Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.


To Vermont or Not to Vermont

This post is a bit of “thinking out loud.” I have a big decision to make based on some recent news.

The good news is I’ve been accepted for a 4-week writer residency at the Vermont Studio Center starting in January. http://www.vermontstudiocenter.org

The bad news is I can’t bring my puppy Ruby. My day job might not grant me a leave of absence. VSC offered me a partial fellow, so it costs money. Boarding/traveling with Ruby will also cost money.  (Regarding travel, I just learned that all the major airlines except United ban Pit Bulls and other “dangerous breeds.” I guess I’ll be flying United if I go.)

To Vermont or not to Vermont, that is the question.

On this morning’s drive to work, I thought of my late husband Kaz, who used to tell me the following when faced with decisions: “Write out the pros and cons, see which list is longer.” I never actually did it though, not literally. I would think in my head of the pros and cons and end up making decisions based on emotion (to good and bad results).

This time I’m going to honor him by taking his advice.

The Pros

  1. I get to write for 4 uninterrupted weeks in Vermont. I could finish my book and/or write something new. I can also continue blogging.
  2. I have wanted to leave my day job for some time, but only if an opportunity presented itself. This might be it. 
  3. VSC is a prestigious institution and would look good on the resume (good for future residency and job applications).
  4. I would meet other writers and artists, connections that could help in the future.
  5. I would get out of LA for a stretch, another thing I’ve been wanting to do.
  6. I would get to see my East Coast family around the holidays and they would get to meet Ruby. (I would board her in Brooklyn across the street from my sister, or in Vermont, 3 miles down the road from the Center.)

The Cons

  1. Going to Vermont would cut into my savings by approximately 15%.
  2. If I don’t get a leave of absence and quit my job, that would be very scary.
  3. Certain family members would give me a hard time about quitting my job (if it comes to that).
  4. Flying with a dog is also risky and scary.
  5. I would have to figure out a lot of logistics (what to do with my apartment, car, dog, etc.) in a short amount of time. That will be stressful.

I’m pressed to think of more cons. Can you? It seems like most of them are fear-based, justifiable fear but fear nonetheless. Maybe it’s a matter of getting over the fear and taking a calculated risk? Would I be crazy for leaving my job? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

Btw, when I presented this dilemma to T last night (refer to “Friday Night Frights” for who T is), she lowered her chin and looked at me as if over a pair of invisible glasses. “I don’t even know why you’re questioning it, Niva.  You’re obviously going.”

Gotta love T.