« Modern Love

GPS For My Lost Identity | With Diane Guerrero

2018-08-01 | 🔗

Sometimes, our deepest loves aren't people at all -- they're the places that make us feel most like ourselves. Laura Dave tells a story about one of those places in her essay, which is read by Diane Guerrero ("Orange is the New Black").

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Oh, the from the New York Times and W B. Wb are Boston. This is modern the stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host magnet Chakrabarti, the sometimes the thing we love most isn't a person. It could be a place that we were. Turn to over and over again at different times. AMS throughout our lives, Laura Right about one of those places in her peace, GPS for my lost identity. it's read by Diane Guerrero. You can see in Jane, the Virgin and orange is the new black she's. Also the author of a new book called my family divided last summer
I found out that my identity had been stolen. It was the week and of a friend's wedding, and I was standing inside the memorial church at Stanford University for the rehearsal, when I called my bank to make sure I could clear an important check, you may garland anytime. The bank associate told me that this would be impossible. As my account was almost thousand dollars overdrawn She then asked me if I was calling from Mexico. I looked around at in sprawling green students playing frisbee tourist snapping photograph and told the woman that I was fairly certain. I wasn't. Four Dave most recently called to inform us. She was in Mexico. She replied if you're, not there, then who are you my head started to hurt and it would continue to hurt, as the details emerged over the next few days
this person had acquired a debit card in my name and had used it to spend tens of thousands of dollars in going over every debit charge, The bank associate asked me if I'd shopped at Victoria's secret, like ever, I asked Do you know what the meat barn is? She asked? No, I said did I want to know definitely not still. The gravity of the situation. Hadn't really sunk in, I thought it would all be taken care of with a few phone calls. Then the first police detective I spoke with said ready kid. Once someone gets a hold of your identity, you have to fight the good fight to get it back. This is just the beginning. Could he be right? I thought I was coming.
To the end of a period in which. I had already fought the good fight, a period in which I had asked and answered many questions about my identity. Following a break up the fall before I had struck How to feel like myself again during those first few months version of me that I'd recognized as being essentially generous and open to the world seemed to. temporarily disappeared. At warp speed. I gone from easy going to Confrontational when a friend called in the middle of the night. To tell me he was having trouble with his wife, I told them to look in the mirror and begin therapy. When another asked what I thought about her quitting a job she hated and moving too. South America. I told her that
and I believe she was serious about being that brave. We could have that conversation historically I was the friend others sought out for relationship advice or to discuss a complicated family problem I prided myself on being non judge, but clearly, as I to start over that me was closed for business. I needed to return to my most independent self translated into not having much room for other people I dived into work die. into exercise and avoided diving into relationships, romantic or otherwise. At all costs and almost accidentally I found my straddling two lives. A new one. I was starting in LOS Angeles and the one I had left New York.
