Thursday, April 20, 2006

Topic of Cancer.

My departure from Hollywood and all things Californian is imminent; my last day working at the agency is this Friday, and a week after that I fly back east to spend some quality time with friends and family before shipping out to Africa.

I have a trusty new cell phone, which I have already managed to drop once. I have sturdy, trendy Ikea furniture I am hawking to bidders, an expensive item of which shattered on its way to a buyer last night. After obnoxiously harassing my car insurance company and the California DMV for weeks, I am now cleared to get my car repaired of all recently-incurred damages before I ship it out east next Friday. Utilities are in the process of being cancelled, apartment is (kinda) getting organized, and I am training my replacement at the office, desperately pretending I know what I'm doing. In my little free time, I am starting drink like a fish and chain-smoke like a chimney, before going back to multi-tasking 20 different personal matters while maintaining the phone lines at my Hollywood job. Stress: it’s what’s for dinner.

Change is in the winds, Dear Readers. I am not panicking yet, but I can feel the storm building in the back of my brain. My star sign is Cancer, and in many ways I am a classic example of the type: I am sentimental, nostalgic, and I crave security and familiarity. With all these tendencies, the current happenings in my life are for me a whirling nightmare of anxiety – and yet, I am simultaneously exhilarated by the events I have set in motion. In 2 months, I will have been living in Africa for over 2 weeks. I have no idea what awaits me, which terrifies my inner control-freak; but I am about to embark on a grand adventure into the world, which thrills the wanderlust dreamer within me.

One evening a few weeks ago, as I was killing some time before a party, staring into the fountain at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, I came to an epiphany of sorts. When I was very young, perhaps around 6 years of age, I wanted to see as much of the world as possible, to see all the wonderful things I had seen in movies for myself, with my own eyes. I wanted to live in New York City and feel the city rush, to live in Los Angeles and see the Hollywood Sign rising above me in the hills, to explore castles in Europe and savannahs and jungles in Africa. Now, in my mid-20s, I have braved the teeming streets of Times Square during rush hour, brushed shoulders with the power players of Tinseltown, crawled through ancient strongholds in England, and come within a few tantalizing feet of touching the “D” of the Hollywood Sign with my hand… right before being pursued by an LAPD helicopter for trespassing. And now I am on the verge of traveling thousands of miles to live and work in West Africa, to begin a whole new set of adventures and experiences. I realized in that moment, gazing into that fountain, that I am incredibly lucky. Despite my perpetual frustration with not yet figuring out what I want to do with my life, or finding that one person I want to spend it with, I have been blessed with the chance to make my childhood dreams reality. In fact, it is perhaps because of my dissatisfaction and curiosity that I have been allowed to experience so much; if I had found what I wanted right away, I never would have gone any further. And viewed from that perspective, I am damn thankful for everything that has led me up to this point.

I realize, of course, that I won’t be thinking of this tomorrow, when I’m cursing my miserable lot in life because I have misplaced a crucial contract, been overcharged on my electricity bill, or scalded myself with another cup of coffee. But it’s important to sometimes take a step back from the minutiae of your life and look at the puzzle as a whole.

See? Quintessential Cancer.


Tiffanie said...

I am a cancer too. I loved your post today. Seems like childhood dreams are there for a reason. You are really only in your twenties? I would have guessed from your maturity level that you were in your thirties or fourties.

Can't wait to hear what happens in Africa. You are so blessed.

Gnat said...

Well if you get stressed you can always call up customer service.


--Africa...holly shit.

You know they have the longest ridable backside wave in the world. I have visions of Endless Summer in my head and that damn theme song.


Jennifer said...

As fellow Cancerian, I understand you need for home and hearth... however sometimes you just need to shake things up. I ran away with the circus; you are going to Africa (how completely frickin' cool is that?!?!)

I hope that I get to see you when you come back east. I hope you still have my number after all the cell phone trauma.


Anonymous said...

My dad once told me to do all the shit you can;t do later when you're young and not worry so much about the future. Eventually, you will find what you want to fo, and eventually you will find someone to do it with, but we are given a very short time to so the really, really cool shit like what you've done. You've got it right. A lot of others have it worng.

Oh, and anything on my ex yet?

jin said...

I'm with tiffanie...mid 20's? Mid 20's? I would have sworn 40. Seriously. But, do take that as a compliment. I mean: you look great for your age! *giggles*

Assistant Atlas said...

Hey, just out of curiousity, where are you going in Africa? Will you tell us, please? Pretty please? At least when you leave, you'll tell, right?

brad said...

Good luck being productive today.

Dabbler said...

Awww, you guys... I don't know whether I should be flattered or using more Rogaine.

Dabbler said...

Oh, and Atlas? No way in Hell. (First week in June.)