Project Description

Barbara Santarelli, RN, BS, HCA, has been an employed nurse for more than four decades and an elementary school nurse for the past twenty-five years. She’s authored articles about sex education for teens, and credits her long and varied nursing career to her cryptic sense of humor and persistent optimism. Twice married (currently to husband Nick), Santarelli is a mother, grandmother, avid reader, and cyclist who considers Stella, her nine-pound Dachsund, and Celeste, her road bike, to be members of her extended family.

about EVERYTHING I NEVER WANTED

Life in a middle-class Italian American-Catholic neighborhood in the 1950s Bronx was not supposed to include divorce, Judaism, classical music, political discourse, or poverty in the social construct. So, in the absence of friends, young Barbara takes comfort in the minutiae, the small details available to her in her everyday life that seem to be overlooked by others. But that appreciation for the inanimate world leads her on a path to the acquisition of objects and a quest for identity that dominates her choices—from her marriage and family life to her constant striving for more and more.

Barbara’s chosen nursing career offers validation and some affirmation, but falls short of providing her what’s most elusive—self–esteem—until finally, at age fifty, she abruptly abandons her conventional role of mother, wife, nurse, and neighbor to attempt a three-hundred-mile bike ride from Boston to New York. Poorly prepared, she takes only what she needs to flee her life, and a fierce determination that finally allows her to discover her place in the world—and to find true belonging.