Jan. 19th, 2007

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Okay, so in other news, I got hired on as a corporate phone pimp in an office building with a real live paycheck and everything. My car is still in disarray, I'm sleeping in a spare room on an air mattress with a back ache and my funds are very very rapidly dwindling to the point where I'm not sure I'm going to get through basic survival needs untill my first paycheck gets here. I also need to fix the car ASAP because I'm not sure how much longer it's going to last if I don't and a car is VERY IMPORTANT when it comes to working in Los Angeles. The folks I'm rooming with are being very patient with me, but I'm sure the sooner I can afford my own pad, the better. I've made a firm commitment to myself to pull myself up and out of the muck and start living the life I've always dreamed of, because I have no reason not to, and I'm not sure why I haven't done this sooner. So if anyone would like to help me break on through to the other side, I'm not too proud to accept any assistance at this time.

I never thought I'd do that, but hell... Can't hurt to ask right?

And yes.

I am relocating.

The thought of going back to Seattle to live permanently brings up a knot of angst in my gut so twisted and brutal I can't even begin to describe it. This has been a very very tough decision to mull over. Some of the very best people on earth that I love the very most are in the Seattle area. My lovers, my friends, my family, my son. But right now I think I'm suffering from some sort of Post Seattle Stress Disorder. The seasonal depression. The aching arthritis every time it rains. The allergy to mold. The wet. The cold. The attitudes. The short short summers. The painful memories tripping me up on every street corner. That constant feeling of going nowhere. No inspiration. Suppressed dreams. Bad fashion.

But my travels and experiences in the last six months have opened a window on the rest of the world. A beacon of light telling me there IS A WAY OUT. And it doesn't have to mean having to settle with chronic pain, both physical and psychological or feeling trapped or feeling the need to be self-destructive because you don't see an end to the cycle. It's about listening to your heart. Letting go of guilt. Taking care of you.

It's about allowing yourself to cry when you're lonely and miss your friends. Willing yourself to walk away from what's good in your life, because you know that what's bad will eventually destroy it. It's about daring to be lonely. Daring to be scared. Daring to pick a direction and stick to it. Knowing you can go back and visit, but knowing you'll no longer be chained there. Breaking free. It's about finally having faith in your own abilities. Finally loving yourself enough to want to give yourself the best life possible. You've had enough of character building and tragic storytelling. You've stopped caring about whether or not you're intriguing enough or interesting enough. Whether life is exiting enough. All I want now is to be confident, healthy, and secure. I want to learn about things that interest me. I want solid stable relationships. Healthy balanced partnerships. Regular dynamic sexual expression between two interested and communicative parties. Cars under warranty. Clean credit. A warm and gorgeous home. Regular exercise. Healthy body. Healthy mind. Regular sleep. A comfortable bed. A job that can pay for it all that I don't have to take home with me. My dog, so happy to see me when I get there. Health insurance. Acupuncture. Chiropractic. Regular massage. Medical. Dental. Vision. Hobbies that I love. People that I love. A life that I love.

And I simply must learn how to cook.

For the first time in my life, I can see this all. I can feel it possible. Maybe it's the sunshine that I feel I haven't seen in ages. Maybe it's all the things that happened in my life on my way to this point. Maybe it's a culmination of all the crap and pain and self-inflicted misery that got heaped on so hard I finally broke down, and screamed aloud, "NO MORE!" And finally meant it. And no, I know that I can never really truly escape the inevitable cycles of life. There will be times of loss. And times of illness. Times of pain and times of sadness. These times will come to all of us. And there is no way to avoid it. But we don't have to let this stop us from trying our best and embracing and loving and enjoying the good stuff. And we certainly don't have to encourage misery upon ourselves. Or feel that there is any sainthood in suffering. Or romance in tragedy. Because there isn't any. Just years of martyrdom stacking up upon themselves as you lose more and more of a life that slips away faster than you expect it. And what cause are you really dying for anyway? You think you're Mother Teresa? Joan of Arc? Jesus? I know I'm not. I am inconsequential to the survival of the free world. My life means absolutely nothing to billions and billions of people I will never meet. My life only means something to me and the people I know and love who know and love me in return whose lives mean something to me, but also mean absolutely nothing to billions and billions of people. And to anyone who just happend to start reading this, billions and billions of people don't give a shit about you either. But before anyone finds that thought too depressing, take a good honest look and realize that the feeling is probably mutual. There are billions and billions of people I couldn't even begin to care about, even if I really wanted to. But I'm off on a tangent, and I digress, the point being and the conclusion I've come to is...

