I'm writing this with tears in my eyes. I just finished reading through some of my old, LA archives and they left me with my heart in my throat.
Today I was thinking about that time in my life, just over three years ago. I was 28 and living in Los Angeles and it was the best…it was the best…the best what? I'm not sure what it was the best of, but it was a time in my life that I've never stopped trying to get back to.
It was a time when I never felt stronger or healthier or more present to my life. I was busier than I'd ever been, but every single step I took was full of honest intention. I knew exactly who I was and what my life was about. I can still remember what it felt like to wake up in the bedroom of my little Venice Canals apartment, the ocean breeze pushing through the screens, a feeling of excitement about each new day.
I was coming off several of the hardest years of my life, but somehow this time, those first six months of 2007, were unlike any other. I was so awake, so charged and open and ready. My life very much felt like mine to live, not at all this defensive thing I've felt it become as of late.
I have to wipe the tears away right now, hoping Greg, who is working at the dining room table, doesn't notice. He asks me sometimes if I think I made a mistake by moving to Chicago. I always shake my head. Of course not, I reply. And I mean it. But it's no secret that I've never been able to find my way back to the place I was in when he met me in early 2007.
And just now, reading the entries from back then, I missed myself. Is that possible? Of course it is.
I've thought about that time every day since I moved here. About the person I was during the last six year I lived in LA. That time has taken on a mythical quality. I wonder sometimes if any of it ever really happened at all. Or if it did, if it was really that great. Sometimes I tell myself that it wasn't.
But just now, reading through those old days I rushed straight back. And I was reminded that it was indeed that magical. Those evenings of late night runs down the Venice boardwalk after a long day of school and clients. The little French doors to my apartment. The way the mist would fill the canals at dusk. What it felt like to go to sleep alone, to wake up alone, to sit down at my computer to write in the mornings.
That time in my life is deftly over. I live a different life now, in a different place. But that doesn't mean I can't harness the same power I had then, does it? It doesn't mean that I can't find the same kind of balance, the same joy and levity and awe I had for life, does it?
I hope not. Because that's what I'm on a mission to do. I'm sick of feeling like things are just good enough. I want the best me back. I found her once and that means she must exist still somewhere. I'm going to find her.