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April 2, 2011

Dear Universe, this note is for you.

At heart I am a nester.

If you follow astrology -- don't worry, you can keep it a secret -- you might find it illuminating to know I'm a Cancer with Cancer rising. In astrological terms that means I am a homebody with hermit rising. All I ever wanted was a childhood home, a place to come back to, a base.

Instead I am from a nomadic tribe who moved every time the wind changed. You know why I can pack up and move a hugeass household in three days? Because this is not the first time I've done it.

But until this move, which has been chaotic and stressful and frankly kind of traumatizing, I didn't realize how much time and energy I spend thinking and fantasizing about my eventual "home." I've never had a home. I didn't grow up in one childhood house, I moved three times a year until college. I lived in every state south of Kentucky at least twice. Los Angeles is my home because I chose it, and I have lived here longer than any other one place in my entire life. I desperately tried to keep the confines of my L.A. life small -- Woodland Hills to North Hollywood -- but even so I still seem to move like a gypsy. I have been here 16 years and lived in TEN DIFFERENT PLACES. What the fuck, people. Who does that? I never wanted it. All I ever wanted was to be a kid with roots.

This week I have accepted that's never going to happen for me. My roots are in my head. That's the best I got.

All this time I fantasized about my eventual home base, I decorated it in my head, I believed in it. I wanted it so badly. I could picture myself making coffee in that kitchen, hanging my clothes in the closet, cleaning the kitchen sink. I have fought against every single move kicking and screaming. I hate moving and hate being uprooted. All I wanted was to plant ass-roots into a couch and have some comfort zone. Even as a small child I hated the feeling of packing a box, loading it into the Pinto and hauling it to some new place. I just wanted to stay put.

That is apparently not the Universe's plan for me. So I give it up. I'm done with it. I surrender. DONE. Give up! Give up!

I give up. Not the pathetic and sad kind of giving up but the surrender give up. I surrender, Universe. I release control. I never had any real control so the illusion was just that, an illusion, and I give it up. I'm done! Finished! Finito! Au Revoir!

I have no idea at all what my future holds. No idea where I will live tomorrow. And I am going to decide right now to be OK with that. It's not an easy decision. I'm committed to it, though. I may have to re-decide every five minutes to surrender and I will do it, I give the hell up. Screw it. I'm done. I give it up to the Universe.

This time last week I had no idea I would have to pack up and move under cover of darkeness. And people, I am not a simple living kind of gal, I have a whole household of stuff, it took two trips on the moving truck and 17-hour days of packing to get it done. For people like me who are true control enthusiasts the hardest part of living is realizing how much -- almost everything -- is out of our control. But almost everything is uncontrollable! Why do you think I wash my hands so much? Why do I arrange the spoons just so? Because control is an illusion, a dream, a mirage. Sometimes in a single day the only thing at all I control are those damn spoons. Releasing control feels like losing but maybe it's the only way to be. Release. Give it up. Relax the fuck out.

Sorry for the cussing. I am in a cussing frame of mind right now.

To give up totally, to surrender absolutely to the whims of the grody and whacked-out universe, is all I can do. I'm done with attempting to control the uncontrollable. It hasn't worked. The only way to survive is to adapt, right? So this is my adapting with foul language.

All I can do is change, adapt, streamline. I am going to downsize by half. HALF. Half of all clothes, all shoes, all books, all kitchen stuff. Donate, sell, give away. Live more simply. I can't do another move like this ever and I won't. It seems obscene to say this while knowing someone else is in Japan with a whole house washed away. I have no idea why the "it could be worse..." line of reasoning never works with me. People always say, "It could be worse!" and that has never once worked. Maybe I am just a douche rocket. But I am not actually sure I can suffer enough to help someone else. Or suffer enough to make someone else better. Everyone has their stuff, and always someone else somewhere suffers more. Does that make your crap less hard for you? Kind of not even able to answer this question. Thinking maybe now is not the time to tackle this dilemma.

So I surrender. I surrender the idea of control. That's all I can do. I know I'm not fragile but I feel fragile today. It's not easy to move, have legal and police and scary stuff, relocate surreptitiously, and also give up a lifelong dream to have one single home base. All in under a week! Most people have a home, right? Most people at least had a childhood home. I don't have that, but I do have this city. When things were freaky and I was alone I knew all about this city, my Los Angeles. I knew where to find an apartment and who to call for a truck and where to locate the good tacos. Everything changed in a day, but the city was still here.

People wonder why I live here, why I love it. It's the closest thing I ever had to a home. In Los Angeles there will always be things you can count on: a long line at the DMV, traffic on the 405, the sun coming out, people honking, fresh oranges sold off the back of a truck, a 7-11 nearby.

And that 7-11 will sell wine.

Posted by laurie at April 2, 2011 7:16 PM