Thursday, July 26, 2007

why the west coast will always be home to me

I got back into DC two nights ago and I was greeted by a familiar feeling as soon as I got off of the plane—humidity. Sure, it was just after 9 p.m. and the sun had set long ago, but the humidity smacked me right in the face, a not-so-subtle reminder that I was no longer home. Even before I stepped off of the plane, a feeling of dread had pervaded my stomach. I didn’t really want to come back here.

There are times when I go home to visit and I can’t wait to get back to the East Coast. Usually, this feeling is brought on by family drama, which I would rather escape from than perpetuate. But since my niece was born, it gets much harder and harder to leave, regardless of family drama. And when Jesse comes to Cali with me, we’re entering a whole new level of difficulty leaving. For me, Jesse completes the family circle. I lack nothing. And when you have everything you want in one place, why would you want to leave?

As soon as we settled into our connecting flight in Texas, I turned to Jesse and said, “I don’t want to go.” Jesse, replied, in his most soothing voice, “It’s ok.” I shook my head. My head knows that eventually I will be ok. Eventually, I will return to work and the gym and the Metro and the routine of my life will fall back into place. But my heart knows that there will be a tiny part of me that will refuse to forget home—the family, the friends (who are practically family), my perfectly happy and intelligent niece, my doggie, my fabulous colorist, the perfect weather, the feeling of the sand through my toes and the ocean breeze through my hair. Damn that tiny part of me.

Last night, while going through pictures of our trip, my West Coast Withdrawal took over me. I sat there looking at the many pictures Jesse and I took (as soon as I'm done organizing them, I will post some of them here), thinking about how happy we were and how much I hated leaving. However, I refuse to regret moving here. If I hadn’t moved here, I wouldn’t have met my friends, I wouldn’t have my job and a career in public health, and (most importantly) I would never have met Jesse. Had I not moved here, I wouldn’t be the person I am now and honestly, I kinda like her.

The truth is that I actually have it pretty good here (despite the weather which I will never, EVER get used to). But it’s still not quite home.


sunchaser said...

I'm glad you had such a "swell" break! :)

The humidity is a killer "fer sure" :) But you're right it's good to explore, get outside of your niche/safety zone.

It sounds like it's made you a stronger person (not to mention given you experiences you would never otherwise have had).

I remember stepping off the plane at Sky Harbor in Phoenix once "round midnight" and seeing the the temp sign at 101!

Madame M. said...

I hear you.

I had a mini-breakdown at the nursery, when I realized that EVERYTHING grows in California. Here? Not so much.

lizzie said...

sunchaser--yeah, the vacay was awesome! and despite how much i say that i hate it here sometimes, i wouldn't be the person i am had i not moved here. there were a lot of challenges along the way and i'm proud to say that i overcame them.

now if i could just get over the weather...

madame--i'm sorry about your breakdown. i definitely feel your pain. i was so spoiled when i lived in cali. i wish i had realized how good i had it then so i could appreciate it more.