Day trip to Southern California in the spring turned into work opportunities which led to months of flying back and forth. This was moving forward, wasn't only Maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was just moving around, which isn't at all the same thing because there was post weekend at a coffee shop somewhere off highway? One o one on my way back to LOS Angeles in the surreal position of proving to Skeptical strangers, on the other end of credit hotlines that I was who I said I was, but I couldn't give them an accurate address Did I live in California or New York? I couldn't receive facts forms they need me to fill out, because I had no access to a fax machine alone and phone number sorry don't have one
I couldn't even tell them where I was going to be next week and I had unwittingly organize my life so that I was far away from nearly everyone who could remind me of myself. which of these can I help you with credit cards. Another ethics. Call this time with a credit union revealed that not only had the new Laura emptied, my checking account. She had also opened at least seven credit card accounts. In my name after I hung up, a woman at the nearby table gave me a kind smile? I didn't mean to listen in, but my sister in law got her identity stolen too. She said And it all turned out all right. I asked not really It was a nightmare that went on for years. I got back in
my car turned on the radio is high as it would go and continue towards LOS Angeles. Begin wondering. How could I I have known this was all happening. What was going to do to stop it. Just then I realized I was about to pass the turnoff that leads to the Monterrey Peninsula and big sir. The first time I had gone to bed, sir. I was nine years old and on a road trip with my family as we hit the expanse of highway one. When Carmel and Big Sur that almost impossible stretch of road carved into the divide of steep mountain rock and ocean, I had the strongest visceral reaction. I'd had any place in the World My father pulled the car over and, as my brother tells it, I started to cry because I was so happy. I tended toward melodrama as a child
but I can remember with great clarity sitting across from my father at a woodsy restaurant in big sur that evening and looking asked him out the window at the confluence of mountains and ocean. With a feeling of amazement. and an awareness I had never experienced before not unlike falling in love for the first time such intense feelings can you feel small in their grass or if it's a good love kind one you can feel the opposite bigger than you are braver, more certain of yourself, three years ago after I had finished writing my first book, I returned the Big sur and Sir a washed out January staring out at those cliffs the highway As to the south, by storm damage and to the north by fallen rock brutal enough that I didn't venture far that way either
had a black umbrella and big boots and took long walks each afternoon, The Van ten, a wilderness soggy and completely unaccommodating humbling and the best way it was a happy and while I had gone back there intending to start a new project, what I didn't other than take walks. The whole lot of nothing. Nothing had never. filled my days so expansively, which is part of the allure of the place and ease with it Alpha invites you in a little at a time eventually reminding you in big in small ways of your own humanity. And now here I was again about to miss the turn. But
time in serious need of a positive force. A detour, especially this detour was not the wisest plan. I had police reports to file paperwork that was due. Yes The officers words echoed in my mind kid. This is just the beginning. Still I took the exit as I West Carmel and began winding through those mountain side, curves and bridges towards Big Sur Valley. It was late after noon and turning very Wendy. I kept the windows open anyway. My first stop was that would see restaurant on the cliffs edge, where I had eaten with my family decades ago and where I'd also has Sunday night dinner during that rain, drenched January I walked inside and took in the
familiar mahogany bar and high rafters, and those windows offering uninterrupted views of the ocean and mountains. the restaurant, was closed for dinner setup, but the day integer. Let me go out to the terrace, where I old and at a table with a mug of coffee and watch the sunset Henry Miller. Who loved big sur and made it his home once said that Until we lose ourselves, there is no hope of finding ourselves. What about the other Laura walking around in Mexico spending my money and even speaking, to official at my bank all in an appeal lay convincing performance of me and here I was the real me- unable to tell in ways that ostensibly mattered- a Atkins it's story about who I was. it made me wonder for a moment, if maybe she was surely a better candidate for being me than I was, but sitting on
Terrorists, the peacefulness that envelop me when I stepped into the restaurant begin and changing into a kind of bedrock familiarity and all at once. I felt completely like myself, the self who had been tested or the self who was still figuring out where she was going next but the one beneath all that the self I had become acutely aware of my first time in big sur- The girl who was in awe of the world around her and her place in it Maybe this is what we get in life. A few great loves love that return us to ourselves when we need it most. Maybe some of those loves aren't people but places real adopted homes that fill us up with light and energy and hope at moments, we feel especially tired or lost. That is the beauty of love in all its forms.
we don't know when or how it's going to save us. That's Diane Guerrero reading, Laura Dave's essay GPS for my last identity will catch up with Laura the break
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I love spelling bee. My boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see, but you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in sorry. It may have happened again today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that when my dad was like the first time together and I was out- I think I got it- see it J, a c k, P, o g jack. We hit the jackpot, panicked, yeah, Elrond nice, I'm same as earth's sky. The digital pulses editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee in all our games at n, one times dot, com, slash games.
Laura Dave says that the identity thieves used her information to open thirteen different credit cards that made it hard for investigators to keep up with them and allowed them to go on a huge spending spree. These people bought over two hundred thousand dollars worth of products they bought a tunnel stuff from Victoria's secret? They bought so much sporting equipment. So much stereo equipment there was a lot of food purchased and then some specific food there was lots of pizza deliveries and There were lots. Deliveries. This was a long time ago, and I still remember being In all of a five thousand dollar purchase at Marshall's, I remember thinking: how can you purchase five thousand dollars worth of? products at Marshall's and not raise any alarms. They were never caught.
