Here, wait. Be lost.
I was lost. Again. I was getting tired of walking around thinking I was on the right path and instead walking in some other direction. I came across some graffiti angel wings and decided to take a picture with them. I realized I was a lost angel. At least for the moment. And I was in the city of lost angels so at least I fit in.
I really, more than anything, wanted to go to Los Angeles for the weekend. I most often wanted to visit LA but the opportunity usually did not present itself. Then, my friend Marilu Henner joined the cast of Dancing With the Stars. I knew she had wanted this forever and I HAD to try and go. I was lucky enough to have a friend in Nashville that could try and get me a ticket after trying the normal general audience route and not getting a response. The problem was I did not know if I had a ticket to the show and my trip was fast approaching. I did not want to go if I wasn’t going to the show. I thought I would delay my plane tickets for another time. But that didn’t feel right. I was incredibly uncomfortable trying to make a choice. I was worried about everything. I knew if I went to LA and could not get to the show I would be so heartbroken and I could not handle that. I told my husband the morning of the trip that I could not make a decision. He told me I needed to do it anyway and to stop worrying about all the negative things. “What if you don’t go and you get a call at the last minute saying you were in?”
I realized he was right. I needed to focus on the positive. I could not risk the opportunity passing me by. The day before I had received the first two proofs of my book But First… A memoir of a backwards life. This has been a lifelong dream and eight years of actual work that I finally in have in psychical form. I decided I would go anyway and celebrate my accomplishment. At the very least being on the plane would be a good distraction free time to read the book again and make sure no other changes needed to be made. I decided to let go of needed to control every little thing and let the weekend happen as it may.
Once I stopped holding on to things so tightly and just let the tide of life drift me around, things started to fall into place. I decided for the most part I would not do anything I had done on previous trips. I did not bring my old, dog eared guidebookwith my list of things I wanted to do. I looked up some new things briefly and went on my way with a good attitude.
I have a hard time with trust. I have had a lot of people I thought were safe betray me. I have been in so many situations that should have been fine that turned out so wrong. So much that I would imagine all the possible scenarios so that when something went wrong I was prepared. This approach has only caused lots of stress and has not been helpful to me at all. I decided to stop wondering what would happen if things went wrong. Instead I would wonder what would happen when things went right.
I had some ideas of things I would like to happen. I let go of my need to have things happen in a certain way. I would just let things happen just as they were supposed to. I decided to go north of Malibu to do some research on my second book. I was rewarded with the most beautiful sunset and a new possible contact that could help me out with the book. When it was time to return to LA I could not get any service on my phone to give me directions. It was dark and I was in unfamiliar territory. I decided I would rely on my photographic memory and hope for the best. I found my way back to LA and finally got reception again. But I enjoyed the drive lost in the dark. I drove back along the winding coast seeing the jutting mountains and the ocean in the darkness.
Being lost became a theme. I continued to drive in circles around the city, missing turns but finding beautiful landscapes, graffiti and sometimes a familiar landmark. I was driving in circles looking for a place to park and found a parking garage. I found a stairwell and walked out into an alley. I thought I had been heading toward the main street. But I wasn’t afraid. I would just find my way through the alley. Then I turned around and saw the giant Shepard Fairey mural that I had not looked up an address for yet.
I was still waiting on an answer as to whether or not I would get into the show. I can be an extremely patient person. But this anticipation was wearing on me. As I was driving around I kept coming across street signs on the pavement near intersections that I read backwards. They said “HERE, WAIT”. I realized as the light turned from yellow to red. I just have to stay here and wait. I have to allow myself to be lost. I have to stay here, wait and be okay with being lost. At some point I will have my answer. At some point I will be found. If it was supposed to happen it would. And if not I would just wait. I finally found out the morning of Dancing With the Stars I had a standby ticket. I was still waiting but it was a step in the right direction. Then in the afternoon a few hours before the show, I got a call from my friend saying that I had a ticket all along she just did not have the confirmation. I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Once I got behind the gates at the television studio I was once again told to “Stand over here and wait”. I was incredibly nervous that I wasn’t going to get to see the show as I watched everyone else go inside. I continued to tell myself it was going to be ok. I was going to get in. It took a while but I finally made it.
The show was amazing and I felt so special to be able to be in the room where it happens. I had not seen Marilu in years and I was so excited to see her. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to find her. I luckily ran into her husband and we found her together. I was also lucky that when I got my proof of my book a few days before there were two. There was no one else I would want to have the only other copy of my book than Marilu. She has been a big part of my life and so she is a part of some of the stories and has a chapter all her own. We were so happy to see each other and she said she can’t wait to read my book.
Marilu did a fantastic job on the show and the beautiful dancer I know finally came out that night for the rest of the world to see. She had to admit to her partner that she was afraid because she didn’t want to disappoint him. Once she was honest about her fear her approach changed. I was so afraid of disappointment myself. But once I got out of my own way and let myself be present, wait and be ok with being lost, that is when I found myself.
I have never liked waiting, but I am grateful for the experiences I had this weekend, even when I had to wait and even when I was lost. There will be a lot of waiting coming up now that I am nearing the end of the publishing process of my book. But here I am. I will wait. I will lose myself in the possibilities. And I will be grateful all the while.