Open to It All

palm trees santa monica

For most of my life, I’ve tried to hold on to whatever kind of control I could, in hopes that I could change outcomes, change how the story ended in a more favorable way.

When my mother died of ovarian cancer last year, I learned how little control we have.

palm trees santa monicaThat I maybe no longer wanted to know how the story ended, because I’d experienced a bad ending. (I can fully admit that I led a pretty fucking charmed life up until then, other than some job shit and mild mental health issues…so of course this loss devastated me. I had never experienced something so devastating that couldn’t be changed.)

Even throughout the worst of my grief, I wanted to know how my story ended. Did I recover? HOW? Would I ever be happy again? 

When I decided to give LA a try, even a month ago, I wanted to know how this, too, would end. Would I stay? Would I be happy? Was I making the right decision?

And then I signed up for yoga teacher training. It may seem like sort of a whim on the outside, but I’ve been thinking about it since 2013. Also, earlier this summer when I was still struggling pretty fiercely, my psychiatrist and I talked about an intensive outpatient program out here. Instead, I just booked a trip out here the next week, and it was a much-needed band-aid at that moment in time. We revisited the idea of IOP a few weeks later and decided that the focus of these programs wasn’t quite what I needed right now. “I don’t know,” she said, “I think you just need some kind of really intense soul searching more than a clinical program.” And she and my therapist both agreed I needed more structure in my life.

My therapist also strongly suggested I needed more yoga in my life…and I started putting all these pieces together: what if, beyond just more yoga, I did a yoga teacher training? 2/2 mental health professionals agreed it would be a great idea and also reminded me that it, too, would bring up more emotions in its own way, but that ultimately it sounded like a good idea.

On the registration form, they asked if we were taking the training to deepen our own practices or if we planned on teaching.

I wish there had been a “not sure” box, because I’m not. The idea of teaching in front of a class nauseates me right now (I am somewhat more shy than you’d expect), but that might change throughout the course of the training. Either way, I know that the experience will change me, and that I do want to find a way to bring the healing power of yoga (/fitness in general) to others. (I’m still taking on run coaching clients, too, if you’ve been thinking about it!)

I don’t know if I’ll stay in LA.

I don’t know if I’ll end up teaching yoga in a traditional sense.

But I know I’m open to all of this and experiencing it for all it’s worth. (“Do all the healing shit in LA, Theodora,” was actual clinical advice I received and I AM HERE FOR IT. SOMEONE POINT ME TO MORE CRYSTALS.)

P.S. I find it no coincidence that it’s been fairly cloudy and foggy in LA this week and the sun just came out. HI MOM.

What are you trying to be more open to right now?

Feeling At Home

westridge canyon hike

I admire Liv for her work ethic, for her output.

The frequency at which she blogs reminds me of the days when I used to do the same; I cared less about what people thought of each post. I want to get back to that; I want each post to be the best writing it can be. Both are not always possible, but I’m hoping to carve out some more time to blog; I’m beginning to get a better idea of stuff I want to pitch and stuff I want to share here.

This morning I want to talk about the idea of home.

On September 2, I left the home in NYC I’ve known for the past two-and-a-half years. Since then, I’ve stayed in four different places in California alone; I stayed in probably at least five or six places on my trip.

It was easy to say I felt at home on my trip; I was with my best friend, one of the people I feel the most comfortable with. But anywhere we stayed felt like home quickly, though perhaps I was too tired to think otherwise.

But I’ve been here in LA for almost two weeks, first in an Airbnb in Venice, then in Meg’s Airbnb for work in Pasadena and now in the place in Santa Monica I’ll be for the next month.

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My place is a little dorm-y, for sure. I mean, hi, it’s a short-term rental situation. 

But for as sterile as it is (though I’ve incorporated some personal touches like hats and bags on the bookshelves to give it more personality), it also feels like home already.

It’s not where the apartment is (to be honest, I don’t know if I *love* being in downtown Santa Monica, or even *need* to be that near everything), it’s not what it looks like…it’s me.

Which is relieving and terrifying all at once. My old therapist kept saying, “wherever you go, there you are” about me coming here.

And it’s true; the good habits and coping skills I’d built and practiced in NYC came with me; so did the bad feelings. 

But overall, I feel at home—even adjusting to driving again as a lifestyle—more quickly than I would have expected, which may have to do with being pretty familiar with LA already before this.

But I feel at home with myself, mostly, so I can feel at home nearly wherever I am. If I’ve felt this before, it was certainly a long time ago. It feels good.

That said—I want to get on the next flight to NYC every bit as much as I want to keep exploring here. I am doing well here, but I miss my people at home a lot (like more than I can actually tell them so instead I’m writing it here?)