Monday, March 07, 2011

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

(Title of the post is just because of The Clash ... it's not a literal question. I already know the answer.)

It's getting to that time again. The time on every movie where I start belaboring the point about how many hours I work, and how I never do anything but work, and how insufferable my co-workers are. Blah blah blah.

More interestingly, this is the first time I've ever worked outside of LA in my entire career (okay, it's just 8 years ... but that's a long time when you're 28!) and therefore the first time in my life that I know for sure that a big move is imminent.

It's not that I don't like Albuquerque, because I do. But within a couple months of moving here, I knew that this wasn't the place for me. I don't know where, exactly, "my" place is. I usually assume that I will land back in LA, just because that's where my family is. Who can say for sure, though? I don't think William thought he would still be in Korea. I don't know that Diana or Amanda knew that they'd be back in the States by now. People take odd and sometimes meandering paths to get to their destinations, and even their current destinations are not guaranteed to be permanent.

One of the best and worst things about moving to Albuquerque was knowing that I wasn't going to be here permanently. I used to have a tendency to nest, because I stayed in my apartments for long periods of time. I decorated, I had home improvement projects, I painted and bought and knick-knacked ... no more. I live a spare life with little furniture and a mindful eye towards downsizing. I like it. I like knowing that I can pick up and move in a couple days.

It's difficult, too, of course. I stopped buying pantry staples because I started thinking things like "I only have three months left. Will I be able to go through another package of vermicelli?" "I should get the small package of rice, I don't want to have to lug rice back with me to California." "I can't buy that package of 12 soaps, I won't use them all." Hooray for forward thinking, but I know I'm still going to have the odd thing here or there that will travel back to LA with me come May or June (hopefully May. I pray for May).

Also, I have a sort of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to work. Right around the time it starts getting busy (I worked my first Sunday on this show yesterday), I start thinking that I'm going to stay wherever I am and not leave. Moving sounds so painful. What if the next place I go is even worse than here? Better the evil I know than the evil I don't, right? I'm friends with the people I work with now, do I really want to start over in a new place, where I don't know anyone? I think it's a mixture of exhaustion and delirium caused by fatigue.

I've already been having those little thoughts poking at me about Albuquerque. It's cheap to live here, I like (some of) the people I work with, I could save some money and tough it out another year, right? Maybe even less, depending on the project ... doesn't that sound good?

In reality, no. I miss my family, and I miss LA. And frankly, there are other, more interesting places to live that I'd like to try. I want to meet new people from different cultures. I want to live somewhere that is completely foreign to me. Albuquerque is neither foreign nor captivating- it's like a million cities in the United States. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but I need a change from this.

I don't know where I'm going to go. I have no idea what path I'm supposed to take. My mother tells me that my nose bleed incident is a sign that my body doesn't want to live away from LA, and she could be right. Or it could be a fluke accident that just means that it takes some flexibility and practice to live away from "home."

If anyone knows of an awesome visual effects job in a foreign place, let me know!