Love is many things, none of them logical..
"I suppose you think you're brave don't you?"
"..Only compared to some" -The Princess Bride
Is it just me or when you feel mild turbulence on a plane do you all of a sudden start thinking irrational thoughts about the last thing you said to your mom or who you'd call if you only had time to call one person before the plane crashed.. Then all of a sudden you flash back to other memories you wouldn't in a million years revisit had you not hit a small patch of rough air? Memories are weird like that. I picture them as little rooms in my brain.. bright white rooms with miniature people or things dancing around in them.. and I've realized over the past couple of years that the less I try to pick the locks, the better off everyone will be. I think the ones that need to be opened will do so on their own.. in their own time.
Here I am. It's late September. It's been over 3 years since I wrote a blog and I'm finally feeling like it's time to reflect. I had been seriously avoiding for a while the analysis of the years since I left New York City. I went through a lot. I lost a lot. I hit an insanely dark rock bottom and had to climb my way out of it. Mind you, I was kicking and screaming the whole time, because it seems much easier sometimes to lay at the bottom of a dark hole and feel sorry for yourself than to actually put in the work to change your life.. but the work is so worth it. Happiness is fucking awesome. I'm finally in a headspace where I can bathe in the light that I found at the end of that crazy, winding, confusing, exhilarating, painful and euphoric tunnel…
'We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.'
Before I moved to California I was on the run for a long time. From what? I'm not entirely sure. Maybe myself? Maybe the person I appeared to be that wasn't my true self? I think sometimes people are on the run for so long that they forget what they're running from…And realistically whatever it was they probably outran a while back but didn't stop to turn around and realize they were safe. I sure as Hell have nothing to run from other than any fear in my own head.. but I can't outrun myself..so I have learned (and continue to learn) lessons daily in dealing with those fears head on. All I've got to lose by taking chances are a healthy ego and an unbroken heart… both of which mend in time. But in the same breath there's something to be said about running, escaping, traveling. Maybe you're supposed to lose yourself along the way to have a birds eye view of what it is you're supposed to be doing. Sometimes a bit of wandering can do you a great deal of good. Sometimes you have to run from things that feel wrong in order to find what feels right. It's important to remember that what you're running from isn't as important as what you find when you get far enough away to see clearly.. and breathe again.
For years I had been giving people the same advice.. "Why don't you just go to LA if thats what you want? Pack up your shit and move out there." But I never actually had the (metaphorical) balls to do it myself. There was always an excuse for me to stay in a certain city; whatever band I was singing in at the time, a boyfriend, a job..etc. When I no longer had any of those things to hide behind, I came to the conclusion that if I give advice but don't practice it, I can't be certain that it was actually good advice. What experience was I speaking from? I don't enjoy feeling that my words lack substance. So, for this reason only (and maybe the 40 degree increase in temperature) I did just that; packed up all my shit and left town. Drove across the country in a van and ended up in Los Angeles with no plan and no place to live, to prove to everyone (or attempt to prove) that when I give advice, I occasionally know what I'm talking about.. and although I do thoroughly enjoy listening to myself talk, that is not the reason I do it.
My last blog was about how I was going to bust my ass and work so hard and make LA everything I wanted it to be.. Then I got here and was immediately hit by the harsh reality that I had no idea what I wanted it to be. No idea where I wanted to go. I had recently quit my band, gone through an incredibly painful break up, recovered from a pretty serious eating disorder (yup, putting that out there publicly for the first time..) and I had to do some intense soul searching to figure out what it was that I wanted. Prior to this I had always seen my goals fairly clearly, but sometimes it felt like they were packed in a box on a shelf that was just out of my reach. I could see the box, and I knew there was a way to get to it, but since I was always so intent on getting things immediately, and exactly as I wanted them, I just stayed there jumping and swatting at it when all I needed to do was go get a fucking ladder. Making your dreams come true means hard work, not jumping at any opportunity that you think could be an easy ticket to your destination…(Which, by the way, it almost always isn't.)
Part of what sidetracked me for so long is how I'd gotten into the habit of letting myself believe it was okay to be mean spirited. I somehow thought it was my right to hate and blame and feel sorry for myself. And I had to learn that while the high road may often be darker and have a rougher terrain, what you find at the end of it is far more beautiful and rewarding than what you'd end up with if you had let yourself fall down to the level of those who relentlessly try to create wars.
"Good heavens are you still trying to win? You've got an overdeveloped sense of vengeance. It's going to get you into trouble some day."
I believe people usually hurt you because they are also hurting. I think it's important to realize that you may not be the only one who is suffering in any given situation. Why spend all of your time breaking yourself down even more by trying to make sure they know how hurt you are? Why fall asleep angry and fill your dreams with visions of things that drive you insane? Isn't dreaming for gumdrops and sugarplums? (Not sure I even know what a sugarplum is…) Point: Let things go. (I'm only making this point so strongly because I occasionally still need to hear it myself.) We tend to hold onto things that don't serve us, and let go of those things that could enhance our lives.
One day after praying for clarity and an open heart, I committed to forgiveness. Committed to letting go of all of the anger, of my ideas of what I 'deserved.' I had to first forgive myself and then I could set out on a path to forgive the people who I had been trapping in a field of negative energy. Feeling (mostly) cleansed of my bitterness, I finally had the opportunity to explore new things and see what I enjoyed on my own. Dreams change. They grow as we do. Music will always be what's in my heart, but my view of what I want from it has changed drastically. Music used to be what I would do to calm down or to alleviate any pain or stress, and somehow it morphed into what stressed me out the most. I needed to take a serious break from it to realize what it was about music that made me happy. I had to remember the girl I had been before I started chasing glitter and empty promises. It's the raw aspect of music that I fell in love with. I needed desperately to reconnect with that part of my soul.
On another note, I'm now a big believer in second impressions and second chances. I'm also a big believer in giving someone the chance to apologize if they feel the need to, (even if I am pretty convinced that they have lost their mind.) This is due largely in part to my knowledge of the feelings that come along with not being able to express oneself properly. I've become a much more genuine version of myself, a much more honest version of myself since my move to California.. I've realized that there are so many wonderful people here who love me even at my most messed up… so if someone gets to know me and they don't dig my vibe… that's fine. I can't force someone to think that clumsy and giggly are endearing qualities if they just don't, right? But I do like to feel that I had a proper chance to let someone get to know me before they make that decision. And it makes my stomach turn a little when I know someone has a completely skewed vision of who I am. This is inevitable, i know… but my point initially was that I try my best to let other people express themselves if they feel they've made a terrible first impression, or if there is an apology that they feel they need to make. Words left unsaid often don't stay that way. Better to get them out before they catch fire and come flying out in a fit of rage at a terrible time, no?
I just had a birthday and I think this year will be an entirely new experience. More meditating, more nature, more music, and even more me. I'm surrounded by an incredible amount of beauty and love in my life and I'm finally feeling so grateful for everything. God has been so good to me. He has healed my heart and given me an army of angels in the form of my friends and family. I've always said I wanted to be at a point in my life where I'm not holding any grudges, where I'm truly thankful for all of the stupid bullshit I've been through because it all brought me to this perfect happy moment.. and I really believe I'm there. I read a book this summer called The Shack. It helped me to finally forgive the very last person I was holding a grudge against. I reached out to her and we exchanged apologies and I finally unlocked the last set of chains that had been surrounding my heart. I can honestly say there is no one in the world that I hate. There is no one that I'm harboring anger towards. My heart is light. Things are falling into place.. I'm growing up. It's a good feeling.