The last time I was on this flight from Munich to San Francisco I sobbed silently at takeoff. Not because of fear of flying, which I definitely suffer from, but because I was hit with a wave of emotion and in that instant I knew my relationship was over. No more pretending an alternate destiny was possible, no more head in the sand. I had gut-level certainty that the next step was a breakup, a chapter change, and the pain that comes when a love that once flourished must be laid to rest. I was grateful when the seat belt sign was turned off and I could go to the lavatory for a real ugly cry, with nobody around to witness my scrunched up face or hear my wailing.
That was in March, nearly four months ago. Now it is the last day of June and I am on the same Lufthansa flight headed home from spending some time in Italy at my grandmother's house. I cried again, but only because I watched an inspiring film (Joy with Jennifer Lawrence). It's amazing how much has changed in this short period, how different I feel.
Unlike the last time I was on this flight, I am not dreading coming back to California (even though I know divorce papers and the slog of moving my things from one space to the next await me). I also don’t wish I had stayed in Italy, although it was tempting to extend my trip after a successful beta experience of organizing wine and culinary tours with a childhood friend and a fabulous group of ladies as guests. It’s nice to feel a balance of saudades for the place I am leaving and the place that is my next destination.
I see myself coming into a new phase: one of being single and independent, having multiple jobs I create for myself, and with no clear primary residence. I’ll be bouncing between the Bay Area (the work-live artist space I’ve created in the basement of my mom’s house), the Italy-Slovenia border region (where my grandmother was from and her big, uninhabited property awaits its destiny), Houston (where my best friend lives), New Mexico (my dad’s place), and who knows where else in between. I envision lots of geography, lots of change, wearing lots of hats. Just how I like it.
I am trying out the elevator speech about my life as I meet people on the plane: “I am a jeweler, artist, translator, traveler, writer, and dancer.” Yes, all of those things together in one complex ball of self-employment and creativity and travel. Interdisciplinary, interconnected, international. Untitled for the time being. Following my gut. Seeing where the road takes me.