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Slow Down

Last week, my friend M loaded boxes full of the few things I decided to keep into his truck to take to my friend G's house to store in her attic. We got a few blocks down Sunset Blvd when I realized I'd forgotten a book I'd promised G. M turned around and drove back to the apartment. I jumped out of the truck and started running into the building. From the truck he yelled, "Slow down!" I did. He was right. When I go too fast, I make mistakes and I get more emotional than I do when I take my time. I've been hearing M call out, "Slow down!" ever since I left. I've been thinking a lot about the life I left. The stomp, stomp, stomp from upstairs. The sirens, helicopters, and loud cars roaring down the strip. I've been thinking about the constant barrage of news and terrible images we're slammed with every day and I'm so grateful for the slow down. The loudest thing I heard today was a bunch of little kids kids singing on a school bus riding by my patio. And that sounded like JOY, not like the thundering engine of a Hollywood man with low self esteem. Yesterday, I went to the airport to meet a woman who was kind enough to bring me an adapter for my laptop and look for my suitcase. I stood there in the million degree heat, sweating and thinking my digital nomad journey may force me to start wearing deodorant again, while holding a sign with her name on it. I eagerly searched each passenger's face. "Not her. Not her. Where is she? Did I miss her?" Then I thought, "Slow down." I took a deep breath and told myself she'd appear eventually. And she did, with a big smile and my adapter. I sighed with relief, thanked her emphatically and went to airport security to ask about my baggage. "See the airline agent." I got in line and talked with the airline agent. They sent me back over to security again. I caught the eye of a kind looking man and asked him for help. He walked me over to someone else. The whole time, my mind spun fiction about how the suitcase was lost and that the only things I owned besides what M and I took to G's house were gone. I told myself to "Slow down." I reminded myself about "Island time." Then I thanked the Universe for the charger and the suitcase as if I'd already found it. Everyone assured me I should wait by security. That the baggage agent would come out after the next flight took off. I waited an hour, envisioning my suitcase in perfect condition just the way I packed it. And then I saw her. The woman who took my claim on Saturday. (Before I saw Jean and ugly cried.) I would have hugged her if I wasn't so sweaty and smelly. She asked my last name. I gave it to her and she said she had it. I held back tears. When I got back to the apartment with my laptop charger and suitcase, I marveled at how beautifully everything had worked out. I had taken off the first three days this week to adapt, but when I scheduled the time off, I didn't know that I wouldn't have had the power I needed to actually be online and work all day. Years ago, I would have been an emotional disaster over the lack of my belongings. One of my former roommates reminded me of a time in my 20's when I'd lost my wallet and my mind. She said, "How far you've come." She's right. I'm a completely different person because I've been on a long healing journey. I've worked hard on myself and I'm really proud of who I've become. Now, I think before I react. I do my best to stay calm and I'm learning that the best way to do that is to slow down. So, I'm feeling pretty mellow and super grateful now that I'm back to work, nomad style. How do you like the view from my workstation?

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