This is a side story of MY STORY. I just felt it deserved its own place in my story because it truly changed my life.
When I was living in Baltimore, back in the early nineties I got some news from my employer that I was going to be laid off. I wasn’t really all that sad as I had been there about 4 years and that is typically my ‘max’ anyway (before I get too bored and need a change).
I looked at the lay-off and severance package as an opportunity to go back to school and MOVE to Phoenix. I was SO excited. I called and started finding about apartments, utilities, etc. Then I called the school and was informed the Art Therapy program was being phased out and they were currently only having every other year applications. In addition I needed some additional art courses and a professional portfolio with sculptures (which I hadn’t even begun yet).
I immediately felt defeated. I had always wanted to go to Phoenix and after a few Baltimore winters I was MORE than ready. So…I did a search for other Art Therapy programs in the southwest and lo’ and behold found one at UNM in Albuquerque.
Now back then I didn’t even know how to SPELL Albuquerque, must less know where it is. My friend and I looked it up and saw it nestled in a valley by a big mountain and it looked ‘okay’. It wasn’t Phoenix, but it would do in a pinch. I read about the ambient temperature and lack of snow and felt pretty certain this was the next best thing.
So, I sold and gave away almost all of my belongings, found an apartment online and secured it, sight unseen, it was close to the University and that was all that mattered at this point. A friend of mine helped me load everything left over in my little rental U-Haul and attach that baby to my car and off we went. We left Baltimore on February 14th, 1995.
My friend is a bit of a zealous driver and we drove and drove and drove and only stopped once we got to Oklahoma City early, early February 16th (it’s about a 22 hour drive from Baltimore to OKC) to say ‘hey’ to family and hit the road the next day to get on to my final sunny destination. When we left OKC it was like 35-40 degrees.
We arrived in Albuquerque, on February 17, 1995, it was warm (like 80 degrees) and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It reminded me of an old west town. We found my TINY apartment/loft and unloaded my few belongings, returned the U-Haul and went to investigate.
My friend left on February 18, 1995 and I was on my own. I found a job quickly, enrolled in a couple of basic courses I needed and met my future husband on May 4, 1995. We were together every day after that til we were married in 1998.
Nope…I never got that Art Therapy degree…I still think about it every once in awhile. But God certainly had another plan! Now I’m married to my absolute dream husband, and I don’t ever have to wake up from this dream!
Thank you God that your plan’s are ALWAYS better than ours!