Drum roll please, for some big life news...Patrick and I are moving back to L.A.
Okay, technically Patrick will be moving there for the first time. And technically we'll be moving to Orange County, since I'd prefer that his commute to Irvine be only somewhat soul-shattering. But you get the drift. In three weeks time we'll be strolling palm tree-lined streets and breaking hearts like only westside players do.
I'm nervous. My relationship with my family is tenuous. It ricochets between good and horrid like the peaky lines on a seismometer readout, and the framework is NOT retrofitted. I literally googled "how do I stop resenting my parents please help" two months ago. So we'll see what happens. I'm really working on letting go of past acrimony and getting my head in the right place. Things are going to be tricky, but this could also be a time of great remedy.
Winding in and around the stress of packing and moving is the undeniable feeling that I am going home. When I left L.A. in 2005 I was running away and the Bay Area turned out to be just the right refuge. The land of 70 degree days and sweatshirt-clad families has been kind to me. I've learned hard lessons that broke me in the right ways; suburban tough love, if you will. Even in my lowest hour, I knew things would turn out okay. Northern California is full of lulling sweetness in that way. There's a quiet safety here that I needed desperately and I am very aware of that. Bay Area, I owe you one.
But I'm excited because to be honest, I am so tired of this place. In the past decade I've watched the delightful quirk and character of San Francisco grievously eroded by the relentless gentrifying swarm of tech employees clamoring for $16 craft cocktails. The South Bay where I live is an increasingly stale and flavorless cultural desert where almost everything is simultaneously mediocre and grimly overpriced. I'm greedy for stories and Southern California still has them knee-deep on every corner. I can't wait to see my friends again and write a few of our own.
I'd like to think that I've sucked everything worthwhile out of Northern California, like a heartless locust who feeds on sincerity. Do you hear that, Bay Area? I absorbed all your powers and now I'm creeping out before you wake up. Ten years ago I arrived here cowered, hazy and lost and now I'm leaving the kind of person who knows that there is a dazzling and fierce power in being lost. Santa Clara, you never felt like home but I will grant you this: you taught me to find home in myself.
I'm nervous. I'm excited. I'm ready. L.A. gather all your secrets. I'm coming for them. Friends, line up those tacos, that bánh mì, your french dips and your dim sum. I'm coming home. Babies, give me that bomb beat from Dre. Let me serenade the streets of L.A.