Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Little Fish: Swimming Against the Stream

With less than four weeks and counting down toward my "Westward Ho" adventure, as my dad has named it, planning is kicking into high gear. And let me just say, it ain't easy, my friends. I figured it would not be, and the hard stuff has begun.

Swimming against the stream officially began when I started earnestly looking for apartments last week. How do people relocate? I guess most sensible people tend to have jobs before they move cross country, and for some reason, apartment renters, otherwise known as landlords, like you to have an income before they are willing to rent you a space. Strange, huh?

Of course, I still have my job here for a couple more weeks, but I am a massage therapist by trade, and it is difficult to get a job doing massage until they actually test to see if you can give a decent massage. I'm pretty good if I do say so myself, but giving a massage from three thousand miles away is a bit of a stretch of my skills. If only I were one of those new agey, aura crazy, energy manipulating therapists who don't waste their time trying to loosen up pesky muscle knots, but instead think about fluffy clouds while creepily cleaning their clients' energy channels. They don't actually have to touch their clients. Maybe they could land a job in California without actually being there. My technique is a little more hands on. Thus, my little fins were starting to feel the strain.

I have wonderful friends in Atlanta who have been connecting me with people they know in the

Los Angeles area, and thanks to this, I was able to put out feelers for apartments with some of these connections. One of them seems to have paid off greatly. I am about 90% sure that I have found an apartment and a roommate. I was not even planning on having a roommate out there, mainly because I had my dog and two cats that were going to be with me. Now, as you know if you read the post about my sweet dog Rocco, I am only going to have my two cats with me. So now, I am more open to a roommate. I was not actively looking for one, but this situation seems to have fallen in my lap, and if the Lord is willing to provide, I would be stupid not to be open to it. So, it seems I have a reprieve, and the waters have swelled me forward a bit, allowing me to rest in the upstream journey. But only for a little while.

Tonight I sent an email to my father, who is accompanying me, along with his wife, on my trip. They are not staying out there- but they are helping me get there. This is a wonderful thing, because without their help, it would be a much tougher, scarier, longer road to travel. The email I sent him contained a list of what I am trying to take with me. I wanted to see if I was on the right track as far as how much I was packing, or if I was significantly overpacking. Well, you might guess what his answer was, because most women I know like to pack heavily, and I personally need about 5 bags with me just to leave the house every day.

But I have spent the last few months methodically organizing and packing my belongings, giving things away to friends, family, and good will, and separating lots out to store back here in Georgia. It was not enough, though. I am going to have to cut down on what I want to take by at least a third, maybe even by half.

But it makes sense. If a little fish, or any fish for that matter, is trying to swim against the stream, the effort can only be made easier if they are not dragging a lot of extra weight. The lighter my load, the easier it will be to get there. But the hard part will be in the shedding. How do I decide between my Shakespeare and my Lewis collection? How do I leave behind perfectly good clothes? But I will, if that is what I must do, and more than likely, I won't miss them much.

I've always had some strange romantic desire to pick up and hit the road with not much more than the clothes on my back. Like I said, this is a highly romanticized idea, because if I did that, I would probably not enjoy it at all. No matter what I like to think, I like my creature comforts. But this may be as close to that desire as I will ever get. I will say, though, that with every trip to good will, I have felt wonderful- indeed, lighter. So, even though this shedding is tough, I believe it will be a blessing. And who knows? Maybe one day, I will hit the road with no plans, and see what dreams may come. For now, I am hopefully taking a step toward being a person, and a fish, who is less concerned with things than with where I am going, and who it is I need to be. And eventually, God willing, my little fins will build endurance, and the road less travelled will become simply the road travelled.


  1. Once again, I apologize for my weird spaces, but it looked all right in the preview. I will have to have a tutoring session with Robin to learn to format the right way.

  2. Definitely good lessons to learn. I know I'm way too attached to my stuff. Although when I made my stab at moving to L.A., I took only two suitcases and a typewriter. (See how long ago it was!) I'm already starting to get a lump in my throat when I think of you leaving, but I'm glad things are falling into place for you.