Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.Today marks one month since I left Europe.
My Mid-May to Mid-June European trip began with performing at Prague Fringe and then promoting and selling my book.
It also turned into a shopping trip for a new home. Would Prague offer me a chance to find stability? Could Berlin be the place I would find my mate? Would I feel at home in Paris since I speak French? Would London be the city to build my career?
Turned out London was where I felt most comfortable, with Paris being a close, close second. Between both cities, I loved the language, customs, clothing, people, boys, perspectives… all of it. I loved how I felt while there: different, while being not so, with an outlook to the future full of huge (unknown) possibilities.
I had an open ticket for my return. As it became more and more evident that I wasn’t going to find a place to live, nor a job of some sort, I began to panic. I had a friend back home in LA encouraging me to stick it out; that she’d made it months in Europe and that I just had to be resourceful, get in people’s faces and go for it. I felt like I just wasn’t going for it enough, and as my housing ran out, I was like a 42 year-old brat holding onto the doors of France as the US pulled me by the legs forcing me to let go. I cried. I had a panic attack. I slept in the Charles de Gaulle airport. I mourned. I relinquished and finally let go. I felt like I failed; that I betrayed myself for not finding …myself? But let’s be honest, I put too much pressure on myself to make it all a go. I didn’t have a solid plan and forgot that I was shopping. And what happens when you shop? Sometimes you make a decision and sometimes you don’t, but you always go home afterwards.
I’ve lived in Milwaukee, Chicago, New York and LA. I’ve always known there would be (WILL BE) an International stop in my journey….so now, I’m “home”. I’m actually in Arizona on a writing sabbatical at my mom’s; I watch International House Hunters on TLC at night and listen to French radio to remind me I will be getting back to London. Somehow, someday.
But a big “but” has been showing up: I’ve begun to lose confidence that I can do it.
And that has depressed me. BUT, let’s just call the depression what is it: Fear.
I’m usually pretty good about taking a leap; I truly believe that things happen when they’re supposed to and for a reason. I can be pretty Polly-Annaish about this sort of stuff, but Polly Anna seems to have jumped out the window and left this Peppur pickled.
I was afraid to go to Prague to do my one-woman show. The entire experience was going to be a “first” and I spent a lot of time kicking and screaming until I was finally on stage, in my element with the spotlight shining on me as I did what I do. I loved that moment and I like living in that moment. Even if you’re not a performer, you know that moment (think: your wedding, receiving a promotion, finding money on the street). We know that joyful moment is often brief and the majority of living takes place in the darkness, not on stage. In the darkness is where we live with our dwindling bank account; the haunting feeling that starting over is not super appealing right now; and the nagging truth that it’s hard to get a work visa.
Part of me is really, really happy for the opportunity to be on sabbatical in Arizona, to be with my mom, and to be writing the second part of my book. The other part is unhappy and in purgatory as I constantly wonder “What the hell is next?”.
In a previous post, I spoke of family and being in the pursuit of it, and that I’d find my love and my kids in Europe. No offense to my own lovely, lovely family, but I just spent a week with my niece (10 yrs) and nephew (5 yrs). I got nothing written. It was a challenge to open an email let alone draft one to pitch myself to someone in London, Paris or Prague to hire me and I spent about four hours writing my book…maybe. And those precious four hours were all on one day after I locked myself in a room and then felt guilty because the kids kept asking why Aunty Peppur was mad and wouldn’t come out and play. I felt discouraged, exhausted and not very looking forward to having kids. At all.
I feel so wrong.
So, yeah. My shoulders are pinched with anxiety as I type all of this because Angel/Devil #1 tells me I’m afraid to be where I am, right now, because it is right for me while Angel/Devil #2 tells me that I’m afraid to pursue what’s in my heart because it is super scary to do so.
It’s only 1:30 in the afternoon and I’m going to have to have a cocktail. Perhaps an in-depth conversation with this un-holy spirit will produce a Hail Mary.