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change, Florida, writing

Inspired: My first week in Florida

Sandhill Cranes - my new neighbors

Sandhill Cranes – my new neighbors

I’m one week into my Florida residency and I thought I’d share the good, the bad, and the in-between with you:

The good
– I get to see my nieces all the time. We actually share part of the house with our rooms clustered together, and Phin in particular loves all of the attention he gets here.

– My sister and brother-in-law have been gracious hosts for me while I sort out life here. They redid their guest room for me and my closet is almost as big as one of the rooms I rented in my last apartment.

– For most of the day, I have the house all to myself so that time’s been incredibly productive for me. I had a flurry of writing work that I wasn’t expect last week so I felt very grateful to have the space in my life to get it done.

– Cost of living is so much lower here, it’s laughable. I’m still in sticker shock after my many years of New York City prices for everything.

– I’m so close to nature here. The sunrises, sunsets, and wildlife are beautiful. My family lives in a rural area of Central Florida (that is surprisingly close to Orlando) so I have plenty of opportunities to get back to the land.

– It’s been over 10 years since I lived in Central Florida and Orlando in particular has changed a lot. In the coming weeks, I’m looking forward to exploring it.

The bad
– The heat is intense. As someone who loves seasons, particularly the Fall, I knew this would be tough for me. Unfortunately, Florida doesn’t get those gorgeous Fall colors that I love so much. However, Fall weather will eventually arrive here and it lasts longer here since Florida doesn’t really have a winter and Fall in the Northeast ends in the blink of an eye. (And this morning, it was a brisk 57 degrees. I couldn’t be happier about it!)

– I don’t yet have a routine. I love order and organization, of my time and my belongings. Just after a move, everything always feels out of whack for a time and I’m looking forward to getting that sorted out soon.

– I miss my New York friends. While many of my close friends live nowhere near New York, and I do have wonderful friends in Florida, I miss being able to stroll down the street or hop on the subway to hang with them. I’m hoping many of them will come to Florida to visit, and making plans to see my Florida friends should also help ease that sting.

– Because I’ve spent most of my adult life living in New York, I’m used to heading underground, jumping on the subway, and magically emerging exactly where I want to be, or taking my marathon walks all over Manhattan. Here, I have to learn how to get around by car and I have a fairly underdeveloped sense of direction. Thank goodness for GPS!

The in-between
– We drive everywhere. I love public transportation, though once I get my own car, find a neighborhood that has some walkability (where I’m hoping to buy a house or condo of my own for the first time!), and get my patterns down, I think I’ll find a way to make this work for me. I am looking forward to taking my first ride on the Sunrail, the very beginnings of Central Florida’s public transportation system. It’s incredibly limited but I’m hoping in time that it will expand.

– Having never lived with kids before, I’m still getting used to the early school day routine. I have had to shift my schedule as we’re up really early (5:30am). However, this is also a time change I’ve been wanting to make. I like to be up early and in bed early so I’m looking forward to this adjustment in my sleep rhythms.

Change of any kind is always challenging and even welcome change takes some getting used to. I’ll be sure to update you as I navigate through this latest life shift.

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About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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So insanely honored to be part of the #wwatcreativityloop2 created by my inspiring friend and college roommate @writerswritingalonetogether. Fierce, fabulous, and talented, I can't wait to see what we create together. These pics are the package I received in the mail. Then I used this gorgeous poem as inspiration to create a work of my own to send on to the next person on the list. In these trying times, our imaginations and the ability to express ourselves in creative work keeps hope alive.

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