Los Angeles.

Oh, Los Angeles. It was good to be back.

As most of you are aware, my first gig out of college was in the sunny city of Los Angeles, California. And since leaving that world, I try to make my way back at least once per year. I guess this week is my once for the year.

I’m off to Tucson today, and in planning for my trip, I called my grandmother to make sure it was okay that I popped in for a few days. Of course, she was excited to see me, and was somewhat startled by my need to plan out my three days with her.

“Let’s just take one day at a time,” she argued.

I was relieved. Having such a strict agenda when visiting family can be exhausting, and sometimes low-key and unpredictable moments can help with some of the baggage I talked about in my previous post. My grandmother then followed up with a story about how her daughters (my mom and her sisters) use to get on to her for not letting things go. “Let it go, Mom,” they would argue. And her response?

“Where does it go?”

It seems that with age, there becomes less of a need to plan and plot out every twist and turn. My grandmother then went on to assert that her, “where does it go,” inquiry only made things more complicated, and at some point, we are all responsible for actually truly pausing and letting things go. And this grandmother-inspired sentiment exists as the ah-ha from my time in Los Angeles this week:

Be unprogrammed.

Although I packed my calendar with meet-ups and friend-dates while in LA, I enjoyed a relatively unprogrammed few days. I stayed with one of my best friends, who I have known for just about ten years, and there was something really calming about hanging out each night without having to program, plan, and coordinate some out-going shenanigans. That, and we are almost thirty. This alone add some sense of escape.

And while this may come with age, my precious grandmother is only giving me a glimpse into the realities of just sitting still, and letting it go (whatever the hell, “it,” ever really is). As the holidays are approaching (from the traditional sense or merely the “offs” we receive from the societally-observed celebrations), now is truly the best time to let it go. And I would argue, start with yourself.

Sure, things are uncomfortable, stressful, and at times, draining. But such is life. Move on. Move on and move forward. But above all else, be still. Let whatever needs to pass, pass, and then find some comfort in whatever the hell presents itself. As my friend affirmed me just months before the China bit ever came to fruition, “Throw your dream into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country” (Anais Nin). Hold on to that kite, and give it everything you’ve got.

Throwing,

Michael

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