I can tell you about those last days I spent in the Tiny Trailer with the smell of chemical toilet wafting through the air, waiting until the day I could move into what turned out to be The Little House From Hell.
I can tell you how excruciating they were, counting the minutes, the hours and the days until I could get the hell out of there.
I can tell you that ever since then, I had to switch to fragrance free laundry detergent, because anything that has even a wisp of chemical in the fragrance now turns my stomach.
I can tell you that, at that time, I never had felt more desolate and bewildered than at any time in my almost 60 years of life that I could remember.
I can tell you that after living in the Tiny Trailer, I thought that anyone who ever dreamt of living in one of those tiny houses I saw all over the internet and all over Pinterest, must be FREAKING out of their tiny minds.
Like my High School friend Fran, who now goes by the name Francesca, who has 15 dogs, a husband who creates very large sculptures and another High School friend named Rita, who likes to cook elaborate meals and now lives with them.
But I’m not going to tell you about any of those things.
I am going to tell you about what I decided in that last week and how what I decided changed my life and saved my life.
I knew I was back in Los Angeles, a place I was happy to have left. I knew I was living in a tiny trailer, which made me unhappy. I knew that the Yellow House that became The Yellow House From Hell was only slightly better than the little tiny trailer and unless I painted the ceilings and walls and changed out the incredibly worn burnt orange shag carpeting, I would still be unhappy. I knew I had no idea what I was going to do for a living, which made me unhappy and scared, which made me more unhappy. I knew I had no idea in which direction my life was going to turn, which made me unhappy and confused, which made me more unhappy or which direction I was going to turn it, which made me unhappy and unstable, which made me more unhappy. Or how I was going to turn it, which made me unhappy and vulnerable, which made me more unhappy. I knew that not only was I desolate and bewildered, I was terrified. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. What I wanted to be.
And then, somewhere in the middle of all that darkness and confusion, the answer became extremely clear. As if Gordon Ramsay himself had whispered it in my ear. Ok, maybe he shouted. But I heard it.
I realized, all I really wanted to be, was happy.
Because I am a pretty happy person by nature. Not even pretty happy.
I am pretty much always happy, pretty much all of the time.
Maybe about 90% of the time.
Maybe even 99.9% of the time.
Just like Ivory Soap.
And all I wanted, with every fibre in my being, was to go back to being happy again.
No matter what.
But I just wasn’t sure how to find it. Again.
I thought perhaps, it had been either left behind in Florida, during my rapid sorting and donating of things I didn’t think I would need back in California or it was packed in a brown U-Haul box and buried deep within the confines of my POD, now in storage in the big PODS warehouse in Van Nuys.
I knew a big part of my happiness always had to do with home and home always had something to do with family. But at this point, I felt I had neither.
And I was pretty much right.
And that thought made me really, really unhappy.
And then I thought of Dorothy, who also had wound up in a place that looked pretty on the outside, but wasn’t really the home she had in heart.
But Dorothy had a Good Witch to give her directions to get her to the person who might have the solution to get Dorothy back to the place she loved so much.
Plus, she got a great pair of shoes to get her there, even if she had to drop a house on a Bad Witch to get them.
I had nothing. No Good Witch, no Yellow Brick Road to follow, no one at the end of that road.
But I could get a great pair of shoes.
And that was the first step.
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