Unless you really think that your self-imposed suffering is going to help anyone, and I'm willing to bet that at least 99 times out of a hundred it won't... Then why do it? Sacrificing who you are, and what you want to be because you think you should for whatever reason has got to be bullshit. If chasing after what you want doesn't physically hurt anyone, and billions and billions of humans seriously could care less, then what the hell have I been waiting for? I'm not trapped. I've never been trapped. I've thought I was. I've thought that there was no way out, no escape, no reason to live. But when I was suicidal and dangerously close to voluntarily cutting a short life short, I would always think.... "I just wish things were different." And it wasn't even that I lacked the courage to change, I just couldn't see how. I think now, the answer to saving yourself from ending your own life either in a momentary flash of suicide, or a slow process of knowingly murdering your own soul, is to do something drastic. Erratic. Unexpected. "Not like you." When the moment of self-knowledge crystalizes that you are willing end your own life because the one you are living is for whatever reason somehow unbearable, you now have nothing to lose. And everything to win. I was willing to die for my shitty little life that makes no difference to billions and billions of people because I thought I couldn't have a different one. I thought I was trapped.

But a voice inside of me screamed, "NO." And I stopped for a second, not quite knowing where it came from. And now that it had my attention it said, "If you want to live, get in your car and drive. South. Now. Before you change your mind. Why? Because you always wanted to..." When you're already contemplating suicide, no reason to worry about practicality, so instead of dying, I made a snap decision to Live.

And that's what brought me here.

And I knew the car was fucked up when I got in it. I knew it might not be safe to drive back home. And I could have stayed here and fixed it up instead of flying home, but I knew I wanted a good goddamned excuse to come back. I never really could picture driving it back.

And that was my first glimpse. That life was bigger than I thought it was. And I wasn't the same when I came home. And life saw fit to rock my world in so many ways in the six months after my return. Ecstatic joy. Extreme anger. Sudden surrender. Bitter sadness. Raucous laughter. Love.

Deep breaths and detachment. Remember what you learned on the road. If you're not happy, don't be there. If you can stop your own pain, do it. Only one life. Only one you. And through a series of twists, turns, and an email saying "you have to get the car out of the driveway". When I had to choose between maintaining a situation that was dragging me down, despite the efforts of myself and the help of supportive friends to rise above it, and getting up and out and finally taking that trip to New York where I finally got to meet myself face to face, and saving the car that saved me, I followed my heart. All the way to this air mattress in Long Beach, and a 16 year old station wagon. I'm lonely. I'm scared. I can't sleep and my back is killing me. But I don't feel trapped. I see life. I see me. Finding a niche. Carving out a warm safe space that I'll never have to worry about losing. Examining what worked and what didn't and acting accordingly.

Granted, I didn't think I'd be doing this here. Los Angeles is a weird, strange, spread out, harsh, and sometimes lonely place to be. With extremes of poverty and wealth just blocks away from each other. Everyone for themselves. It's like the Wild Wild West minus the honor code. You have to look hard to find the heartbeat of L.A. But it's there. With a little something for everyone. As long as you stand up and be assertive and say, "That's what I want" and stick to it. You can't waffle here. You can't be passive. You can't roll over and let life decide for you, or you're screwed. And no one's going to hold your hand here. You never know who's telling the truth. You just have to trust your instincts and decide. Find the diamonds in the rough. The beauty in the beast. A little slice of heaven in a crazy fucking world. It's here, I can smell it. And the sun shines down warming my face, and hands me a promise of hope. Here's your clean slate. You now have permission to follow your bliss.


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August 2010

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