Wednesday, September 10, 2008


What am I doing? Besides going to Disneyland and taking sewing classes? And weeping over tiny cats?

I've found a place to live in Houston. A temporary place, month-to-month, so that I can get to know the city before deciding where to settle. It's too frustrating searching for a living space in a city you know nothing about, and from a distance. My plan is to give myself a few months, then get a fabulous place of my own. In my adult life, I've never lived alone. There was always Schmin, then Schmin and Mister Stevens, then Schmin and Bubs, then Bubs. There were also a few roommates peppered in, when I moved to NYC and before Mister Stevens joined me there. I can't say if I'll keep on living alone, but I'm excited about it for the time being. Just me and my 50,000 sewing machines.

Is packing anybody's favorite thing? It really makes you reckon with yourself, doesn't it? It shows your level of sentimentality, how comfortable (or not) you are with the idea of lack. Sometimes I want to sweep everything I own into the trash and see how I do without it all. I suspect I'd immediately set about the business of acquiring new things, because, let's face it, looking around at things that have your name on them imparts a sense of safety. I'll keep what I keep and dump what I dump and be on my way.

I am very, very excited about moving to Houston. I've hated Los Angeles with the fire of a thousand suns most of the time I've lived here. I don't feel that way anymore. I haven't for the last couple of years, since I met Natalie and found my Stitch 'n Bitch friends. A full-time job helped, too, because by the time I got it it didn't have to be the ultimate job of jobs. I had other creative outlets. Knitting and later sewing changed my life here. Before, it was all about the desire to "make it" as a writer, even while realizing that there wasn't a such thing as "making it" anywhere. Ask anyone who has so-called arrived. Making things is a lovely detour. Sometimes it's the main road, and that's good too.

LA looks different to me now. I've known for a long time that I was just passing through. These days the scenery is bright; the stops along the way surprising and beautiful. I am leaving here in my favorite way to leave a place: to embrace someplace new, rather than to reject where I've already been. This time I've got some experience under my belt. I've left home, and I've left my beloved New York City. I know now that one makes new friends, finds new things to love, becomes new from within all the time. And still, the people and places and spaces that came before are never lost. There is room for them in the new experience too.

So then, it's time for another leg of my journey. It's time to open another small gift inside this enormous gift of life. I only know gratitude.

Maybe somebody reading this is looking for a new place. I don't know everywhere, of course, but I am happy to share the places I do know, and it's my pleasure to take you along to Houston. My ears are open to hear great things (what's the point of anything else?), so I have a collection of quotes about the city. Every time I read them, I ride a wave of possibility for prosperity, community, and fun. Each day until I arrive there, I'll share one or two with you. Here's today's:

Where else can you live like a Saudi Prince for $50K a year?

I love that one. I sure do.


Stacy said...

I know I'm just passing through Philly as well. It has many great things and I have great friends here but it isn't "right" for me.

Good luck with the packing. It is one of my least favorite things to do!

Ellen Bloom said...

Oh Carlita!

We are so going to miss you in L.A.!!!! I hope you'll be happy in Houston. It is a great big town with lots to offer. I don't want to be negative, but have you heard that there is a hurricane headed there today? Well, Houston will never be the same once Hurricane Carla hits!!!

My guestroom should be ready by Spring. Please come back and visit.

L.A. Ell and Larry

Anonymous said...

Oh how fun and freeing to have your very own space all to yourself! The thing I miss most about living alone is, solitude. I loved being alone. Obviously not so much that I ended up getting married. But who knew!

I'm sorry to see you go. Movie night after work on Friday?

yaiAnn said...

Nooooo, don't leave Cali! The chances of me going to LA are WAAAAAAAY better than me going to Houston!

afrowalking said...

:-) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

j.kaori said...

Very thoughtful post. I'm sure Houston will suit you, even before you find your fabulous space. Funny about LA, or so cal, rather --- I'm still trying to find my way back there, as it is home for me.