I’ve got some big news. I’m leaving Dallas at the end of December.
(pause, breathing in, breathing out)
At Dance Camp Northwest in mid-August under the eclipsed sun, I got a message. And that message said, it’s time to let go of the pain of your past and be Love now.
Something very woo woo and actually not all that revolutionary-sounding after the fact.
But in the moment, I remember weeping spontaneously, clutching onto the new bearded friend sitting next to me on the woven blanket, and feeling clear that something had changed.
On Christmas Day, exactly 4 years to the day that I landed in Dallas, I will be driving my belongings to a small, wooded town on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state called Port Townsend, next door to where I had my dance camp awakening.
I assure you, I’m just as surprised as some of you have been to hear this news.
I never expected to leave Dallas. I joined my family here on Christmas 2013 in order to knit myself back into the Tartaro tribe after 15 years away traveling the world.
And I’ve done that.
I feel closer than I’ve ever felt to my sister, my two brothers and their 9 progeny. Just this past weekend I took a shift watching my 5 month old nephew, Valentino, including waking up with him at 3:30am to feed him. Sitting in the nursery while he nodded off, in the still of still night, I felt a great calm. For a woman without babies of her own, I’ve gotten to be deeply intimate with little ones these last four years!
And those connections I will bring with me.
What I leave behind is the belief that because of my childhood history of loss and trauma, I owe something to someone (eg I need to be here for my siblings, nooo, they love me and are fine without me, stunning wake up call). Dallas is a place I have deeply dedicated myself to serving. That has been at times a wildly unforgiving, painful teacher. I’ve learned a great deal. And I’m proud of the legacy I’ve left of communities of authentic relaters, dancers and intimates supporting one another. Deeply proud.
I’ve also found soul friends here. You know who you are. Along with my nieces, nephew and siblings, I take you with me. Forever Friends I call you. I fully expect visits.
I head to a part of the country where I will be able to spread my wings wider, as a leader, author, teacher, coach, dancer and woman. With other winged creatures I have had the great fortune of meeting through my dance camp community.
This talk by Tracee Ellis Ross distills for me the challenge of being a 41 year old woman who is not married and does not have kids and who is daring to say, “My life is mine”. I get chills hearing that. I’m trying that on and it feels exhilarating.
But my news is not over yet.
You likely have noticed the photo of the bearded man with this post. Yes, I won’t be alone. I met him at dance camp. We fell in love under the eclipsed sky (yes, really). And since that week we have been riding a spaceship of love and unlikely commitment. He will be driving alongside me on Christmas Day.
So, Dallas, I bid you my adieu. Over the next six weeks I will be busy sharing what I continue to learn about connection, courage, and the spiritual work of relationship. On my December calendar are the highlights of my upcoming events. I hope I see you before I leave.
Dallas will always be my home. ❤