Tuesday, March 6, 2012

2:25 PM

Jai Guru Deva Om

Holey shiiiit!

Lovers, I'm back.

xoxo by Kristi Jackson


There are so many stories I have to share with you! Today's story is going to be awesome because it will accomplish, like, a bazillion and a half things. It will
  • Explain where I've been and what I've (sort of) been doing,
  • Revive The Point,
  • Give me an excuse to play my super corny iTunes mixes (like John Lennon's Across the Universe, which obviously inspired this post's title)
  • Make you feel things,
  • Cause you to think about your life,
  • Cause me to think about my life,
  • Make me not look so alcoholic when I open a bottle of Merlot at 3 in the afternoon (after all, I am writing),
  • and tons of other things which I'm sure you can figure out all on your own!
Are you ready? Ohmygosh I'm so excited to be writing for all of you again! Let's get it on!

Jai Guru Deva Om

Dear Readers, do you know what Manifest Destiny is? If you don't, I'd like to quote the beautiful and always accurate source known as Wikipedia
Manifest Destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the continent...Advocates of Manifest Destiny believed that expansion was not only wise but that it was readily apparent (manifest) and inexorable (destiny).
Westward the Course of Empire Takes It's Way by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

In my special little head, Manifest Destiny isn't some general idea: it's my personal destiny. The world is HUGE: obviously I am supposed to explore it. We all are. And considering the size and cultural scope of the grand 'ol US of A, there is no better place to start than right here at home.

As luck would have it, Arla (remember her? my lesbi-bestie) and her girlfriend moved to Los Angeles last summer. And it just so happens that her girlfriend, Kayai, is a good friend of mine. And, after a series of unfortunate events, Kayai and Arla had an empty bedroom in their apartment at exactly the time I was ready to get my Manifest Destiny on. 

Once the crazy part of my brain convinced the rational part of my brain that Manifest Destiny was a real Thing I Had To Do I quit my job, packed everything I could fit into my Dodge, and begged my youngest sister to cross the country with me. I was unhappy in my tiny east coast town and I needed to shake up my world culturally, spiritually, creatively, and environmentally.

And so I decided to leave my small mountain town in Virginia and head for the palm trees, smog, and heat of Los Angeles.

For the most part, co-workers, friends, and family members were really supportive. A few were skeptical. Some were downright against my plan, calling it "irrational." But really, isn't 'rational' a pretty subjective word? What is 'rational' for a single, 24-year-old queer woman of color living in the Bible Belt isn't necessarily 'rational' for a married, 60-year-old heterosexual white man living in the Bible Belt. So I ignored the haters.

My sister and I set out right after New Year's, ringing in 2012 with a ten-day journey through the southern half of the United States. Starting in the Hampton Roads area, we literally traveled from coast to coast, visiting both Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada before ending in the Golden State. It was fabulous!

Once I finally reached Cali, I was sun-struck: the weather, the palm trees, the number of beaches to explore... I loved all of it. For the first three weeks, I was in this really wonderful honeymoon phase with my life. I'd left a job that wasn't working for me, I'd escaped the Bible Belt, I'd found a city with gay bars that weren't secret hideaways but wide open proud loud clearly labeled establishments, I'd crossed the country, I'd shown the haters! My life was open to anything the Universe elected to throw my way.

Then I started freaking out.

Here I am, I thought to myself, in Cali and I am not making any money! I can't stay in Cali if I don't make any money! And from that moment on, I've had these little spasms of worry. Like charlie horses, they just creep up on me in the middle of night and scare the shit out of me.

Fortunately, one of the best things I've learned in the last few years is to ask myself, Realistically, what is the worse that could happen? So this morning, when a wave of worry overtook me as I was cooking oatmeal I stopped and asked myself: Girl, what are you so scared of? What's the worst that could happen? 

Worst case scenario: I don't get a job here in LA. I end up going broke and then I have to move home and live with my parents. Obviously, this is a very real scenario: I moved to Los Angeles knowing that might be how this experiment ends.

I had a moment of epiphany when I realized that I could either continue having paralyzing mental spasms over the slow disintegration of my finances or I could enjoy LA while I'm here--however long that may be--while I continue the search for gainful employment. When you think about it, there's no reason to stress out when things are going to end however they end (because, obvs, I believe in destiny). So the point of this move, even if it ends up being a two and a half month vacation, is that you've gotta enjoy your life while you've got it rather than stressing out about the future. I know, I know: this sounds like a point I ripped from a high school kid's page on WeHeartIt, but sometimes it's the easiest lessons that take the most time to learn.