On January 19th, I experienced a period of pure bliss, self-love and peace while being cradled in a perfectly hot, candlelit, lavender bath. Bon Iver sang from the Jambox, holy basil tea sat on the edge of the tub. I laid there, floating, meditating, tears of gratitude falling down my face. You see, this is something I have never before felt.
During the first three weeks of 2015, I had various experiences highly symbolic of a rebirth, some glaringly so: The warm bathtub holding me safely like a womb; A sudden inclination to practice yoga in my bedroom with restorative poses to help open my guarded heart…an extended child’s pose and vinyasa into warrior 2 just as strong as I remember; Picking up my guitar again and singing, loudly. I felt as though I was finally recalling what I have accomplished, clearly seeing what I desire for my future, feeling with great confidence what I am capable of doing. I am living completely in the present – it is uneasy and uncomfortable. But I have never felt so powerful and optimistic in my life.
It’s time to catch up:
I wrote a long, thoughtful “catch-up” blogpost a couple weeks ago, and it was lost somehow in the new completely useless wp beep beep boop editor. Between the frustration of losing so much work, stress of leaving my San Diego apartment and ferociously searching for a job and apartment in LA (hold on, I’m getting to that), I didn’t have it in me to write it over again. I took it as a sign that it simply was not yet time to share.
But tonight I found myself sending some pretty hefty texts to friends. Combine this with insomnia and a lack of wifi, I take this as a sign that it is time to put my energy back into writing.
I returned to Facebook last week – after a three month hiatus – with a 1000+ word status explaining my desire to be authentic on social media and describing my two year struggle with debilitating depression, toxic relationships, stress related health issues, suicidal thoughts, and other demons. The public response was overwhelmingly supportive, and the deeply personal messages I received privately (some from virtual strangers) were even more touching. We, as human beings, need to talk more openly about important human things. We all suffer and we all want to be happy. You do not need anyone’s permission to reveal your shortcomings and struggles. We are all flawed.
Before announcing my return, I did a bit of housekeeping…deleting some people who do not belong in my friend list anymore, and unblocking every single person who I have cut ties with, with the exception of those who I have actually felt threatened by. There were some mean-spirited people I encountered in San Diego. People who took advantage, gossiped, bullied and were generally negative. I went through different phases while in my depression; one of those was eliminating these types of people. At this point, though, I do not want any blockages in my life. My perspective has changed. I can do my best to emanate positivity, honesty and love…and only hope that it is felt by those who view my pages, for whatever reason they are visiting.
Back to right now. Los Angeles is my home, after many years of manifestation, and so much has changed in very little time. I feel alive, motivated and energized! And, while I still have every intention of one day exploring different cultures, cities, states and countries via helpX, my bigger picture and priorities have shifted back into the gear I was in when I left New York City, and this is a very, very good thing.
The last eleven days have been spent on a couch in Burbank, a couch in North Hollywood and now a couch in Lincoln Heights, as I live out of a poorly packed suitcase, and continue hunting for a position that I will be happy with; one that will set me back on the track of expressing myself and using my brain the way it deserves to be used. Before I left San Diego, I swore to Sam (well, out loud…to myself) that I would not be begging anyone for a job, merely to be employed. Another first: I know what I am worth and what I desire for my career.
This decision quickly propelled me into a trajectory of taking steps toward regaining my independence. Stability and momentum is key. Stagnancy completely smothers my spirit. I now seek to be purposefully creative, work with others and rediscover the necessary structure that allows me to thrive again. I can not wait!
The Universe has had other plans for me, it seems. Ones which do not include too much stability. I am doing my best to work around this and learn my lessons while continuing to follow my path. I have learned to let go and trust the process.
Let me back-up again. In 2010, after I called off an engagement following a five year relationship, I promised myself I would never, ever…ever force anything. Ever again. This is a much more romantic than practical idea. I am no Buddha, as hard as I try. I get frustrated, fearful, impatient and hurt. My thoughts can be obsessive, self-doubt breeds and I begin to consider sacrificing happiness for instant security. Expectations and disappointments are created subconsciously, even when I practice equanimity. But I am doing my best.
So, while I sit here reminding myself that I am always exactly where I am supposed to be, exactly when I am supposed to be there, it is really hard. It is really hard to feel safe and trusting when I have not had a consistent place to live since May of last year. That is when I left my peaceful studio in Bankers Hill. It was the last place that felt like a home base, my haven. I was ignorant to the fact that mold was making me sick, but at least I had a place for retreat, to cook, and it was completely my own. A place I was not hesitant to unpack my toiletry bag, because I knew I would be there for more than a few days.
It is almost 3am. I have slept in so many places in the past eight months, I sometimes don’t even know what city I am in, and my circadian rhythm is getting wonky.
Today I moved in with Tiana, a temporary roommate. On the way over here, which entailed taking the 134 to the 2 to the 5 to the 110 and seemed like a couple too many freeways, I started getting very upset and frustrated. I began to question my decisions and was sure I would not be moving into this apartment. Resistance was my reaction to a less than ideal situation. The neighborhood, while up and coming, is not desirable for me in any way: culture, access to dietary necessities, distance from friends and potential work. The room is small and awkward, there’s no closet, oven or (gasp!) bathtub. These are all things I “need.” I thought she was asking too much for rent considering all of this, and I furrowed my brow. There are two cats whose cuteness is unfortunately not an antidote for my sneezing. But, I pulled up to the house, met Tiana curbside and immediately loved her, walked in to the zen space, expressed and negotiated my needs, and wrote her a check ten minutes later.
The reason I decided so quickly to move in for the month is because of Tiana. She is a special human. From the moment we met in person, we began talking like old friends. I believe we were meant to be together for this one month. Having a temporary roommate is entirely outside of either of our plans (and comfort zones), but we are on a similar life and career path. Having each other’s company and support will be powerful during this interim.
THIS IS TEMPORARY and the discomfort needs to be embraced. On the other side of this, I will be stronger, more patient and resilient. This transition is my biggest lesson in impermanence. The Universe has been shoving this in my face intensely all year and it’s time I paid it attention.
I’ll leave you with this amazing quote. And so much love from me.
“Do not worry about how you will make it all work. Just focus on how you feel and go towards those things that bring forth joy. When you are living in your joy, the universe is living joyfully through you. When you are living a life of fear, the universe is dying and becoming smaller. Remember you are a child of the universe and everything the universe provides is abundant. The sun shines rays of joy, the bird sings a song of joy, the tree joyfully grows to provide shade and keep the air clean. Everything has a purpose and when we are living in our joyful purpose we will be supported because the universe loves joy. It takes a little bit of time to go from fear to joy, but if you stay steady and keep the course, you will at last come to see that your joy can be your reality. Trust in promise of joy, it is your birthright.”
my new, temporary home