Goodness gracious me, am I really starting another life, in another city, in a location again thousands of miles from home?!?
If someone had told me I’d meet a dashing young man by the name of Dave one fateful night in Los Angeles, and a year or so later would be moving to San Francisco to be by his side, I’d tell them they were out of their mind bonkers. But this my friends is the truth. Here goes another major transition and picking up of roots. OH MY GAWDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Meeting Dave is by far one of the best things that has EVER happened to me. It’s a dream I’ve patiently waited and hoped and wished for. A process of dating a whole lot of people that weren’t quite right, and after 36 years on earth, my knight in shining armour trotted casually into my life.
He wooed me like no man has ever wooed me. There was wining and dining, flowers and love letters, dedicated playlists and late night lengthy conversation that reminded us of teenage years, and young love. Before you knew it, we were entering into a relationship.
But, it was and is not as straight forward as that. Dave lives in San Francisco, has a beautiful son who is 4 years old, and is very much a committed father, with a very responsible job. We did long distance for a year and made it work as best we could, seeing each other every 2-3 weeks. It was generally a 2-3 day rendezvous for the most part, and I knew from the start there would come a time if we were to get really real and do this relationship full time, that I would be required to move north.
Three and half years ago I was approved after a lengthy and expensive visa process to get my acting self to LA to make a go of a career and a life in the land of dreams and make-believe. As you’ve gathered (if you know me or have read previous posts), it was a tumultuous journey initially, but man oh man, in the end, well the last 18 months or so, I was really digging on LA. I got my own sweet apartment, finally started to feel like I had some super solid mates, and FREAKIN’ FINALLY was starting to get out pretty regularly on the audition circuit and start booking work.
All the while though, there was this thought in the back of my head…when am I going to make the move? When is the right time? How long do we do long distance? How long do I stay in LA? And I realised there was no right time really, but the sooner, probably the better. My heart said GOOOO!!!! Take the leap of faith!!! He’s amazing, everything you’ve ever dreamed of, and his son is gorgeous, adorable, hilarious, your little mate!!! But, I’ve never had any hesitation about Dave and his son. They were a sure thing in my mind.
I’ve been tussling with the commitment. Not just any old commitment, not just moving to another foreign city, nor moving away from potential acting opportunities. It’s the prospect of a long-term commitment to a life in the US, as Dave raises his son into adulthood and shares custody with Elijah’s mother who lives in the Bay area.
I never had a super clear vision of how long I’d be away, and people have asked me, “What did you think would happen, living overseas for so long?!”. I suppose I hoped my family and future would be in Australia. I thought that was a given, if and when I decided to return home.
Knowing that I have found myself in a situation where there is limited flexibility, where my mum, family, dearest and oldest friends and their families will not be apart of my day-to-day, or if I was to have a child, their life would be here, as an American primarily, without that support or influence, or growing up in a world that is such a huge part of me, is hard to reconcile. On one hand my heart is growing and blossoming in ways I’ve never experienced, on the other, I have moments where it feels as though it is breaking. There are solutions, sure. Of course I can always visit, and they can come here, and there’s Skype, etc…but, it’s not the same, and over the past year as I’ve been processing this truth, the letting go of that hope of a future has felt crushing. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, because I am not, and I want to assure you, I don’t spend everyday thinking about it, but it’s there and it’s real. It’s been an emotional tsunami. For me, for the people closest to me, for Dave; it’s been hugely testing.
But, there’s the hope of another future, with many beautiful elements, and surely many surprises. I have taken the leap. I am here. And I always make the best of it. Whatever that is. I’m navigating these new waters, not always gracefully. I’ve been pretty resistant some days, angry, distressed, wanting to retreat and process. I read a quote that really helped ‘Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never reached by the caravan of thinking'(Kahlil Gibran). Somehow, I have to trust that I can incorporate the best of both worlds, and find the happy medium. Taking things day by day definitely helps, as does gratitude.
I’ve met some terrific people thus far and been welcomed very warmly. I’ve found an enthusiastic agent, had a few commercial castings and even shot a small commercial gig for a new tech accessory. Dave and I have had a number of adventures – from the madness and divine world of Burning Man to the splendour of Lake Tahoe. We’ve caught Dave Matthews, Erykah Badu AND Lauryn Hill in concert. I’ve learnt about US football and whooped it up at a 49ers game, and been taking regular visits to our neighboring park, Golden Gate. So, that’s all been a blast, and then some.
For now, I’m enjoying quiet time and getting to know this new family, and city. The weather reminds me a little of London at times. My car has become almost redundant. I spend more time shifting it out of street sweeping zones than driving it, I reckon. The cost of things is certainly more expensive across the board. Even the dollar store I went into yesterday charged $1.49 per item (ummm, false advertising!). I’ve started back at Bikram (hot) yoga, and that’s amazing all round. Dave and his son, Elijah, make me laugh no end. We’ve been talking a lot about farts and pooping bears, been having major snuggle sessions and dance parties with Pharell’s song ‘Happy’ on repeat, at Elijah’s request (:
I’m taking it step by step, out onto the road again…and feeling stronger and lighter by the day. All is evolving as it should be…trust, breathe, believe.