“Until my middle name was excess.”

Cleo and I have been friends since 1994. We went to art school together and have shared so many laughs and tears I consider her to be my wife. I don’t know when she became that but I suspect it was somewhere around the time when we were going out six nights a week back around when I was 26 and she was 23. When I left New York she was, and still is, what I missed the most of my life there.  As of late I have been very lucky to have her in LA a few times a year. She’s been here twice this month. She left yesterday.

Saturday we went to see a movie. We were both tired and sad.  We sat outside the theater smoking a cigarette, and I said to Cleo,  “there is this hole in me, it has always been there, and I have always filled it with clothes and food and cocktails and shoes and boyfriends and cigarettes. Those are my default settings to ward against loneliness or boredom. I’ve never learned to fill it up with anything else, with anything that will actually fill it.”

Lately I have come closer to filling it than ever but I still haven’t really. I’m still being excessive. It is a quality I really don’t like about myself. It keeps me distracted. It keeps me from doing real work, from really creating or contributing at a level that I am capable of.  My acting teacher, Howard, would always tell people in class- don’t play dumber than you are. I think I have done just that but I don’t want to hold myself back anymore. Life feels too precious to waste any time.

I feel an urgency to change this, to pay off my debts, to travel, to live more and consume less. I feel thirsty to learn, to have great conversations, to keep growing. I feel such an intense yearning to actively create my own life and not just be a participant in it. I want a family of my own. I feel ready for it. I no longer fear how it will change me. It’s quite the opposite now. I feel ready but I don’t think I am. Otherwise it would happen, I am open. There must still be some things I have to tend to. For one, I have to start taking better care of myself. I have really been neglecting lately, albeit a fun neglect. I need to focus. I need to grow my creative self up.  I may be feeling more like a grown woman than I ever have but my guess is that I’m still about 10% shy of it.

Before we went to the movies I said to Cleo, “I can’t wait to move. I’m so ready to discover this new place, both it’s geography and myself in it.”

“You have to go out and live your life,” she said.

Los Angeles has been a great place to gestate.