Looking Back, 3

A re-printing of “The Life Worth Living: Deadline for London, September, 2008”(TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2007)

My friend, Steve, is driving to Colorado from Texas right now. He’s on the road at this very moment and I’ve spoken to him several times already on the phone today – he’s bored and I’m hyper – but as we talk he’s occasionally exclaims: “Wow, that’s beautiful.”

Life makes unexpected twists and turns when you least expect it. It’s like driving down a highway – a 100 mile straight shot – and all of a sudden you find yourself winding through a forest in the mountains. Or you see something you have to stop and take pictures of – a dilapidated red barn, a lake that stretches on for miles… What was once a boring, repetitive drive through a barren monotone wasteland becomes a trip where it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road.

I have been driving in this one direction for several years – almost six in Los Angeles – trying to make something of myself. And I am fine with this fight to become a filmmaker. I am not tired of that, but what I am tired of is not being invigorated by my surroundings.

Jaime is in love with Prague. She adores her adopted city. Every day she says things like, “Look at this place! God, it’s ugly, isn’t it? I hate Prague. Hate it.” And she adorably stands there, smiling ear to ear, surrounded by beautiful architecture that she sees every day when she walks out her front door. She’s completely IN LOVE with her city and everything it entails.

Life is too short to not love the place you’re in. I want my life to be filled with the urge to take your eyes off of the road ahead of you. I’m going to be thirty soon and my tolerance for the unimportant, the uninteresting, and the unremarkable – in things, places and especially people (although I do have wonderful friends here) – is beginning to weaken. My patience is wearing thin.

What re-kindled that spark in me that almost made me move to London last October? I had written an e-mail to Gary, who is now back in his home in France, and I wrote this:

“So I’m terribly jealous of you right now, because I know you are probably sitting in some wonderful French villa in your beautiful town enjoying a glorious day. And if it’s raining, it’s still perfect compared to LA.”

What I got in return inspired me greatly: “Yeah, life is good here right now. Makes me wonder why someone like you hasn’t ever found her way to London? Seems like it would be more your style, and there’s a film business there as well.”

Well, it is definitely more my style… Do I really have an excuse – besides the shitty American dollar, no working visa, no way to make a living and my battle for a film career – for not moving there?

I can’t help, but think of that annoying voice that has been repeating the same old tired record in my head since college:

“Hey. You want to live in London. You have since you were ten. What if you die tomorrow? Could you live with yourself? Would you feel that life had disappointed you? Did YOU disappoint yourself? You think about your amazing childhood all the time. You compare your present life with the memories of being overseas all the time. It eats away at you. You want the Life Worth Living. You ache to experience life to the fullest! But, dear girl, you won’t be able to do it while you are in Los Angeles, let alone America. Instead, you’ve stayed in a city that made you jaded, discontented and bored. Good job, kid.”

When I was in London last, in 1999, I would walk around the city by myself, visiting the theatres, museums, restaurants and pubs, and the biggest complement I received was “Excuse me. I’m lost. How do I get to…” I was the most comfortable I have ever been in London.

So, today, I spoke to my friend, Heather, about how I want to move to London and she said she was toying with applying to a PhD program there. And that was it. She said she’ll apply and, if she got in, we would move there together. Next fall…

Regardless of whether or not she makes it to London, I am going to go. I will be almost thirty – the age I said I would finally move, regardless of what I’m doing, to London – and it will be the perfect time to make the leap.