It’s honestly about damn time I started writing. I moved to Los Angeles about 8 months ago now. I’ve turned twenty-two since I’ve been here, and rediscovered what it means to be passionate about something. Before I start going into all the gory details of my scandalous life in Los Angeles, I want to explain why I left Dallas, Texas.
Besides the incredibly unhealthy food and constant pressure to wed and bear children, I had a lot riding on me that made living there extremely difficult. A lot of people would say I ran from my problems. And you know what? I abso-fricking-lutely did. But i don’t feel badly about that, and i don’t feel like a coward like i thought i should for a long time. I was living in a heaping pile of crap that wasn’t getting any smaller so i flew to a new state and started over. And from bird’s eye view, that heaping pile of crap was manageable. I had plateaued onto a road that wasn’t taking me anywhere. I was taking the long and much more painful way through my hardship and struggle, and i finally decided i had to have more options. so i left, and i understood completely what that would mean. I left security, friends, family, and a planned life with financial comfort behind just to look for something that i didn’t even have any proof was there. But i realized that it was either take a chance that i fail miserably, or stay somewhere that was comfortable but void of progress. I came to a point where i saw that everything that i had been looking for in Texas i had found, and there was nothing left for me. The answer pool was tapped out there and i still had questions, so i left. I ran… and my legs look fan-fricking-tastic after all the running i’ve done this year.
Almost two years ago now, i went through the hardest month i have ever faced. I hope with all my heart that i can talk about this genuinely with no masks on because it is a very deep sadness that is now rooted in my heart when it comes up. During this time, i didn’t know myself or what i needed. Honestly, though, i’m still not sure that would have helped. In May of 2016, i lost my best friend to a relationship, a woman i looked up to dearly to a law suit, a co-counselor from the camp i worked at to prison after it was discovered that he was molesting children, and a good friend and my grandfather to the grave. I have never been so confused or broken. I spent my entire life living for relationships and instead of figuring myself out, i figured out others and drew close to them. I don’t regret this. But when i lost so many people right after each other, I lost myself. I didn’t understand how parts of me could just be taken like that. They were just gone, and there was nothing i could do. I had no options. I couldn’t function normally. I spent weeks staring at walls and not eating; throwing up when i did eat. I had medical issues that i had to see a doctor for that ended up just being a result of severe depression, and i had not the slightest idea how to be. I didn’t have a person to be. I didn’t know myself, and i had just lost so many pieces of what made me. I kept doing things that i had done in the past, just patterns that made me feel like i still existed. But truthfully, i was just a void; an absence.
Then, hoping to find healing, i returned to being a camp counselor that summer. But that summer, i took a friend from college with me to camp. She had told me she wanted to work at a camp, and so i got her a job at mine, after she was denied the camp she originally applied to. We went together, and day by day she ripped me to shreds with carelessness and backstabbing. I was weak and she used it to her advantage. She disregarded me and made sure she got what she wanted before remembering my name. The person i had counted on to remember that i was broken and be there for me was the one who made sure i stayed down. She’s the only person that i can truly say i’ve hated with all my heart. I, to this day, haven’t been able to completely forgive her. I can truly say that if it weren’t for the kids i love so much combined with two or three counselors, i would have gone home early that summer. I barely made it.
That fall, at my parents suggestion, i took a semester off of school to work and regain my ability to talk to people. When i first got home from camp, i spent days alone in a dark room, drained. My grandmother had moved in with my parents, since my grandfather had passed away. For weeks, the only people i saw or talked to were my parents and my grandmother. She was 93. I spent that semester taking care of her while my parents worked, and spending time getting to know her in a different way than i ever had. She was helpless, and tragically missed her husband, but she wore her pain and suffering with honor and dignity, because she had hope in God. Now, i don’t know what you believe about God, but i have seen too much to ever deny His existence. She was broken, but alive. She had lost her other half, and still spent her time on earth giving me more wisdom than i could have ever asked for. She held my hand while i cried, she told me to go and see the world. I owe the fact that i was able to return to school that January all to her. She passed away last year in our living room, and i went to Norway to see where she grew up in August. She will always be a part of me. She moved from Norway to start a life in the U.S., and i get my restless heart from her. She was so strong. I don’t know how someone becomes that strong, or if i even want to know. But i found a rock in a tiny, 93 year old Norwegian.
Spring semester of 2017 was the toughest internal battle i’ve ever faced. I struggled with sobriety, eating disorders, and a constant back and forth of whether i wanted to give up on myself or find a stronger part of myself. In June of 2017, I realized the answer wasn’t in Dallas, Texas. I had to go, because i could feel complacency chasing me. Since i’ve been here i’ve found inspiration, confidence, love, strength, dignity, and passion in myself. The best part is, all of those things are tailored to me. I have my own inspiration, my own confidence. I’m finally not fitting myself into other people’s lives. I have found the beginning of MY life. I am busting through walls and making messes but i am making progress and leaving things that hold me back behind. Los Angeles isn’t some magical city, and it doesn’t hold all the answers. But i believe that there are parts of me scattered all over the world and that it’s my job to find them. Moving to L.A. was just me finding the courage to look for myself and be afraid of what i’ll find but know that i can’t be brave if i’m not first afraid. And brave – that’s something i want to be.