Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Long Way

The shuttle ride to the hotel last night wasn't bad, except that for me it was nearly 2:00 AM. Even if it were 2:00 PM, I'd have been in a bad way because I'd taken not one, but two doses of Dramamine to keep from feeling sick on the plane. Still, I made it to the hotel and up to my room, where I lay awake and watched Jimmy Fallon. The buzz of flying and traveling, and arriving in a different time zone, and just the plain fact that I'm doing something like going to Los Angeles, California at the most difficult financial time I've ever been at in my life had my brain zipping too sprightly to feel sleepy..

Using Google Maps, I found a reasonable way to get to Santa Monica via an average of four bus changes. All the routes were essentially the same, but configured in different ways. While looking at the computer screen, it all makes sense, but later, looking only at my scrawling notes, I began to have doubts that I'd end up in Santa Monica in a reasonable amount of time without a number of wrong turns. I stiffened my upper lip and left my room to check out. I asked the hotel clerk how much the buses cost. She  told me if I took the free shuttle (free except for the tip to the driver) to the airport that I could catch the Santa Monica "Big Blue Bus." I followed this advice and was here within a half hour. I couldn't believe how easy it was. I'd have stayed in my room a little longer had I known. Anyway, I got off the bus, found a local grocery, and got food to take down to the beach for a picnic. I sat perched in the sand, feeling the cool, slightly humid ocean breeze and still trying to decide whether all of this is real.

Three years ago today, my ex-girlfriend broke up with me. That was such a significant day for so long. Surely, this first full day in California falling on that day signifies that I am sailing forth in a new direction. Occasionally, fear grips me and I wonder what in the world I'm doing, but under it all is an uncanny feeling that I'm right where I need to be and that I shouldn't worry. This, of course, doesn't mean that undesirable or inconvenient things won't happen, only that if they do, they are part of the unfurling of this next phase I'm stepping into. For so long, I've longed to move on, to start anew, to get a life, forget the past, and go forward. That, my friends, is what's happening as I tread the earth on this side of the continent.  It's a welcome change.