And Laura also never learned why she became their target the bill I had been living in a New York. There were a couple of other people that had there identity stolen in that building as well. So I thought it's someone that has access to the mailboxes. Is it someone that work in the buildings that someone that works at the post office, but I actually think what happened was It was two thousand and eight the internet was up and running. So there was enough technology that identity theft was running rampant, but the differ With me was, I wasn't around to stop it. Laura's identity theft turned into a grand larceny case. Her credit was. those in for almost a decade, but she says she hasn't suffer. Permanent financial damage and she was recently able to buy her first home in Santa Monica and Laura says that even though it caused such havoc in her life. She was able to find some good in all the chaos and I had to be the one vouch for myself. I realize as in ad,
way. What or to me. I don't think it's a coincidence that, six months later, I met my now husband and moved to our home in LOS angeles- and I never did have that sense of feeling so lost again. It was a gift of faith. That when she learned about the identity theft, she was so close to the place that made her feel most like herself. Big sur is just truly one of the most magical places in the world. It's one of those places, the longer you spend there. You kind of realize that it has this quiet. beauty that is truly healing. I have a friend who said about big Sur. It is Kind of like watching your soul outside of your own body. There is a piece illness there and sure it that
Really has never been tampered with. There is something about places that, if we're lucky he reminded us of all the different people we ve been at the different times. We ve been in that place and it's nice to have an exit that you get and as soon as you are in that town again or walking down that path again, you see all the versions of yourself that Another person even never knew Laura has a son now, but she hasn't brought him to big, sir, yet she's, she will someday for now. It's still a place that feels like her own. it's so drilled into us that there's this person that's going to save said: there's someone, that's gonna, save us
and what a nice idea that we are going, You bring ourselves somewhere. That is good to help us save ourselves. Flora Dave she's list living in Santa Monica with her husband and son. Her books include eight hundred grapes London is the best city in America and the Divorce Party but more after the break,
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I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see, but you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in sorry. It may have happened again today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that when my dad was like the first time together- and I was it out- I think I got it- see it J, a c k, P, o t jack. We hit the jackpot, panicked, yeah, Elrond nice, I'm same as earth's sky. The digital pulses editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee in all our games at n, one times dot, com, slash games.
Daniel Jones, editor of the modern love column for the New York Times, says that usually one of the rules of the column is that essays need to be about a person rather than a place. You know in the best rules are made to be broken. I guess because in this case it really is a story, about alone, of place in this place, big, sir, or at least how a place in forms your identity and shapes you and lets. You know who you are. I thought Lord that so powerfully here that it just me over sheets are lost track of who she was so to get back in touch with of deepest part of herself. Took a detour to where, where that part of herself the most alive thanks again to Diane Guerrero for reading this week's piece you can see
in Jane the Virgin and Orange is the new black book. Is my family divided? It's about her deportation to Colombia when she was just fourteen and how she was left behind. She's also hosted the pod cast how it is next week Kemper, who stars in unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Once I threw a playground ball at the head of a boy. Was repeatedly dunking, my young son underwater. Before I threw the ball. I shouted at him to stop, but he continued. I was at the other end of the pool, maybe a six seconds swimming but my five year old son was gasping and pleading and the fastest way to make. My point was to throw the ball. I played college baseball,
a pretty good on modern love is the production of the New York Times and W B you are Boston, NPR station, its produced, directed and edited by Jessica Albert Caitlin O'Keefe John Perotti Emery Sivertson sound design and original scoring by matters Our intern is Louisa Judge, here for the modern podcast was conceived by Liza Toby. I Adler's our executive producer, Daniel Jones, the editor of modern love for the New York Times, an adviser to the show music for the pod cast courtesy of a pm, I'm Meghna Chakrabarti see you next week. The.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.