Couple of weeks ago I posted my thoughts on being a jazz musician in Brooklyn vs Reykjavik. (Read it here) I pretty much came to the conclusion that Reykjavik is better… for me. Someone suggested that it was more about adult responsibilities than location. She is absolutely right.
Brooklyn was awesome for me as a young musician with no responsibilities really other than to myself. I could play sessions every day, soak in the live music at night and wasn't too concerned with the "quality" of life. As I got older I started to think about where I was headed. Was I moving toward financial security, healthcare and larger living quarters? It didn't seem like it. I tried to picture my husband, a freelance drummer, and myself having children in New York and it didn't look too appealing really. I knew we could get state healthcare for the children but how would we manage to do gigs and tours when we had no family anywhere close? We eventually came to the conclusion that it was time for us to move on, to leave New York.
I felt a certain loss after leaving New York. No more casual daily sessions and after the 1st child was born I found it hard to even find time to practice. I guess I just wanted to spend every waking moment with my child. I eventually figured out how to balance music and family and now I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of the New York jazz scene for almost 8 years but also fortunate to have been able to leave and move to what I feel is a better place for me. This feeling is confirmed every time I visit New York.
Someone suggested that women "lose" more when children come into the picture. Maybe we do sacrifice more of our freedom than men but we also gain a lot. I am so privileged to be a mom. Hey, I am a mom! I am a role model and currently a recipient of unconditional love…. priceless!