One of my favorite quotes regarding lifestyle philosophies comes from Fahrenheit 451:
“Stuff your eyes with wonder,” he said. “live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,” he said. “shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.”
I’ve said a thousand times how I’ve wanted to get a last-minute gig somewhere unplanned and just make it work. Fly by the seat of my pants for awhile, live in the moment, for the adventure.
About a month ago, when I got offered a job on a Thursday night that required me to be in LA on Monday morning, it was tough to finally say Yes. Three months based out West, but with a crazy, travel-intensive schedule. It left no opportunity to sneak away to see Gunner, and that was almost the reason I turned the job down entirely. We’ve done the long distance thing for awhile now, but we’re almost at our wits’ end. The thought of three months apart and two thousand miles between us was about to push me over the emotional brink.
I had to focus to keep from falling apart.
I found an apartment. I booked a cheap flight. I packed two suitcases, paid all the bills, and cleaned my room better than I’d ever done in my entire life (by the way, if you need a place to stay in Nashville, let me know!). I took one of the latest flights to LA on Sunday night. I ran on pure adrenaline for that first week, barely sleeping or eating, working 24/7, and finally crashing a solid week later.
I’ve gotten into a routine here. I like my one bedroom apartment in North Hollywood; I make my coffee exactly the way I did in Nashville. I love the morning breeze and the faint smell of lilac when I walk outside my door. In ways, I’ve grown a little attached to my life in Southern California. I miss Gunner, but it isn’t a focal point. It’s only three months, embrace the adventure, I tell myself every morning in an attempt to ward off any feelings of loneliness or homesickness.
And somehow, we are being given the next week off from work. I was planning on going down to San Diego, or exploring some other part of this area that I’m normally not in close proximity to. But today, as I was running the numbers on renting another rental car, I had a mini epiphany: I could shell out another $200 for the week, pay for gas, and pay for a hotel room somewhere else — or I could buy a plane ticket.
I’m flying to New Orleans TOMORROW.
I haven’t grasped that I’m actually going back for the week. It might be one of the most impulsive things I’ve done.
Ironically, I wrote earlier this week of how Los Angeles used to be the ultimate destination for me, but that I’ve changed. It is so cool to be here, I can’t stress that enough — but Gunner, New Orleans — that’s where my heart is now.
Southern California, I’ll be back next Sunday.
New Orleans, see you soon.