Just as I blame places for the hardships and failures they contained, so too can I love places for their joys and successes. Even if they are equally not of their doing.
Portland taught me that there is basic goodness in people. That there is an interiority, both in them and in myself, that deserves recognition and respect. It taught me to sit in silence again, something I hadn’t done since childhood. To introspect, to meditate. To love and feel. It called to me to be vulnerable and open. It allowed me “Mr. Peterson”. It allowed me Samantha. It allowed me a truer version of myself.
I can’t help but feel unfinished here. Like I have forgotten these lessons until now, when it’s too late to act on them. Leaving LA felt like failure and triumph all at once. Leaving here feels… wrong. Like I’m leaving home. I am leaving my home. I can deliberate all I want, but the flow of life is taking me along in its current regardless. Only late-in-life reflection will allow the objectivity I need to see if these decisions are correct. But even then, it’ll be infused with nostalgia and experiences. Maybe there is no “correct” way. Maybe we just collect clutter in our minds and hearts until one day it overwhelms us…
The fact is, I can’t keep doing this forever and still have the life I see for myself one day. It hurts to admit I don’t have what it takes to make directing a sustainable career. But in doing so, I may be telling myself it isn’t worth the cost. To enrich myself creatively would be to deplete myself of honesty. I would live a deluded existence, maintaining the veneer of vulnerability even when it wasn’t true. I’d continue to worry about money, family, future - and the stress of which would derail my pursuits in the end.
It’s the same song, repeating over and over and over…
This is an opportunity to try something else. To take what is good, and carefully extract the tedious. To nourish myself and those I love, while side-stepping the land mines that would take years to feel, but will blow me apart nonetheless.
This isn’t a rewrite, Josh. It’s a continuation. It’s the next chapter.