Perk #22 – Laughter is the Best Medicine

I don’t really like to go in order. If I told you what the #1 perk of being a gypsy was, why would you read the rest?

Right?

Here is a fun fact about me….I cannot sit still to save my life. When I was a kid, my report cards always looked something like this:

“Jessica is doing very well in school, she does her homework, gets along great with her peers and does well on her tests, but she needs to learn how to stay in her seat and not talk during class.

Mrs Ciapetta in third grade wrote in the special comments section:

“A busy bee is a happy bee- as long as Jessica’s mind is occupied- she is the perfect student.”

See, here is the thing, my mother knew from a young age that I had a lot of energy, but she refused to have me tested for ADD by a professional. She knew that once I was labeled I would be treated differently by teachers and peers, and she also didn’t want me on medicine. Can you imagine that?? A child NOT on medication. Gosh, the parents of today must be gasping in horror.

“But what did they do with you?”

“How did they get you to be quiet, and sit still?”

“How did they take you to a restaurant without an iPad?!”

Now my parents were a little unconventional, but here’s what they did….

I was kept active. I PLAYED OUTSIDE … I wasn’t allowed to spend hours upon hours in the house watching TV or playing video games. I was on numerous sports teams. Had actual chores.

Oh and get this.. I was actually punished when I did something wrong….

I was encouraged to use my imagination, I was given endless “projects.” Things like cooking dinner, building blocks, arts and crafts, helping Dad in the garden.

What was my point? Oh yeah…my ADD.

You know what’s amazing about this gypsy life that I have adopted? I never have the same day…ever.My constant problems of getting bored easily and hating routines- instantly fixed when I put on the long skirt and the big hoops. (Okay, I’ll be honest, I always wore long skirts and big hoops—but now, they have more meaning.) In the beginning of my gypsy adventure, packing bags for what could be anywhere from 2 days to 7 days at a time was hard. I would have barely enough room in my car for myself, not to mention having to carry all those bags from parking spots that were usually several blocks away (depending on who I was staying with). And then going up in elevators (which I usually couldn’t fit in with anyone else but a small child).Or walking up stairs.Or down long icy driveways.

It was comical to say the least. But, by now I have learned that two pairs of leggings, some basic tanks, two or three solid-colored sweaters, and two pairs of shoes can last me a whole week if I plan right. Oddly enough, my gym clothes bag is usually bigger than my normal clothes bag.

(Can you say gym rat?)

I stay with a different family member or friend every week, eat different food, do whatever their normal routines are (trivia Tuesday at the local bar, watching their weekly shows, or even grocery shopping), and then the next week—I’m off! To a whole different life, a whole different routine, a new exciting adventure.

Sure, I haven’t slept in the same bed for longer than three consecutive nights in a row for more than eight months. And yea, maybe my car serves as a type of “choose your own adventure closet.” Sometimes, I have no plans at all for the night that follows, and I kind of land wherever I can- or make the trek back home.

But, you know what makes that all okay?

I have gotten closer to some members in my family that I never would have if I lived on my own in the same place. Cousins, aunts, and uncles that I would see maybe once a month for family occasions (okay, maybe twice a month—we’re a close family) I am now seeing twice a week instead. Learning more about who they all are on a personal daily level, making memories—stories to tell when we grow older. Sharing the kind of deep-in-your-soul laughter that can only be shared with people who love you unconditionally, no matter what you do, what you look like at the moment, and no matter how many times you have fallen. The kind of laughter you can only have when you are not worried about what they think of you, or how loud you snort, or if they are going to judge you because your hair is a mess. The kind of laughter that makes anything and everything just a little bit better. Laughter that sticks to the heart, that pops in your head at the most random moments and makes you smile.

Taking this Gypsy Soul of mine just a little bit higher into the clouds.

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A Gypsy Is Born


So, I have toyed with some blogging here and there throughout my 27 years. I have often been told that the things that happen to me on a daily basis need to be written about because “they’d make a good sitcom.” But, after blogging for a couple of months I started to become a little too aware of what a tornado I really was, and decided to stop writing out of sheer self pity.

Recently however, my adventures have become too much fun not to write about so I have decided it was time to start again. Let me start by telling you a little bit about me and where my Gypsy adventures began.

My name is Jessica and I  am a Brooklyn girl, born and raised in a large and sometimes freakishly close Italian/British family (trust me knowing I am part British will make sense in later blogs).

I have a younger sister who is by all meanings of the word- my hero.

Two parents who have given me everything humanly possible , without actually taking off their own limbs.

I’ve got a million aunts, uncles and cousins, and “cousins” who are friends of the family- but we are Italian, so everyone is family. And, a circle of friends that I can honestly say,  are some of the best people you could ever have the honor of meeting.

So, you may ask yourself- what’s with the gypsy stuff? Welp, it goes like this…. A little less than a year ago, my parents were offered a substantial amount of money if we moved out of our home, which happens to be smack in the middle of an up-and-coming Jewish neighborhood. While my parents had been looking to sell our house eventually and move to our summer home in Connecticut, the 2 month deadline to up and leave the house I grew up in was a bit of a whirlwind. I will save you the long story and sum it up briefly for you in a short timeline.

It went something like this:

Denial

Alcohol

Ignoring of the boxes that were frantically being packed by my parents

Fighting about nonsense that had nothing to do with moving, but everything to do with moving.

Apartment hunting with my BF at the time.

More Denial.

Parents moving out so my mother could start new job she found in CT.

Total loss of control by me and my sister in having the house to ourselves.

Brief moments of sadness as the reality crept in.

Breaking up with my BF at the time.

Lots of partying.

and then…

Me and 4 of my closest girlfriends packing up my entire life in 121 sad brown boxes all in a small window of 48 hours. Because, I had to be out by Monday and all of my denial did not change the fact that- we were moving,

Now, my whole life is here in New York: My job, my friends, my gym, my nail salon, etc. And CT, while it is only an hour and a half away, is just not my cup of tea. “So why don’t you just get a place Jess?” Yea well that’s the end goal, but right now there are a couple of factors in my life stopping me from doing that.

1- Money- living in NY is freakin expensive. I mean yes I could swing the rent, but it would be tight.  Which leads us to problem #2

2- I love to travel. I love to see things near or far, weekend trips, 4 day escapes, 2 week excursions. If i got a place, my traveling would be severely affected.

3- I am not the biggest fan of the thought of living alone. I watch way too many Law and Order and CSI NY episodes. I don’t like the idea of having no one to notice that i didn’t make it home that night, or to give me the Heimlich when I am choking on my dinner, or to call the ambulance when I fall in the shower (it happens more than I like to admit).

4- I am NEVER home, even when I lived in Brooklyn. I am a busy body, always out, always having 4 jobs, always doing something. I feel no need to pay over a grand a month for somewhere to store my things. I can rent a locker for half that.

Thus, a Gypsy was born

 

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