I somehow arrived in the Bay Area in a completely different situation than originally planned. Everything was rapidly crumbling and the words “lost” and “stranded” kept shouting at me. While initially disturbed, I refused to allow more than a brief pout. Sadness has expired and would not be tolerated. It was true that this particular leg of the trip was not fully planned. It was impossible to plan. I didn’t understand what I was doing, or why I was here. The reasons I had last month were vastly different than they were now, not to mention there was a sad truth uncurling that for the first time in my life I did not know exactly who I was. I could not, at this time, justify the junction of my confusion. Yet while all of this mystery was occurring, I ignored my troubled mind as my survival depended me to do. My stubborn mentality was doing something useful, saving me from a meltdown.
Since I was so fervently living in the moment, I quickly turned my head to realize that while I was stuck in deep Oakland, I had landed in an enormous dance studio. I was alone for the first time in months, and the very walls of the building were demanding Missy Elliott into the stereo and the worries that had been crawling on me be thrown out the window. I complied; I danced.
I hadn’t danced since July 13th, 2004.
I have never been good at not knowing. I am made completely of curiosity and an insatiable hunger for learning. I dissect everything that passes me, from electromagnetic fields to the psychology of fashion at LAX. There is not enough time in the day to learn everything I want to know and I can’t decide if that is a flaw in Pope Gregory’s design or the fault of the moon. After some hearty self-analysis, I decided to do an experiment in unknowing. I made bold moves. I bought plane tickets. I stopped calculating my expenditures. I talked to strangers like I knew them for years. I forgot to worry. Sometimes my decisions could be considered unwise but they screamed of necessity anyway.
The biggest of these twists was renting an apartment in Ocean Beach while I was working in five other cities and did not have any prospects in San Diego. I paid rent but never lived there for more than one weekend. I had tons of work and stability in Austin but I was experiencing an undefined aversion and fled. I could not decipher if the discontent was brewing within me or if I had too much disagreement with the city itself. In the past I had always stopped and faced my demons. This time I ran from them, ignored them, beat them around the corner and hopped on a boat before they could get to the dock. Was it smart? That remains unanswered but it was definitely liberating.