Six weeks ago, I came to LA with a prayer; if this is the right move for me, please let it be obvious. And if it isn’t, please let that be obvious too. I didn’t know what I expected to happen once I arrived, but as a dear friend put it “it’s not a big deal, you’re just going to eat and sleep and work and drive and breathe and laugh somewhere else for a while.” But in some way it felt like a huge deal. I had spent months of my life, years if you added them all up, in LA previously, but somehow I was always the passive passenger, along for the ride, but never investing or committing too much. This time it felt deliberate and decisive.
It has only been seven months since I was driving down the 110 from Pasadena towards the transformational training workshop I was taking in a hotel ballroom near LAX, that I had the sudden flash that I should and would move back to LA. As the proverbial lightening bolt tends to do, I knew that my comfortable but stagnant life was not serving me and that in order to become the woman I envisioned, things had to change. One week earlier I had thought of my low overhead, inexpensive city, beautiful home, and plateaued career as assets and now all I saw was an under stimulating comfort zone.
And then November happened. How to even sum up the insanity that was November 2016? Well, you know, you were there! I arrived just in time to attend Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, watch the Cubs win the World Series, and to then witness America go to hell in a hand basket and take the the planet with her. And that was just the first week. “What am I doing?” I wondered, as I jostled duffle bags between two different housesitting gigs. It felt like the world and I were spinning and I wasn’t sure which way was up and which was down.
In the midst of the crazy, I came back to my prayer. Please help the Yeses to be clear. And please help the Noes to be even clearer. And LA just kept being one, big yes. I loved the idea of living in something that I had previously been unaware of, a sanctuary city. I saw an ad for an apartment on craigslist and, though I’d been planning on waiting another month to decide if I was going to sign a lease or not, I went to look at it. It was a yes. My friend invited me to a dance class at the exact kind of studio I’ve spent the past couple of years searching for in Albuquerque. I had as much film work as I wanted, if I wanted it. I had dinner with different friends frequently. I drove north for an improv workshop at the Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, remembered how much I love improv, and signed up for a longer class in LA, starting in January. I enrolled in a nonfiction writing class. And just like that, the life I had started to envision in April, began to take shape.
That isn’t to say my ego hasn’t done its fair share of fear based kicking and screaming over the past month. We’re 37, why are we starting over? Our house is so much nicer than this apartment, why did we sign a lease? What if we never figure it out and just keep starting over? Oh great, now we are one of a bajillion people living in a huge, smoggy metropolis far from our family and green chile. Why can’t we just be happy with our job, our house, and our routine and keep it all the same, it is so comfortable. At which point I have to kindly tell myself to shut up.
Once I am able to quiet the fearful chatter, my gut reassures me that it knows what it’s doing and to keep going, not having to know where, but trusting that it will be awesome. It already is.
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