This morning I reached my limit. I have been living in Los Angeles for almost 7 months now, that is more than half a year of my life. I came here to build a relationship, and I am so glad that I did. I know that moving here was the right decision, but these last couple of weeks I have had one nagging thought in the back of my mind, “what about ME?”
It had become clear to me a few months ago that Los Angeles was proving to be a struggle. When I quit my job in San Diego and started serving, I felt so much purpose behind that decision. I had a path, a direction that was leading me somewhere brilliant, I knew that what I was doing was scary but it felt so right. I knew that I was moving in the right direction, but then things took many turns. I have faced many changes and challenges, I have met people I admire and have gotten to know people that I wish I hadn’t. I have seen the true colors of people that I thought I knew, and I have come to appreciate now more than ever people I barely knew at all. These are all blessings really, but as I am approaching the 7 month mark on my move to Los Angeles there is one thought that is persistent in the back of my mind.
Go back to San Diego.
In the midst of all of these changes and challenges one thing has become abruptly clear to me, I’ve hit a wall. When I moved across the country in an attempt to find myself, I had my fears and my hardships but doors continued to open for me. I had my moments in the dark where I cried and prayed for answers, and solutions always came if I looked hard enough. But today I had a realization, my answers are not coming. I have been struggling to build a life for myself in this city, and it wasn’t until I really took a moment to notice did I realize that maybe that’s the answer I have been seeking. Maybe I have not been able to move forward, find my path, make a clear choice, or find myself again, because this is not where I should be looking. 7 months ago I was unsure, but I had a goal in mind and I stuck it out. I came here with a purpose and at some point between walking in the front door of Avenue G in March to crying in a Rite Aid parking lot this morning buying coffee filters … I lost me. I’m not connecting with people in a way that I crave, and I’m not meeting them no matter how hard I search. I’m not inspired by the shoreline and I’m not giddy in the coffee shops. Small things that once made me appreciate every small detail of my life seem far off and blurry in the distance. All of these things building up over the last 7 months have been showing me, slowly but surely, that I’m not where I am meant to be. Finally I broke, and finally I am listening.
It’s funny how we have moments of clarity and we feel so wise and enlightened but we lose sight of those practices so easily in our daily lives. A few months ago I was so in tune with the vibrations from the universe around me that I was certain I was on the right path. Somewhere along the way I lost my vision, and I have been desperate to find my way back ever since.
When we find ourselves in a situation that is not meant for us, all of the signs will point us away. The universe will create road blocks stopping us from moving any further. They are truly metaphorical signs saying “WRONG WAY, TURN BACK.” We just have to listen. Every stalemate, every dead end, every missed connection or failed attempt have all been symbolically telling me that I’m going the wrong way. It wasn’t until I was frustrated and desperate enough to listen, did I finally find some clarity. I felt an immediate sense of relief when this realization came flooding through me because at last I know what I have to do. I am finally back on a clear path.
We are all simply trying to figure it out, and there are directional signs all around us pointing in the right direction. I need to focus on Erin for a moment. I need to find what she needs and nourish the parts of her that are starving for the light. I need to surround myself with people who hear me and see me, and I need to go back to where I last knew my way. I’m facing a fork in the road, and I may have bumped my knees and gotten a few scrapes along the way but these bruises are what make my story interesting. Losing your way and dimming your shine are not failures, we are only human after all. The most important thing I can do for myself, now that I’ve seen a new sign, is to follow. I have to listen to what I’m being told, I have to go even when I am scared.
I read a quote this morning after coming to these conclusions that reassured me that I was yet again on the right path …
“It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.” – Colette Werden