June 28, 2011

Dazed and amused

My heart was heavy in my chest as I walked through LAX, tears streaming down my cheeks. I was returning from a fabulous visit back east, so why was I crying? Home again, shouldn’t I be happy? Or at least relieved that the plane didn’t crash. What about Peter and Winnie? Shouldn’t I be thrilled to see their loving faces after 10 days away? I felt as torn as a crack in the desert floor. And I couldn’t have felt more alone among the hundreds of people whizzing by...

I begged myself to be a sweetheart in front of Peter. I prayed for some acting skills so he wouldn’t take my forlorn weirdness personally. How was I supposed to explain that my soul feels stretched across thousands of miles, and pieces of my heart scattered all over the place. Deep inside a tiny part of me wanted to run up to Peter and Winnie with a bright smile on my face, but concealing my vulnerability has never been a strong suit. I became an emotional wreck of a 13-year old, living in a 40-year old body. Naturally, I completely shut down.

What I wanted to say was, “I had the most miraculous, awe-inspiring trip of my life. I got to visit with people I haven’t seen in decades. Visit where I used to live, play, hangout, eat, drink, dance, write, wander, wonder, dream and gallivant – it was an incredible journey. What I said was, “I don’t want to be here. How the fuck am I going to go back to work tomorrow and make commercials… for hamburgers?”.

Back east, I sifted through boxes of old photos, yearbooks and read some of my ridiculously dramatic and intensely dark journals. The result was a ton of old memories and emotions hitting me like a hundred anvils. The most shocking realization is that I haven’t changed much – emotionally speaking…

All remarkable journeys, physical, emotional or spiritual, usually have a lesson at the end, chock full of fresh perspective. After Peter and I got home and I saw the pretty daisies waiting for me inside our sparkling clean home, I made some promises to myself:

• Start counting my blessings (life is tooooo short)
• Continue following my heart, even when it goes down painful roads
• Refuse to allow anyone who doesn’t deserve my time to take it up
• Write – regardless who is reading or not reading
• Remember there are no mistakes, only experiences

Yesterday I had lunch with my favorite co-workers, outside in the 78-degree Los Angeles sun with a perfect breeze coming off of the ocean. And I was grateful. I told myself it’s okay to have many homes and loved ones spread out all over. Real bonds never wither or fade with the passing of time. The trip home confirmed that 150%.

Keep writing. It saves lives.