A classic in the oral tradition, my grandmother Mary Miksza would recount The Fear. She stood in line at Ellis Island to be examined to verify her good health. If she didn't pass muster it would be back to nowhere economically in Poland. That saga, recounted for each new grandchild, had the happy ending: There we all were having the good fortune of living in the three-story walk-up cold-water roach-infested tenement in Jersey City. Granny never learned to write, which was why she couldn't become a citizen and the saga became longer on the detail side.
Ironically, her grandchild did become a professional writer and a 21st century immigrant. Tomorrow I do it by car, from the Northeast where my immigrant family made a life to the Southwest. There executive communications assignments are more plentiful for a Baby Boomer.
For much of speechwriting, the Manhattan market wants Millennials. Ghostwriting is still wide open to us but there has been fee deflation. That means paying the big bucks to be in proximity to New York Metro simply isn't worth it. Not any more.
Like granny, I never anticipated leaving everything I knew. But life intruded. I hunted along the Northeast Corridor to bunk cheaper than what I am now paying. Shock: It turned out my rent represented a good deal. And, like her, I am scared. This is no adventure. It is necessity. Already, since I have been marketing in the Southwest, more assignments have come in than from December through March from the Northeast. My apartment in Tucson, Arizona costs about half my current rent. I am waiting for a quote on auto insurance.
Unlike most major decisions I have made, this one has not been filled with second guessing. It was a must-do. That, of course, takes any fun out of it. School books praise immigrants. They should. We endure much.