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[As I go through massive change in my life at the moment, I am reminded of those other moments of massive change in my life, when I left NYC for Berlin, and then when I left Berlin for LA. I’m revisiting those changes partly out of nostalgia and partly as a way to feel more grounded and complete now. As part of that process, I am sharing some entries from my diary as I remind myself of what that time felt like. This is circa 2003.]

This is where it starts.  So pay attention.

Tel Aviv.

I got in around 5pm this afternoon and went straight to the beach with my mother and my dog, where we ate dinner at one of those cafes on the beach with the sand between our toes, Dylan digging holes under my chair, before coming back to do some preliminary unpacking, showering, eating, and email.

It’s 1:30 in the morning here, and I’m feeling that curious kind of tired where your body knows it should go to bed, where you’re tired because you know you missed a night of sleep, but there’s still the part of you that knows it’s not even seven pm back home, and sleep is the last thing you want to be doing. If I was truly responsible, I’d take some melatonin and deal with the jetlag head-on, but I don’t want to go to bed. I don’t feel adjusted yet.

I’m very aware of the fact that being here today means I’ve got two days to get ready for Berlin, a fact that I could easier ignore while in New York. But now that I’m here, I’ve got Wednesday and Thursday ahead of me, and then I’m off for two whole weeks to a city where I’ve got a lot of acquaintances but no friends, no safety net, and no officially confirmed place to stay. Oh yeah, and I’ve got at least three gigs with songs I haven’t even fully learned yet!

I guess you can get a lot done in two days, right?

Despite the slight gnawing in my stomach, I’m feeling really good about the next month and a half, and, frankly, the next three months. Subletting my place was brilliant, and I’m so glad that I did it. Having time to catch up on rent is a total godsend, and I’m curious to see where this takes me. I think it might be really healthy, as I tend to use my apartment and my belongings as too much of a fortress, and now I’m stripped bare and forced to face the world.

It’s a scary feeling but I think it will make me change. It’s like I’ve been training and now it’s time to get real with it all, to figure out what I’m doing and where I’m going and who I am. I think there’s a lot of change just around the corner, and I’m curious to see how it all feels once I’m in the thick of it.

One thing I do know is that it feels really good not to be in New York right now. It feels good to have some space from my apartment and my neighborhood and my life. I was really starting to feel trapped by my life, by the way New York forces you to make decisions and to maintain those decisions with no room for error, no room for the unconventional under the constant burden of generating enough money for your monthly expenses.

Despite that, to be honest, a small part of me [the part that’s afraid of the dark and of heights and of being alone] sort of wishes I wasn’t going to Berlin, that I could just take refuge here, but I’m ignoring that part.

Two days until Berlin…

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