i was watching footage of myself the other night with a tremendous director (and even more tremendous friend) and another special new cohort of mine. the clip is from only a few weeks ago, and i’m talking about all of the great things happening in my life, wondering if and when the other shoe is going to drop. i saw both rob and lucy (my viewing companions) do a slight, slow nod… everyone knows that feeling, right? when things seem too good??

here, i’d normally (based on the tone of all of my previous blogs) apologize for being dark and add some addendum about how i’m usually pretty fucking positive. but i write this blog to get the dark parts out. it is, after all, about cancer.i am writing it from the perspective of someone who’s been tossed around in the ring with some fierce competitors… not only in the past year.

i think i’ve completely refrained from writing about my father, and his self induced, untimely end. and i’ve definitely not written about what it’s like to spend your childhood undergoing surgeries to correct a physical deformity on your face.  i haven’t reflected on the countless people i’ve lost both suddenly, and slowly and painfully. nor have i written about the fact that my mom and three close female cousins in her generation have all lost breasts to the beast. But that’s why I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. bad news comes. it’s life, it always comes.

for the past week, i’ve been working on the documentary about my journey with cancer out of a production office in venice. i arrived in the inaugural days in their new space, a beautiful converted duplex apartment surrounded by insanely good restaurants and filled with the most joyful, intelligent, passionate lot. and two new dog friends, to boot. i’ve been working side by side with an editor who really seems to care about the story, which has been helpful since it’s been a real friggin’ emotional roller coaster to watch through all the footage.  sometimes, it’s gut kicking. it’s like reliving every tear. every needle. fortunately, there are so many awesome people – in my personal life, on my medical team and, consequently, in my film, that reliving a lot of it is actually joyful. moving. bolstering.

this week has been as much about the film as it has about interpersonal connection. i was able to reconvene with two of my closest busan cohorts. i’d say reconnect, but i’ve never disconnected from jordan and ray. they’re family. they have a beautiful space and they’re the class of friends with whom i’m instantly at home.  the weekend was a bike riding, dancing fool kinda funfest with a sweet (albeit a little rough around the edges) air bnb smack on venice beach and the right partner in crime. and then i landed at the house of aforementioned tremendous director. yet another ‘feels like home’ situation, nestled in a hippie garden. i’m talking some serious positive energy.

i leave LA-la land tomorrow morning, but i imagine that i’ll continue to stay in la-la-land (as much as i can while wearing seven layers and snow boots) with this continuously promising new romance with a fun,  smart, supportive man, a film career that i believe to be nearing completion of its gestation and about to start its actual life, and this rewarding new source of income. i’ve come to terms with the fact that i will probably always teach part time. i’m good at it, it pays, and it makes me think about the world around me on a more basic, grounded level.

i couldn’t be happier with the way things are unfolding . life’s here, and i’m grabbing it (even if sometimes a little too indulgently). all of these things are simultaneously happening that add form and color and flavor to a life i’m still in the process of redesigning. i like the way it looks so far, this post-cancer world. i know cancer will always be part of my life now. i will always, always, be living in between parentheses. but parentheses are just bookends around the words. outlines around the color. the bun around the meat. and right now, the meat is pretty friggin’ juicy.

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6 Responses to la-la-land

  1. Congratulations on everything Jen – I’m so happy things worked out for you.^^ You probably don’t remember… but you and I had a late-night/early-morning chat at Ol’ 55 one time and you were telling me how the next step for the Busan artist clique would be Los Angeles. And there you are! Funny how things happen, huh? 😀 Sending good vibrations your way~~~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. chacha says:

    la la la la…la la la la…. Hey Hey ….Goodbye Cancer… Hello Life….We all have those parts of our life that could be written differently, but are the most important part of who we are and who we’ve become. You are fuckn amazing Lady. And when or if the other shoe falls, we’ll be able to catch it like we’ve done so many times before….Sooo love you to the moon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sharon teig says:

    So happy to hear your joy and gratitude jumping off the pages of your blog..aa a new friend,I look forward to relishing you and your words..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sclazarus says:

    Love your verve! Strong start to the new year. xoxo


  5. bonnie says:

    Love love the way you express yourself , sometimes dark, and a little rough around the edges but so smooth on the outside.I hang on to your every word because you inspire me to be a smarter person. Not waiting for that other shoe, just living in the moment. Hugs


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