading to film school, but I didn’t know a single person or street when I arrived exactly 19 years ago.

 Can you imagine trying to navigate all of this without GPS?

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

One of the bigger unknowns is how I’m going to make money. I can’t rely on finding work locally, so will have to  work from home, or in nearby cities like Albany or Hudson. I do have some savings and a rough plan for work, but nothing set in stone yet (more about this in another post).

Lastly, the closest I’ve come to the kind of rural environment and brutal winters they have in the Catskills is the month I spent in Vermont last year. I suspect that where I’m going to be is even more rural and more brutally cold, so this is another obstacle to overcome. The good news is I’ll have wi-fi, my car and my dog. Also, if/when I get completely stir crazy, NYC is three hours away.



I know that a few people are scared for me, and I understand. It IS scary, and I’m not going to say I have all the answers right now because I don’t. All I can say is that I’m following an instinct I’ve had for a long time. My heart has been yearning for a change and, for better or worse, I’ve decided to give my heart what it wants. I’m doing it now because life is short, and there is no perfect time. I also don’t want to move in the winter, nor do I want to wait another year.

A friend recently told me, “Being compulsive is one of your best and worst traits.” Yes, and once I put my mind to something, come Hell or high water, I get it done. Of course, now I have a million and one things to get done. But I’m ready. To coin one of my favorite phrases, it’s “balls to the wall” time. 🙂

I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Pelicans in flight (photo by Niva)

Pelicans in flight (photo by Niva)

Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

19 thoughts on “A Big Decision – Not Forever, But For Now

  1. That’s the hugest thing ever. ‘Who dares wins’ and ‘be prepared’, from the marines and the scouts, are what I immediately think, imagining myself taking on something like that. A bit of a survival challenge. The picture of the Catskills you put up there isn’t very reassuring- it looks like where Jack Nicholson died in the shining. But I just reread the original rural fantasy post and that makes it sound perfect, particularly if peace to write is the idea. Plus the road trip will be good. You should get a continuous scroll for a manual typewriter like Kerouac did and write about it in an amphetamine induced fever when you arrive!

    • Haha, I guess that winter picture does look a bit ominous. Not my intention, I just thought it looked very cold! But I have thought of The Shining, lol. I will have neighbors and won’t be completely isolated (on a mountain without road service in a haunted hotel). Also, they didn’t have Netflix or the internet or local pubs. 🙂

      I am REALLY looking forward to the road trip, and plan to write about it for sure! Thanks for the support, Treat.

  2. You will be much closer to us, and that’s very cool! Congrats on this big and overdue decision. See you soon!!

  3. You could start with MN first! Lovely in summer…bad in Winter! I can’t wait to hear about your journey. I feel a great story will be told. You are much braver than I!

  4. I am so happy for you. You are doing exactly what I would love to do, but don’t have the cajones. Don’t be afraid of the winter, it’s not that bad. Just make sure you have lots of healthy food and water when they predict snow. It will help offset all the comfort food you buy. So ok it’s a tad bit different from sunny warm California, but you will be just fine.

  5. LOL, ok, I’ve lived/worked in and around the Catskills for much of my adult life. You will be fine. When you want to have a coffee, let me know.

  6. If you go through wisconsin contact me – would love a chance to meet.

  7. I’m so excited for you!! For many reasons! Adventures are exciting, challenging, stimulating, scary … all words that are active and in my mind wonderful. AND they aren’t permanent … give it a good effort, and if ultimately it doesn’t work out the way you hoped, then make another change. But there is no reason not to give it a go and I love that you are doing so!
    In fact …, I’m a bit envious! I’d love to go to the Catskills and I’m a fan of winter. I’m very much looking forward to blog updates!
    Congratulations on this huge decision and Happy Independence Day!!

    • Thanks LB!! Maybe you can come visit me, or vice-versa. We’ll be much closer! Also, I’m bringing my motorcycle. Hope to get a few rides in before it’s too cold. 🙂

  8. I can’t believe I didn’t see this until now. Congrats on follow your heart to greener pastures. As a person who is also taking the “road less traveled”, I think you’re headed for some awesome times ahead! I wish you well on your journey on the east coast. Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds for you! 🙂

  9. From this one blog post I’ve read of yours, and meeting you over at the #binders group… I think you are AWESOME and BRAVE. “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” ~T. Roosevelt

    • Thank you so much Jennifer! Love that you came over here to check out the blog. And I LOVE that quote. It reminds me of something my late husband used to say (and wear on a wristband): “Fortune favors the bold.”

      The binders group is a phenomenon. I’m so in love. Looking forward to getting to know you and your work better too!

  10. I really like what you acknowledged here: “It IS scary, and I’m not going to say I have all the answers right now because I don’t. All I can say is that I’m following an instinct I’ve had for a long time. My heart has been yearning for a change and, for better or worse, I’ve decided to give my heart what it wants. I’m doing it now because life is short, and there is no perfect time.”

    Best, best wishes in your exciting new adventure!

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