Desperate Times call for Suicidal Thoughts.
I left. Knowing that to leave was to search for salvation but I’m not sure that I wanted it. Just like the 50’s housewife in “The Hours” portrait by Julianne Moore, I had to go find a reason to live. My dream might still come true? I had wanted to be a famous Hollywood actress since I was a teenager and first decided to follow my own ambitions and aspirations. Where better to head than to the belly of the beast, Hollywood itself for my final “hail Mary” move of hope. Perhaps I could still have a shot as a director if not as an Actress. I immediately jumped on my laptop and furiously searched for an affordable plane ticket to LA. It didn’t take much time to find a round trip ticket for 420 euros with 2 stopovers in London and Oslo. It was due to the risk of not receiving compensation if I missed one of the transfers. So many things could go wrong but it’s possible that it could all go right. It’s better than the alternative. The possible ending of my life in my home town forcing my few family members to be involved. I walked out to smoke a cigarette and stared at the distant mountains from the garden. Suddenly my chest went cold. I was afraid. A huge panic swirled through my veins and pulsated on my neck. What if I can’t do it? I have 300 euros left to my name and I impulsively bought a ticket to Hollywood. People will laugh at me. I looked around, exhaling the smoke and looked at the house and the land around it, at the mountains and knew I had to escape. It was a big house of nothing sitting on a big farm of nothing with nobody to talk to about anything that mattered. This is rock bottom. I’ve failed at becoming who I wanted to become and I’m at least going to go down dancing if that’s the case. If worse comes to worse and life doesn’t start making some kind of sense over there then fuck it, I’ll end it all there on a beach somewhere watching the sunset. Living without a purpose isn’t living at all.
I had read the whole of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist during the first stopover in London and sat there on the airport floor holding it in my hands because I needed desperately to still believe in something, to believe that dreams do come true specially if you travelled and searched as far and wide as I had. Surely, I would eventually find my compensation, my home, my success in financial terms and in merit. I’ll finally make it. I deserve this. If I don’t find any hope where I’m heading then I’m as good as dead. I was tired and sleepy and sat with the book on my lap as a comforter. When I reached LAX I received a message from the Cannes Film Festival Committee thanking me for my short film application and informing me that this year I was unfortunately not selected, to try again next year. I just set foot in the land of dreams and opportunity and this is not the type of news I was expecting to receive as a welcome note. My stay in Pasadena, Van Nuys and Culver City was with this underlined sour taste in my mouth. I stayed in places free of charge or with housesitting and pet sitting and Airbnb hosting as exchange. I cleaned a few beach houses there and lived off that for 5 months. This was it. I had no other option but to start again from scratch or return to Europe. I didn’t want to return to the reminder of my failure so I was somewhat forced to see what America had to offer me on this last chapter of my path. I just kind of survived and read and took long walks around the city. I hoped that the solitude and the walking in silence would reveal to me what the hell I’m supposed to do next. Who I’m supposed to be? My head is shaved and I want to be beautiful and graceful like before, I want to go back to my old life when I felt like I was going somewhere important and elevated. I’m in such a fucking rut. How did I get here? I’m a mess emotionally. I find myself thinking more and more of suicide as a reasonable ending to the colossal opera that my life has been. Go out with a bang. On my own and more importantly on my own terms so that I can at least for one last time feel empowered again. I’m fat. It doesn’t matter how much I walk and how much yoga I do, I keep getting fatter. It’s the weight of depression. Unhappiness has that added hint of torture when it distorts the way my image looks also. Adding insult to injury. I’ve never thought so much about killing myself. I don’t know if I should be worried or impressed to have the courage to actually do it.
During the first month I ferociously searched for a job that would pay me in cash seen as here I’m an illegal alien. You got that right. I am an alien. I found one, worked for a day and then walked out in tears. I couldn’t have travelled this far, learnt and evolved this much to be a waitress again. When I showed up for the interview a few days prior, the owner of the restaurant seemed to not believe that I was there for that job. She looked at me a couple of times and I could see that she was confused. The surprising bit about this exchange is that she was very open about it. She asked me if I was sure that I was there to work as a waitress. I said yes. She sized me up again and asked a second time. I felt as though she was looking into my soul. She was an Asian lady in her late forties with a snappy tongue and a sharp gaze. Upon hesitating, I then opened up and explained that I needed this job to get me started here even though I knew that it seemed somewhat inadequate with my background and cv. She looked at me, into my eyes and mine filled with water. I was suddenly utterly and completely vulnerable. She said that she understands I have an urgent mission to share with the world and empathizes with my feeling of anguish and with the need to quickly get to where I need to be. She called herself the key keeper and got an A4 piece of paper out where there was a long essay on her view of spirituality and then explained that she’s been waiting for the right person to come through the door and that it might be me. She wasn’t sure yet. That day I walked down the street with my first job in the US and a gleam of hope in my chest. I was still crying. In fact, I didn’t stop whimpering throughout the whole interview but they were tears of release and hope. It was in this moment of elation that a bug landed on my right cheek, startled I went to brush it off but stopped my hand just before touching it because I recognized that it was a ladybug. My old friend. Somehow the ladybug had become my omen appearing whenever I felt lost. Round salty heavy tears ran down my cheeks at the discovery and it flew off. I whispered to myself and to it and to all the world. Thank you. Thank you and wept all the way back to my friend’s apartment knowing that divine intervention had occurred for my sake. To relieve me from the pain I felt. It was the first small step towards healing hope.