History in the Making
by Tracy Kaler
In 2010, as I lounged on the deck of a quaint cottage on the Long Island Sound
with my MacBook in front of me, a simple click on the mouse changed my future. I
was happily married, had a successful career, and I was finally living my dream
inManhattan. I should have been satisfied, but there was a missing piece.
I’d planned to use some of the downtime during this vacation to write, which I
hadn’t done in a while. Like everyone, I’d gotten busy and pushed my favorite hobby to
the back burner of my life.
This was my first trip of any length to the Eastern End of Long Island. I’d read
and been told about theHamptons, but knew nothing about theNorth Fork. Once I
arrived, I was immediately smitten. The beauty and solitude of this special place inspired
me on that June day in Peconic. I began a blog, and without much thought, entitled it
“Tracy’s New York Life.” I started with one piece that I’d written several years earlier.
After I hit publish for the first time, I wondered what would happen. Would anyone
read it? Would I publish again? I forgot about the blog and didn’t go back until
almost one year later.
Long before blogs existed, writing wasn’t in my cards and I had a one-track
mind. As a young aspiring ballerina, I planned to move toNew York City
following my senior year in high school, audition and hopefully land a job
dancing professionally. As much as I hated schoolwork and had no desire to
continue past 12th grade, I enjoyed writing essays, term papers, and most any
assignment part of my AP English syllabus. It’s unbelievable that I’d never considered
writing for a career until more than twenty years later.
My love affair withNew Yorkbegan in the late 1970s when I made a trip for the first time
to attend a dance convention. I knew that I’d live here eventually. I spent additional time
throughout my teen years inManhattanas a ballet student, but things never quite fell into
place for me. I struggled. I cried every time I left the city, always counting the days until
the next trip. I knew that it was indeed my destiny, and I longed for that destiny to begin
as soon as possible. I’ve always wondered what my life would’ve been like had I moved
toNew Yorkin the 1980s. I often still wonder. But in this great journey called life, timing
is everything. In 1984, it wasn’t on my side. It wasn’t my moment.
A batch of good karma finally brought me toNew Yorkas a resident in 2007, at the age
of forty. After living for more than a decade inAtlanta, it couldn’t have been a better time.
Although I’d dreamt of being inManhattansince a young age, now I was really ready.
Ready to dive in, forget the familiar, and build a future inNew York. At last, it was my
moment. I was finally living the life I’d imagined, but the over-achiever in me still
wasn’t challenged. I had a big job and was earning real money. Although I could pay
my bills, I wasn’t fulfilled. I was playing a part that wasn’t me, much like an actor
attempting to be a waiter. Somewhere buried deep inside, a writer was dying to be read.
Not long after my move, I began drafting weekly updates about my life inNew Yorkand
emailing each to family and friends. Even though I received lots of positive feedback,
becoming a writer was far in the back of my mind at that time. It took several more years
until fate stepped in.
In 2011, frustrated with my day job at the time, I found my way back to the blog. The
collection of stories that I’d drafted during my first year of life inNew York, and that blog I