Just three weeks and two days after leaving the farm, I find myself living in my hometown of Long Beach, California. With the exception of a 3-week stay in Mississippi over the Xmas/New Year's holidays, I will be living here for the duration of winter. As my brother helpfully pointed out this morning, I am probably one of the younger Snowbirds flying around these days.
God Bless the Queen
The reality of this has not yet hit me but I keep thinking, 'I haven't lived in Southern California since before the Internet.' This fact succinctly illustrates just how long it has been since I left behind Beach Bunny Heather and also, just how much has changed since February 1997, when I moved to San Francisco. (And yes, I realize the Internet existed then but it was not yet the norm - nobody I knew had an email address or cell phone.)
CSULB, my alma mater
Last night I slept in my childhood bedroom - both comforting and disarming. Naturally, the brain starts to wonder, 'Have I accomplished anything since I lived in this room?' For many people, a return to the hometown means confronting ghosts, resurrecting long-dead memories and a confrontation with one's advancing age. I am no different, despite my hometown being a sunny, suburban ocean-side burg.
I aim to create new memories here and I've plenty of incredible friends here to help, some even within jogging distance. And all that culture I missed over the summer in North Dakota? I'm going to gorge myself on concerts, screenings, plays, stand-up, improv and anything else that Los Angeles cooks up.
The Wiltern Theater - many memories here.
So, in addition to pondering what to plant in spring and how to pay for all my crazy dreams, I'll be the one jogging on the beach, marveling at the weather and mentally making peace with all kind of ghosts.