I've been paying attention to a lot lately and thinking. I'm a comparison-contrast kind of thinker. Went for a walk in the neighborhood an hour ago, a clear fall day with downtown L.A. looking hi-def and the clouds threatening rain. It's amazing how you can take stock of your life within a square mile.
I passed the Hollywood Ford dealership down the street, remembering how me and my late spouse Bebbles went car shopping and bought all our Ford minivan detritus there. The rides to San Pedro and Long Beach we took in the beginning and how Bebbles drove with one hand and held my hand with the other. Sometimes I'd take my hand away in the middle of a favorite song or an idle moment. Bebs would joke, "I forgot you're ashamed to hold my hand in public."
We'd laugh and I'd say that wasn't true. I was never ashamed. One of our first major arguments, in another vehicle (Bebs' Dodge Daytona) happened after I refused a piece of jewelry-- Bebs bought it on pure impulse --and returned it on the spot in the store. Driving home on Los Feliz Blvd., our voices ricocheted off of the interior as Bebbles screamed that I didn't know how to let anyone give me anything and I screamed I wasn't a jewelry person. It's true. All of the jewelry I wear, my Mom bought me. She loves jewelry and has good taste she sends my way in that regard. I just missed that eye or desire for it, breaking generations of exquisite jewelry buying. It wasn't a rejection of Bebbles, but the platinum bracelet seemed too much at the time, dripping over like a coiled cobra. A friend I told the story to recently, on the subject of intimacy and one's past, said, "You should have just accepted it and said thanks."
It's 11 years later. The Ford dealership is a recession-casualty, vacant and dusty. Bebbles is with God. I would accept the bracelet now with the grace of maturity and a spirit of warmth. I thought of a lot of dreams I've had, live ones and dreamworld ones, and the gaps along the way. Not major gaps but those moments of the uphill pedal, investing everything to Make Something Happen. I'd always done it, but moving to Los Angeles and setting sights on a career in Hollywood 14 years ago ramped it up a million notches. I have no lasting complaints but I do so remember the goals and the jaw-clenched determination when months passed with no visible momentum. I remember the confusion of conflicting goals and directions of some peers, friends and family where they/ I / we couldn't find the words or stance to understand or close a chapter without bending the page.
I dreamed of a lot. I worked for them and tried to get them as independently and honestly as I could. I dreamed of Bebbles--a gregarious, laid back spirit in a van/SUV/big vehicle that could hold all of our mutual dreams and spur of the moment wanderings together. It came true. I found work in an industry that kept me in line for close to five years. I balanced: love was my life, Hollywood the career and it stopped at the front door (mostly!).
I lost Bebbles and a major, mutual dream was over in a moment. I remember the Truman Show-like aspect of the day Bebbles' heart stopped. The klieg and fill lights of the universe shut off with a sonic click and I was on a lawn, surrounded by good people, most of whom I didn't know who saw and tended to another human being in visible grief and shock.
Many dreams and goals followed: to continue my job and not disappoint people depending on me for the upcoming season; the goal of staying afloat and strong; the dream of being happy again and finding the trust that it wouldn't all go away...again. Loss can be overwhelming and yet dreams don't go away, they just transfer and flow into other things; sometimes to other dimensions we can't see. We have to trust.
We deserve to be happy and we deserve to live in trust, faith and anticipate dreams coming true and the expectant miracles. With time, I'm making peace with mine and starting to be excited for changing dreams for a changing, happier person. I know this is what a lot of us are doing in the midst of busy, uncertain and negative times. From traffic to the 7-Eleven, you can see people trippin' and tripping out on their own individual situation or situations that don't even involve them. We're under a lot of pressure: there's what people think you should do, what social media is telling us that everyone else is doing, explanations we feel we have to make, things we want and things that have to wait.
The world is huge. We blueprint the dreams and they come sometimes in other forms and ways not immediately visible to our eye. Delays are not denial, as one friend reminded me before I landed in an editorial position after close to two years. One year's hesitancy is the other year's intrepid leap. You will find the words and you will find the clarity in the right time. Don't rush your life or days. Dreams don't die: they just change.
I wish for everyone and myself that we pursue them, whether it's love, finances, faith, family and anything that speaks to our heart's greater expression. When it's truly meant for us, so many times, we know it right away and that's the amazing day that changes life yet again. I'm open to mine and it's a work in progress but I'm glad to be here and I'm thankful for many things. We all deserve those moments to honestly be able to say, 'I've dreamed of you.'