Message Received

Photograph: John Riedy for John Riedy Photography
Photograph: John Riedy for John Riedy Photography

I’m confronted. Every moment. The decision to move overseas has been a deluge to the dirt that’s dried and hardened in the San Diego sun. At times, I’ve felt as if I’m caught in a never-ending mud slide.

The temptation to quit the work it’s taking to make Sweden happen has been strong, and I’ve come damn close to walking away. That’s familiar territory for me; nothing quite like the comfort of dreams evaporating by giving in to my favorite narcotic, FuckIt. (And the idea that I can have Mexican food any time I want.)

But then there’s that thing that kicks in. Common sense, faith, life experience, whatever. I hear the voice in my head ask “Are you open on the table? Are you dying?” My answer is no. The response: “Keep going, then.”

Fine. Message received. I’ve been in need of new head shots for some time (40 looks a little different from 37) and my good friend, John Riedy, is a world-renowned photographer. On Friday, I got myself all done up; downed a few lattes at a hip coffee bar in the name of art; chatted and told snarky jokes with John; completed the session; went on to business as usual.

And then I received the email linking to the photographs for me to review that night. There it was: #35 (see above). I was speechless .

I WAS LOOKING INTO THE EYES OF MY MOTHER.

What I instantly became confronted with was life if I didn’t make this journey, if I didn’t work tirelessly to make it happen. I finally got the whole “don’t stop ’til you’re done” thing my mother would harp on.

She didn’t stop until she was done. Who the hell am I to disappoint her? Who the hell am I to cheat on myself? Hell no. Enough.

Message received.

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