Notes on the Journey

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mourning and Gratitude

I'm going to Los Angeles to empty out my storage space.  I got the space so I could keep things in it that I would use when I went to Los Angeles for work.  After I moved to Albuquerque, I still had to work as a local in Los Angeles.  So, when I would go there for work, I would have to find temporary housing.  And, every time I would go, I'd have to set up housekeeping all over again.  Having stuff in storage that I could drag out every time made it easier.  But, since I've retired from script supervising, and won't be needing to go to Los Angeles for work anymore, the storage space and its contents are no longer needed.

I'm not attached to anything I have there.  Most of it is duplicates of things I have at home that I didn't want to have to transport back and forth every time.  I'll end up giving it away because none of it is worth bringing back to Albuquerque, and I would have no need of it.  But, the storage space is the last link I have to Los Angeles and California.  Once it's gone, there's nothing physically connecting me to that place or that life anymore.

Letting go of the storage space is a symbolic cutting of ties to my previous life.  Twenty-six years of living in Los Angeles and thirty years in the film industry.  A new era has dawned and it's time to put the previous one to rest.  I'd thought about retiring for a while, but doing it includes an emotional process of letting go that I didn't anticipate.

I'm arranging to see as many friends as possible while I'm in Southern California because I'm not sure when I'll be back there again.  I feel like I'm saying good bye on a number of levels.  I stay in contact with a lot of people by email and phone, but connecting in the same physical space and enjoying someone's presence is different and special.  I have many friends in Los Angeles, many relationships developed through the commonality of working in the film industry, and now that I'm leaving that behind, there will also be many people that I most likely won't see again.

I realize that, as excited as I am about embracing a new era of living and a new way of life, I'm also mourning the life that's moving into my past.  I'm mourning the end of something that was wonderful in many ways.  And, in the mourning of it, I honor it and all it gave me.  I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to work in an industry I love for so many years; an industry that accepted me and returned that love in large measure.

Saying good bye to something and/or someone we love is never easy, and knowing it's time to say good bye doesn't help.  So, I'm being gentle with myself and allowing myself this period of mourning and readjustment.  The mourning is a part of what allows the letting go to happen and, at a certain point, the pull of the past will dissipate and I'll be fully in my new experience.

I'm pretty good at saying good bye, because working in the film industry teaches you that.  Crews come together for an intense period of time and then fly apart at the end of the project.  I've experienced many periods of mourning at the end of all the films I've worked on.  It's always like losing your family, but there's always the anticipation and hope that you'll get to work with the same people on another film in the future.  But, this time, the good byes are permanent for most of the people I've known and worked with; this time, there's not going to be another film together.  The finality of that makes this period of mourning a bit more emotional.  And, I'm lucky to have so many people to mourn the loss of.

But, endings are also beginnings.  And, there's a big unknown out in front of me.  I know as I let go I'm opening the space for something new and wonderful to come in.  And so, I do my best to experience the full multidimensionality of this richly layered time in my life with all the gratitude it deserves.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

1 comment:

  1. We're both trading the comfort of the known for the excitement of the unknown. What a great gift we've been given!!!!!!