There are a handful of things I have written in the last ten years that have brought me to tears during the process. Most of those things have been about loss, or about rock bottom moments. They've been my anger rants to exes or self awareness posts about depression.
When my agents told me back in November that the script I had written was good enough to get me staffed on a show, I was thrilled. I bought shots for every bartender and a couple random strangers at Rarebit. I had moved to Charleston with the awareness I would probably have to put writing on the back burner in order to find the happiness I was looking for and lacking in New York. I knew there would be compromise. I never expected to write the script that would potentially put the rest of my life in motion while sitting on my porch drinking a beer.
When he asked if I was prepared to move to LA, without hesitation I said "of course!" And when I sat down for my general meetings in February, I knew I had the ability to do what I loved and have that ability recognized.
When the second script I wrote down here got even better accolades from my agent and certain execs than the first in March, I knew I had to make the decision. Staffing would begin in April, and meetings would come rolling in May and June. Yet here I was, scared to death about having to pull the trigger.
I once wrote that Charleston gives a warmth to my bones that I couldn't explain. And I still can't. I just know when I walk out every day onto Smith St., everything feels right. There's an anchor in my heart and it's planted firmly here. Safe in a harbor where I have found nothing but love and friendship.
In eight months I have discovered a love for life I didn't think was ever possible after my depression. I always thought the best I could hope for was alright. Just okay. Fine. Instead I have found that there is no end to the possibilities of how happy one can be. Every day I've been here I've woken up and been just a little bit better than the day before. I have learned how to deal with a life I was once terrified of waking up to. I have embraced challenges and thoughts that I never would have at 25. Made friends and had relationships that are beautiful and complicated and messy. I woke up every day not just wanting to get by, but wanting to be better.
And the only way I can rationalize leaving is by telling myself that it would be a damn shame to not take every ounce of happiness, every lesson, every heart break and mend, every overwhelming ounce of love I have found here and put it toward the one thing I love to do. I kept telling myself the stories I could tell aren't meant to be kept here and here alone. Those lessons need to be put into action. I need to write, I need to be in LA, and I need to have the experience I've longed for and worked for over the last eight years. I need to succeed my happiness, not just live in it.
And so I chose. Found an apartment in Santa Monica, made the decision and will need to find some way to say goodbye not with sadness in my heart, but with hope. And if living in Charleston has given me anything, it's the astounding ability to hope.
And as I begin the last month of living in Charleston (for now), I look forward to 31 days of nothing but happiness and adventure. Of making the most of the time i Have left here rather than trying to hold onto each moment, afraid of its inevitable end. I look forward to trips to Folly and Sullivans, hikes with Jamie, lacrosse and beers with Colin, laughs at Muse and walks home up Vanderhorst. Wine nights with Emily and Eli, heart felts with Drew, laughs with John & Jamie, shows with Miles, beach days with Mike and Don, being Jewish with Donnie. And of course, beers on the porch while Cooper tries to eat bumble bees.
I will also relish every ounce of pain I feel as I get my tattoo - not all those who wander are lost. It seems appropriate to take the mantra that made the most sense to me down here with me wherever I go. And have the ability to remind myself this place is always with me.
And in between all those moments, I will look forward to the new ones waiting to be made in Santa Monica, with new roomies and a new town. A new beach and a new job. And know that even if everything falls apart, I will always have a place to come back to where even on the worst of my days, I am happy. And if that's not the highest goal in life, I can't imagine what is.