The Next Big Thing

the entry that took five months

I’m on a plane tomorrow.

Another plane?

Get used to it.

I know that some of you think I’ve been keeping some sort of big secret, or hiding things. I get the occasional e-mail, or the card in the mail that states, quite clearly, that you’ve been worried about me.

So, I guess it’s not easy to hide things from you.

We’re moving to Los Angeles.

It took about four months for this decision to be made, and for everything to fall into place. My life this year has been pretty crazy, and just when I thought I had lost all control over what I was doing and where I was going, things started falling into place. And this is the biggest piece.

We’ve decided to try the next big thing. The Big Move. Everything should be finished by the fall, so don’t start asking for a new address just yet. I don’t know where or when. I know approximate dates. By late October, we should be completely moved in.

I’m scared.

I don’t really know what I’m doing.

I’ve never done this before.

I’m picking up my entire life and moving it to another state. Another time zone. Far away from my family, Eric’s family, my friends, and the only city that I’ve ever truly felt was home.

Why? What the fuck am I doing?

Let my try and explain the feeling that’s driving us to do this.

I was driving home the other afternoon, and I started thinking (as I’m pretty much constantly doing these days) about my one-person show that’s coming up. I’m trying to figure out how much I want to change, and what I want to keep the same. I started thinking about the opening line, and I started getting that feeling you get backstage as you listen to the audience prepare for a show.

First the backs of your legs get a big numb and tingly. This usually soars up into your bottom, and you feel like maybe you aren’t really sitting down or standing anymore, but rather floating around. You can’t feel your toes. Your chest gets a bit tighter, and you can feel your heart hitting your ribcage. Your breath is quick. Your cheeks are flushed. You can feel every strand of hair on your head. Your ears tingle. Your fingers feel detached. You can shake your hands, you usually shake your hands, just to make sure the blood is still flowing there.

It feels like you drank a pot of coffee. You find yourself with an incredible amount of energy. You bounce up and down, or jump around, just to have something to do, or you’ll just explode.

Your head is completely blank. All you can think about is how you’ve got to not suck.

Your mouth is terribly dry.

Your throat tightens, just a bit.

Your stomach is shaking hands with an organ you aren’t familiar with.

You can’t help but smile.

You feel invincible.

That’s the feeling. That’s the feeling right before you go on. Right before someone sees your work for the first time. Right before you make them laugh. That’s what it’s all for, really. I’m an addict for that feeling.

We’re going to a place where you can get that rush more often. A bigger audience, a bigger rush, right?

“Go where the work is,” they say.

This may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t know if I’m making the right choice. Eric often says that there aren’t “right” or “wrong” choices, but rather what you do with the choices that you make that proves they were the better choices. We’re going to try and make this the better choice. For us.

Once I knew we were both going, once I knew this was what we wanted, I felt a strange calm. I still feel it now. When I booked this flight to LA a month ago, I had this terrible dread that things weren’t going to work out the way I wanted them to, and that I was never going to be able to do this. Now, however, I just have this feeling of “People do this all the time.” I know everyone was telling me that from the beginning, but I wasn’t allowing myself to calm down about it. Now I’m just trying to take it step by step. I don’t have to find a place to live in the next three days. I just have to find an area where I want to live. If I don’t find one, I’ll just come back later. There’s no job that we’re running towards. There’s no deadlines. We’re just making plans to move forward.

We’re making plans for the next big thing.

Oh, man. I’m nervous. Don’t think I’m not nervous. I’ve never lived in LA. I don’t know if I’m going to be a good LA girl.

And moving with your boyfriend and your two cats… are we all strong enough? I hope so. I really hope so.

So, yeah, I’m scared. I put off writing about this because it was important that the people in our lives knew first, before they read about it here. It’s also been this long discussion for several weeks about exactly where we were going to go and how and when, and I didn’t want Squishy to become the daily back-and-forth decision making that my life had been for a while there. I felt guilt about it, which was strange. I felt confused about it. I wanted to come here and write about the questions and fears that I had, but this was something that had to be personal. It had to be choices made privately and personally, and without too much outside advice.

That way we have no one to blame if we hate it.

I’m scared. I’m nervous. Not scared like yesterday when I saw the uncut, recently-restored The Exorcist that had an extra scene in it that had me screaming in the theater and kept me up all last night. Y’all, that extra scene is so friggin’ disturbing. Seriously. No, really. I’m a bit messed up from it. I have a bruise on my thigh from Eric clutching my leg. It’s that scary.

So, I’m gone for the end of this week, going out to Cali, looking around at my potential new home.

And for the next few months I might just keep repeating, “What the fuck am I doing?” Bear with me, as I’ve never really done anything like this before. I’m just a bit freaking out, okay?

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