I go back to a walk I never expected to take on a coast I never thought I would see. I go back to the beach and the sign on the hills, which said, “Hollywood.”
I go back to the way the Pacific looked and how the sun felt upon my skin. I think of this trip and the doors it opened. I think of its consequences and the doors which closed behind me. But I was fine with this.
I stood outside a hotel somewhere near Woodland Hills (I think.) The sun was on its way up. I was standing near a palm tree in California. I was on the phone with someone back home on the Eastside.
I felt something here . . .
There was something in me. I felt alive as if my life had folded over into a new light. I thought about the path I had traveled and my ideas and the beliefs. I thought about the limited concepts we hold in our assumptions. And we say things like, “I just assumed,” which is what I always did. I just assumed this would be me, limited by my own thought process. But there I was, defying my assumptions which never assumed that I would be where I was. But of course, there I was on the West, doing my thing and having a discussion about one of my empowerment groups back home .
The idea machine is dream based; however, the doubt machine is rejection based. And rejection breeds pain. Rejection breeds fear. Rejection is that thing we have, which triggers the alarms in our mind.
It’s like a weed that suffocates our dreams; it keeps us from daring, keeps us stagnant, and keeps is stuck in the idea that we will never “Be” because the doubts we have are too doubtful to ever conceive the ideas that our dreams could possibly come true.
I go back to one of the trips to the west. I was undergoing a new experiment (so to speak) and the relationship that brought me here was challenging to say the least. But to say the least, I was doing more than traveling from one side of our country to another. More importantly, I was exploring the idea that this could be me. And this was me. I was learning. I was experiencing new things and seeing another side of a world I’ve been living in.
Strange though, the world we live in is the same but miles apart and different in accent, which by the way, mine was astonishingly obvious —I saw the same things in Los Angeles that I see here.
I saw beautiful people. I saw wealthy people and poor. I met a man that walked around on Hollywood Boulevard for three days with no shoes. He lost the concept of time and the understanding of his sanity.
I met him on one of my trips out there. I saw him in a rehabilitation facility. His eyes were somewhat electrified. He was twitchy and still fresh to the program. We spoke for a brief moment but the conversation was nothing that I would call memorable.
Nearly a year later, I found myself back there on the same experiment but with different intentions. And there he was, the man from the facility. He was in a 12-step meeting in which my client was looking to attend.
He remembered me. Of all things he remembered from a time that was too crazed and too cluttered from the tail end of a crazy psychosis, he remembered me.
Said I talked funny. Said he remembered my story about the time they brought me in to an outpatient program and I decided to light a small fire in the hallway to keep me from consideration. Said he understood the idea because it made sense to him. Said he remembered the kindness more than anything.
The problem with our assumptions is sometimes we fail to assume that something so small as a friendly hello, a smile, a handshake, or a hug can be truly impactful on someone else.
I go back to that walk I took on the beach. I go back to the disconnection between me and anyone else. I looked around and took in a deep breath. I thought about the doubt machine and how in a million years, I never assumed this would be me.
But it was me.
I mean, who else could it have been?
There are times when I revisit this walk in my mind. I revisit a sunset I watched and recall the mountains, the places, the views, and the Hollywood sign. I drove from one end of Los Angeles to the other, which is rough because literally, everyone in Los Angeles has a car and they’re all on the road at the same time.
The traffic was like nothing I had ever seen. But then again, the sunsets were like nothing I had ever seen before. The sunrises were breathtaking. More importantly, in whichever way this trip happened; the trip happened and opened new doors.
I have this dream of me making it out that way again. Maybe it will happen soon. Maybe it won’t. Either way, I have this thing I call the idea machine. This is dream based. And firmly, I believe that dreams come true.
I know they do but the doubt machine says differently.
On my last trip, I knew that this particular experiment had run its course. I knew that one chapter was about to close. I felt concern that maybe this wouldn’t happen again.
The trip I mean; not the experiment.
About a month back, I took a flight down to Texas. I didn’t see much. But the experiment opened a new door.
I met a man I never knew before, never seen before, or even heard of. We took a cab ride from a hospital to the airport. We flew down to Texas, got off the plain, made our connection which took the client to his destination and then I boarded a flight and went home.
I will admit that I had certain expectations after this but they fell short, which is fine. But again, I did things I never thought I would do. I gained experience that place me one step closer to the goals I look to achieve.
So long as I continue, I feed the idea machine. And so long as I feed this it grows. But if I stop or overthink about the bumps in my process, I find myself feeding the doubt machine.
I go back to that trip to California. I go back to that walk and the memory I have of the beach, Malibu, and the palm trees, the walk on Rodeo Drive, a band I watched play and a man I met with a similar accent to me.
I go back to the way the lights looked on some of the marquis. I think back on the way the sunset touched the hills and the morning I spent, awake before anyone else, and on the phone with a client back home. The sun was coming up and the nearby palm trees swayed. I looked around and thought to myself, “Not bad, kid.”
Not bad at all—