Reinventing the wheel

Recently I've become fascinated by stories of personal reinvention, by people who make a clean (usually messy) break with their previous life and dare to make a new one, out of will or out of necessity. I've always had a thing for travel writing, especially books and essays about expats finding their way through cultural and language barriers. Of course that's partly due to my longing to BE one of those expats, but I think those stories also fall into the other category, too, of people making a fresh start, wherever they are. Did you read this article in the Times Sunday magazine? You should—it's beautiful, heartfelt writing. It's not a travel essay, but I think it would fit very well alongside Under the Tuscan Sun or Eat, Pray, Love.

As adults, we have so few opportunities for real reinvention. There's nothing like that first day of college, where absolutely nobody knows you, and you make a choice: who am I going to be here? I'm always feeling like it's the first day of school when I start each new job, but it never is, not really. Even in a new company, I always know somebody I'm working with, and the job is mostly the same wherever I do it.

A couple weeks ago I was out with My Gay Husband, and he asked me what I would do if I didn't work in opera. My answer: I would write. But as soon as the words came out of my mouth I was attaching qualifiers—I don't know if I could make a living, it's a solitary life that I might not enjoy, I don't know if I could be a great writer or if I have anything to say, I don't know what I would write about, etc. We moved on to talking about other things, but I haven't been able to get the conversation out of my mind.

The move to Vienna is causing something of a dilemma for me, because I am SO excited to move to and live in another country with CameraMan, and for the first year I'm not really going to be able to, not completely, because of the amount of work I have in the States. Work is great, and I'm so fortunate to have it, but the reality of next year is that I'll be away working September-January and February-April. There was a large part of me that wanted to turn down all the work and just go to be with CM, but all of the jobs next year are projects I really want to do for one reason or another, so of course I've taken them and I know that was the right decision. But I'm thinking about the following year, and I want it to look different.

I've been making a big effort to ask for what I want in my personal life and in my career, so after much soul-searching I am putting this out into the Universe—here's what I want:

I want to write about my experiences living in Vienna and about my travels around Europe. I want someone to pay me to do that. I would like to earn enough writing to allow me to take less assisting work (although not stop altogether) and be in Vienna on a more full-time basis. Not forever, but for a while.

I am a generally happy person, with an incredible boyfriend, a career that I love that's going very well, a supportive loving family of relatives and friends, and lots of excitement coming up in the future. But I still could use some reinvention.

What do you think, Universe?


  1. I hope the universe provides some answer to your request! You definitely have a talent and knack for it.

  2. YES! I will buy that book (which will become a series of books and then a Hollywood Blockbuster). You are a wonderful writer and I have said for a long time that this is one of my favorite blogs for that reason. This reminds me a little of when The Bloggess quit her job to be a full time writer.
    When that passion is there you just have to follow it.

  3. Have camera, will travel. You still have that moustache? You could be an opera critic using a false name...

  4. Go ahead! Recreate yourself! The talented Louisa will show up no matter what or where! And that's the beauty of who you are.....
    I want a copy of that book!

  5. I say go for it! I'll figure out the details later.

  6. If you aren't familiar with this blog, please take a look. I think you would enjoy it on many levels-and read some of the older posts for her story. All best to you.

  7. Thanks for the support! I'm so glad you're all here.

    I DO read The Wednesday Chef. I have a total blog crush on her, actually. And not just because we have the same first name. :)


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