I came home late last night tired after a long day of errands in the heat. California heat is not that bad, you know because it's a dry heat.
OK! Would you please shoot me in the head...I got news for you, heat is heat. And yesterday was hot and it was the beginning of Labor Day weekend and traffic was a bear. No matter how low I turned the AC in the car it's still black and I still felt like I was in a terrarium. Remember those? And Chia Pets? And Sea Monkeys? And suction cups to make your boobs grow? Did I lose you there?
On my very last nerve I pulled into my driveway that leads up to my beautiful home and there it was.
A huge sign was planted in my lawn, announcing to the whole world that I am moving. Eventually. (see earlier post) I was furious. Who would do such a thing? Who gave the sign person permission to do this? Who said I wanted to sell my house? Oh wait, I did. And again, if I looked at my immediate reaction of anger it thinly veiled my real emotions. Sadness and fear.
I always knew this day was coming. I had planned for my exit even as I was making my entrance into our little neighborhood. I had a plan. I moved here because of the fantastic schools. Bambi went to these fantastic schools - and got into amazing universities because of her education (and talent and drive!). But she is done and it is time for me to move on. That was also part of the plan - to return to the care and feeding of me. It is time I stepped up. Forward. Soaring. Leaping. Into the unknown. No net. Just wits.
But the sign affected me in a way I wasn't prepared for. I had a full on night terror. The kind that have you moving in slow motion as the 'thing' chases you. I was trying to scream like Nicole Kidman in "The Others" - this is my house! Get out! Get out! - but no sound would come out. And then the 'thing' caught me - and it was me.
(No more vodka before beddy-bye time for Ms. Milo.)
My little inner child shouted, I can't have a sign up before I know exactly what is going to happen to me next! I need, I thrive on directions. Clear lines. Black and white. No grey. And my ties to this home that I painstakingly rebuilt from the foundation up - are strong. I love my house. I love being here. I love what it feels like. I know where everything is. But honestly it is not the same without Bambi. There are many rooms I don't even go into - and not just because they look like a thrift shop exploded in them - it's that I have no need to. The realization that I was maintaining a home for a lifestyle I no longer have, made me feel incredibly sad but also pointed out that the original plan (the one I came up with while on my knees talking with God, during the initial stages of my divorce 13 years ago...) is the right one: when she graduates, sell.
I listed my house. I'd say that is pretty damn concrete. I came up with a price and signed the papers. We just never discussed the sign. So, while my agent was showing and showing and people were tramping in and clopping out - and I was eating frozen yogurt down the street killing time - and chanting my mantra; "Run Forrest Run, Sell Susan Sell, Buy People Buy" it didn't really sink in. I actually thought, "hey, maybe we're not going to do a sign..." Then I saw the sign. My reality check just bounced. Bambi is gone and I am selling my house.
What do I do now? Where do I go? A year ago around this time, before the November To Remember it was to New York. I was dating someone exclusively (I was dating exclusively... him, not so much...) who lived in New York and I was in love. Bambi had gotten into Boston U, Emerson, New York University and Syracuse. So it was a natural that we should move ahead with our plans to be one big happy East Coast/NYC family.
Today? Well, still Tucci-less I don't know if NY is the place for me. But I gotta tell you, it beckons me. It is my heartbeat. It has always felt like home. It is where I feel alive and talented and beautiful and never in a hurry because everyone is moving as fast as I and talking as fast as I... Just typing this makes me pause. If this is the place for me, where I can most be me again and yet I cannot pull the trigger, it must be that I am afraid. And if you know anything about me by now, you know that I am now pulling on my HAZMAT suit because I am walking directly into this fire! And getting over this fear!
Even Liza and Frank challenge me; "...if I can make it there I'll make it anywhere..." Oh you didn't know that song was written especially for me? Huh. Sure, I giggle but my logical mind freezes. Do I know enough people? Can I make a living doing what I love? Who will kill the spiders?
And then I realized that I am coping with these same things now - I live alone. Work is tough here, too. And I kill the damn spiders. Only I do this in a giant house with a lot of doors that have a lot of stuff I don't need behind them...
I wavered about selling when Bambi decided on a college in California. I know, I know. Could you die? After all that. She is here. I thought to myself...Do I stay here and be...ok, be what Candi? What are you gonna be? What can I be to someone who is well on her way and living her life? That's silly. I need to do the same. I need to jump. Bambi and I had a conversation about my downsizing and moving. And the night before I moved her into her dorm - and on the hottest day on record for that day in 110 years I kid you not - we walked through the house thanking it for all that it had done for us. Blessing it for keeping us safe and warm and cool and close to her friends and great schools. And then she said good-bye. To us both.
I did, too. And then I thought...hmm maybe I'll stay so that when she comes home she'll see I've kept a shrine to her... and then the nice doctor puts the crazy Candi on little pink pills to help her get a life...the SIGN, damn it! There it sits reminding me to keep my word. Eyes on the prize.
Here I am doing all this training and hard work to get myself back into shape for the next phase wherever life and my God with his wicked sense of humor takes me next. Musical Theater workshops. Private acting coaching. Performing in "Cabaret" with Kris Kardashian-Jenner. Memorizing monologues. Learning songs and putting them in a book. Putting my butt on the line every single day - being as brave as any person I know and suddenly I waffle about the one thing that has the power to set me free...
I think I was in my "oh this is gonna happen eventually" mode if truth be told. And never really thought I would have to box everything up and find a new place to live. But the sign tells me every time I see it, that I have to do just that.
I decided today when I went out to get the paper that I would look at this as my own sign that things are going according to plan. And that I have never been let down. That things happen for a reason, for the best. That I should expect the best. I have pared down my life to include only the things and people that make my heart sing. And I will gladly hand over the keys to my home to someone else to love and cherish.
I am replacing my sadness and fear with excitement for all that life is going to bring. And I have decided to concentrate on that hope, that expectant joy, that grey. That Tucci. I know it is out there. I have never known anyone to find all that they were seeking inside their home, alone. Unless they were wearing a nun's habit - and then usually the bar was set fairly low...
So look out...wherever...cause I'm coming. And wherever I go, there I freaking am. Do I think it'll be New York? Funny you should ask that. Today my neighbor asked me where I was going to move - and I said I wasn't sure. She looked at me and said..."Maybe you'll move back to New York. You're from New York, right?"
I take that as a sign.
You know you love me, Candi