What a strange year it’s been. A year ago I was already back in LA. One year of grad school still to go. Surrounded by people I love more than anyone else in the entire world. Surrounded by people who (I’m pretty sure) love me unconditionally. And somehow always put up with me.
Summer was beginning, but I felt like a kid still. A nearly 28 year old kid. Living with her parents in some socal suburban stronghold, working for money and for no money. Running wild all across town. Big city life, broke and exhausted, but ignoring that last bit usually. But always home. Always happy to have landed back in this place that is home.
Summer ended. My Eastside/Westside/Southbay/Midcity summer of driving and running and love love love endless love was closing. And school, that grad school thing that we middle to upper middle class white kids do when life seems boring and stagnant and static, it was upon me again like a kick in the face.
Autumn. PNW again. Not like the first time and certainly not like it would be in the end. Different and exactly the same. Trees and rain and beer and school and friends and mistakes and adventures and triumphs and letdowns. Everything changes and we do all the same things over and over.
Christmastime and back to real life, or something like that. Back to the Hollywood life, anyway. Parties and family and love and life. Old friends. New lovers. Broken rules. Broken promises. Broken hearts. Choices and mistakes. And I think I found a wholeheartedness that I hadn’t experienced in quite some time. And then I think I lost it.
And then a spring full of research and grading and thesis and films and events and parties and magic and friends and fights and some kind of renewal, just like you want from springtime. And suddenly, through the broken light of all my tears and fears and loss came the quiet shock of belonging somewhere else. Somewhere also. The strange realization that this might be home, too. And the people who are there to put you back together again are not always the people you expect. They are new and that is wonderful and exciting.
And this is how I leave it. That is how I leave this Emerald City. Back to the shiny glitz and the desert winds and the cloudless skies. Back to the only place I’ve ever chosen to be mine. Back to my home. My real home. That place where I left my heart. Back to those friends I will count on always. Back to those people who pick me up every single time. Back to the ones who forgive you for every stupid misstep. For every dumb mistake. For the mistakes you didn’t realize you were making until it was too late. Back to the life I feel like I never truly left. Like all of this, this year especially, was just a dream.