The End of an Era

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Yesterday, the movers came. They wrapped and packed. They lifted and carried. I watched as they carefully loaded my studio equipment into the truck, not knowing how long it will be until I get to unwrap the boxes and sit at my workbench again.

Just after sunset they drove away with most of our belongings. Strangely, I felt this sense of ease and calm descend. They were removing all the things that we’ve been moving and shuffling around for the last couple years. I didn’t have to worry about these things for the time being. Glorious.

As I felt this sense of relief I realized it was because almost everything we owned was now in one place. I didn’t have to feel scattered any more. We had a new plan in place, and it was moving forward.

See, three years ago we remodeled our house and started renting it. We moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara for what we thought was a permanent change. It didn’t work out that way.

Nine months later we bought a 40’ fifth wheel and a giant pickup to haul it around and we moved into an RV. Now some of our belongings were in our RV, some stored in Santa Barbara, most of our furniture in our rental house, and some boxes at my Mom’s.

We were spread out all over the place and for the next year and a half we bounced around from location to location in between work demands. While many people said we were living the dream, it just didn’t feel that way. Unexpectedly, I ended up feeling a little lost without a central home base..

Fast-forward to now, we’ve sold our beloved house that we’ve lived in for the last twelve years. It was the first place where my husband and I lived together. It was also the first and only place I lived in in Los Angeles after moving here from Wisconsin. Casa Lopez (yes, we named our house) was the first house we remodeled together. In the end we had turned it in to something really special. We will miss it immensely.

Now we’ve got a few weeks of staying with my Mom, before we move into our RV for a few months. In the new year, we’ve got a big adventure coming up. I’ll share more about our move as things crystalize. For now it’s time to take a breather and move into the start of the holiday season with a little lightness.

The Noise We Create in Our Lives

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the noise we create in our lives. There are so many pulls on our attention these days that it can create this immobilizing overwhelm. There are so many things that we allow eat up on our precious time. Are they really important, or are they really necessary?

Do you ever feel that way? I know I certainly do. Living in Los Angeles comes with it’s own level of constant stimuli. I remember the first time my uncle visited me here, he and his wife were struck by the number of people here, always going somewhere, doing something, and always on the roads. I could relate to what he noticed right away. You can’t miss the long stretches of cars containing often only the driver filling up the roads and always in a hurry.

For a while I had a job that required me to be in my car diving all over the city. I was visiting boutique accounts for another jewelry designer. It’s funny to me that I didn’t find it stressful. I was able to relax and find peace even when it might take me 20 minutes to move half a mile. The reason is that I was getting paid for all that time and I could listen to music, or podcasts that I chose. It felt like a luxury.

I can usually find the grace to move through this society with an open heart and patience. Then there are times when I notice all of the competition and stress and constant pushing forward really gets on top of me.

Sometimes I think all this rushing and frustration I see is because we feel so full of “shoulds”. I have been hearing this a lot lately. Fuck the “shoulds” do the ‘wants’. It’s all about changing your mind set. It is not about ignoring responsibilities and living with disregard for others.

I think focusing on the wants is where I’ve been getting stuck lately. I am beginning to realize that maybe the things I have been “wanting” to create in my life come from deep-rooted expectations that I believe other people have of me. When in fact I’ve been creating these shoulds to follow a path I dreamt up long ago. It’s time to craft the new wants.

We change all the time. Every new experience we have, every book we read, or struggle we go thru all have the power to allow us to change. We can come out the other side with new perspective, new information, or new resolve. Don’t listen if someone says people don’t change. I wholeheartedly believe we do.

I also have to believe that it is possible to start making conscious changes in the way we structure our lives, the choices we make and the dreams we dream that will allow us to cut back on the noise in our lives. It is possible to live with deeper intention and love.

This is the path I’m on, and I hope you’ll join me.  Think about the things you’ve been chasing in life. Do you know why you are on the path you are? Do these reasons still resonate with you? Are you chasing the dream you truly want, or are you checking off everyone else’s shoulds?

I’d love to here what you have to say in the comments, or feel free to shoot me an email.