Ten days after I left my husband in Israel, I packed my car full of all the belongings I could fit, and to be honest, there was still a lot of room.
I drove to Bel Air to stay with my friend Becca for a night and had two meetings planned with people who needed roommates. April 16th, 2012, was a warm day and I wore a sundress to meet my possible future roommates. They were three girls: Melanie, Bel and Jenna. They seemed very nice and I was on my best behavior, which, for those of you who know me, is kind of a challenge. The apartment was fully furnished and the room looked clean, as did the bathroom (a facade, I assure you). I got a good vibe from all three girls and I made a good enough impression that they agreed to let me move in the next day. As it turns out, we were all in need of what the other had to offer (a room and a rent check respectively). I went to a show that night with Becca and ran into another old friend, Adam. I was still pretty sensitive about the separation/divorce and it was my first outing in public as an unmarried/unattached woman.
I didn’t die of being in public and the next morning, I woke up and drove to my new home. I blew up my air mattress and hung up my clothes in the closet. I organized my toiletries and I went shopping for groceries. I had no bookshelf, no desk, no chair, no furniture in my room outside of a plastic tub and my blow up mattress. I was 30 years old and truly starting over.
I spent four months looking for work and there were times when there were glimmers of hope. I even worked a month as a waitress, much to my pride’s chagrin. I got hired, finally, in July as a Communication’s Specialist for SEIU 721. I had no idea what I would be doing. 8 months later, I’m very happy and finding a lot of satisfaction with the way I spend my daytime hours.
My parents funded the four months I spent as an unemployed aspiring comedian in Los Angeles without expectations of repayment (right Dad?). I don’t know why my parents did it. After I made a total mess of my life, they let me out of their sights and then indulged me by supporting me, monetarily and emotionally. I think it turned out okay. But, there aren’t enough ways to express my gratitude for their kindness, their understanding and their unwavering support of the choices I have made, even when they have been wrong or when they haven’t agreed with them. And I can’t shake the disbelief that God saw it fit to make ME their child. There are few who are as lucky as I am.
By October, I had gotten back on my feet, more or less and an opportunity presented itself. I moved in with one of my best friends from childhood, a man who is like a brother to me, Garrett Kirby. I happen to be blessed with a group of people who have known me far too long, which means they know all my secrets, and they remember how ugly I was as a kid, and the terrible outfits I used to wear. Fortunately, we were all pretty ugly and the clothes were representative of the times and not my bad fashion sense. Garrett really is like family to me and I think we were able to console one another in our shared misfortunes. We were both grieving something and who better to be yourself with than someone who has known you forever, will tell you when you’re wrong and will make you laugh when you feel like crying (or are crying uncontrollably on the couch because a character on Survivor was selfless and it just touched you emotionally). We have come so far since October. Part of my recovery is due to living with a best friend.
The only “problem” is that we play YES AND with our lives.
“You know what we should do? We should buy scooters so we can scoot to bars instead of walking!”
“YES! And we should get Fanny Packs with boom boxes so we can play music while we scoot!”
“YES! And we should get Metro cards so we can take the bus to other parts of town while we scoot!”
“YES! And we should have a Scooter Pack name so everyone knows who we are! SCOONIES!”
“YES! And we should have a SCOONIES theme song! Zoot Scoot Riot!”
You can see where this goes. I’m not complaining. I’m grateful because I know with all the struggles I’ve had over the last year, it’s also been filled with a lot of wonderful things.
And, there is something bigger driving me. I want to be an entertainer. I want to write, act and tell jokes. Nothing is in my way except for me.
And I channel that little girl every day.