Getting a twitch
As my father would say, I'm getting a twitch. To get on the road again. So that's the plan, within the next couple weeks. November 20th, to be exact. It's the Monday after the On the Mat tournament the previous weekend, at which I'm hoping to compete gi and no-gi. It's also the new moon, which Nora always says is a good time to start something new, and if you set some intentions on the new moon, you can realize them by the full moon. Cool.
As with most/all of my major life decisions in the past year or more, my decision to head out started with the idea just popping into my head. Obviously, ideas pop into people's heads all the time, so the way I know when an idea has legs is if it persists for more than a couple days. I wake up and think about it, and I feel compelled to work on making it happen, even if it's scary. Then I REALLY know it's the right thing when the universe seems to lend a hand.
For instance, when I decided earlier this year to sell my home (after I had decided to quit my job but before I had decided to take my vision quest), I remember being so freaked when I told my realtor Melissa to list the place that I actually had to put my head between my knees, kind of like I was preparing for a bumpy landing. I had no plan beyond selling, no idea where I would live or what I would do. But the thought of NOT listing it frightened me even more. And then I knew the universe was on the case when, even in the midst of a very flat market, in a selling season I had entered pretty late (April), I got a firm offer within 2 weeks. And as it turned out, I made significantly more on the place than I was expecting. So it was the right thing for me because I persisted even though I wanted to crap a brick and because the elements that were beyond my control just fell into place in a better way than I would have been able to orchestrate myself.
With this decision to leave LA, I'm still at the industrious yet freaked stage. Life at New Breed has been so great, and Johnny and John have been so good to me; it would be really easy to just live there indefinitely, sponging off their hospitality and expertise, and continuing to hang out with all the people I've met here in LA, many of whom are becoming friends. But every day for the past week or more I have awakened feeling like my journey isn't over yet. And every day I feel compelled to facilitate my departure in various ways.
Yesterday I started planning my last couple of weeks here; I have gotten complacent about seeking out other places to train in the area, writing in my training journal, etc. So I'm starting to fill in the calendar. Over the weekend and on Monday I plotted a tentative itinerary that will give me a month to head east, see friends, compete once or twice, and land in Florida by Christmas so I can be with my family. Today I'm writing down my intention to leave so it becomes real. And tomorrow I'm going to resume writing in my training journal and begin contacting people on my route so they know to expect me. I really know this is the right thing, but I'll REALLY know when the synchronicities start to happen. Those are fun to watch for, and they provide reassurance when I need it.
And I definitely need reassurance. Like I said, it would be so easy just to stay in LA and train and hang out. Even though I stand by the demotion I gave myself, my game has improved dramatically since I've been here (mostly due to Johnny and Felicia). I like LA more than I thought someone with a chip on her shoulder about being from NJ was allowed to. I have tapped into a community that has welcomed me with open arms. And the living here is fine when you don't have to pay for rent OR training, generally.
But that's just it. I'm physically living here, but I haven't committed yet to building a life here. There's a difference. As is probably obvious by now, I'm working at being okay going where the wind takes me. I used to think that living like that--being willing to turn on a dime, or to trust my gut even when all other indicators suggested something else--was irresponsible and maybe even selfish. Now I don't know any other way to live. Where I used to be the queen of overthinking and overplanning, now I just do what feels right.
However, living this way isn't always easy. Sometimes the thing that feels right is the hardest thing to do. In fact, in my limited experience living this way, it's usually the case that the right thing is the hardest thing. I really really want the right thing for me to be moving to LA and building a life here. But I need to leave and finish my trip before I can know what the right thing is. I feel like I am ready to land soon, to commit to a place, a relationship, a way to make money, a group of friends, a routine--in short, a life. But I'm not quite ready. And until I'm completely there, noplace, not even LA, will be right for me, dammit. So if I'm ever going to come back, first I have to leave. And trust that even though I don't know right now where I'll be in a couple months, I know all I need to for the moment, and as I need more information, I'll get it. (Did I mention that sometimes I find it necessary to put my head between my knees to keep my heart from exploding?)