This has been sitting in my drafts forever! And as I work my way through, now I am posting it. (Esp since it’s a little extra relevant, since I’m in California right now, and it’s all still true!)
Going back to California, wasn’t just traveling 3,000 miles all the time. It was like going in a time machine. It was so weird and surreal, and I hardly even know how to talk about it.
Getting assaulted soon after moving to a new place adds this whole weird element for me. Because there is this very like super line in the sand for me about “this was my life before” and “this is my life after” because eeeeeeeeveeything about my life had just changed – my job, my apartment, my living situation, and on and on. Everything, down to the very little things. Nothing is really all *that* familiar in New York.
So, when I go home to California, I the incredible comfort of knowing a whole network of people there who’ve already made their impressions of me. I go home and they treat me like a strong, competent, happy woman they know and love. I don’t have to worry about proving myself to them. They don’t know my assaulter, so I don’t have to worry about “how do I handle this conversation?” (My answer was to always just smile and nod “uh huh, yeah, yeah, he’s great,” because it seemed so much easier than “starting anything.”)
I just – I am supported and I am comfortable and I have my whole own group of friends in California and it’s lovely.
It also really feels like a different time. Everything in New York happened *so* quickly that it was all just kind of…. well, like semi in the words of the song, it was like both a sweet dream and a beautiful nightmare all at once. It’s all just been so mixed into the same thing for me, and it is just this weird part of my life. And while I don’t want to give it up, because I have dreams yet to do in New York, there is something so comforting about coming back to CA because even though parts of NY were so freaking undeniably beautifully amazing, the nightmare part was such a nightmare that when I come to California, it’s like I got to wake up. Like “phew! Oh yeah. Thiiiis, this right here is my gorgeous life. Goodness, that was such a weird ride, but look, I’m home, and I’m so safe.”
Also, I think there’s maybe something to the idea of your surroundings helping you be the kind of person you are? In New York, I might have issues just leaving my apartment. It just feels scary for some reason. (I will probably write about that more later.)
But in LA – I’m not always perfect about this, because I’m still struggling a lot, but I get up and go to a workout class. I get up and go because I *think* there’s something in that I’ve made habits here of what my “life is” in LA. I was new to NY with no real habits there formed yet and I just feel lost.
And maybe I can change things. (I probably can. Practically every single thing in life can be changed, I think.)
But it’s just – everything is just so much easier in California. It’s not just a cross-country plane ride. It is a time machine. And it’s such a weird/cool/wonderful/odd/safe feeling to experience. And I don’t know *quite* how to explain it, but there you have it. That’s what I’ve got today!