Sunday, December 17, 2006

Capricious. Fickle. Flighty. Wishy-washy.

This figuring out where I want to live business is exhausting. Sure, lugging Iain (who now weighs a whopping 32 lbs.) through Ontario and Oakland airports, balancing him on my hip while I virtually disrobe at the security checkpoint, and keeping him entertained while we sit on the runway due to inclement weather can be challenging. But really, it’s the mental workout that’s doing me in.

I thought I’d made up my mind to stay in LA. I even made a pretty convincing case for it to numerous friends and family. And now…again…I’m not so sure.

My reason and rationale for staying in LA is simple and straightforward and singular. Friends. I don’t mean acquaintances or “work friends” or people that you hang out with because your kids are on the same soccer team. I mean genuine, intimate relationships with people whose company you really enjoy and who know all your shit and love you anyway. I don’t want this to be taken lightly, because it isn’t a light topic for me. If it were, my house in LA would already be on the market.

But, there is absolutely nothing about the city of LA or the Greater Los Angeles area that excites me. Almost everything about Northern California excites me.

Today, Iain and I did everyday things that reinforced how much I love Northern California. We woke up to a cool house shrouded in fog, nestled in the trees, overlooking the ocean. We sipped our morning beverages next to a cozy fire and listened to birds calling outside. We ventured out to Toys r’ Us in the largest city in Marin (San Rafael pop. 50,000) and met a lovely family who directed us to the local Trader Joes. We bought our goodies and struck up a conversation with a really nice guy who joked with Iain and recommended Paradise Market (not Togo’s) for a great sandwich. By then, the sun was shining but it was still a brisk 50 degrees. Perfect for sitting outside bundled up in a winter coat. After lunch, we headed into the city.

The city gets its own paragraph of course. First of all, there is nothing more amazing than driving through the green hills of Sausalito and emerging from the last curve right at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. It makes my heart skip and takes my breath away every time I do it. You can actually feel the energy change while you are out over the water such that by the time you land on Lombard, it is a whole different world. Like Manhattan, space it at such a premium in San Francisco, that everything has height. Plus, the hills add another dimension of interest to an already interesting city. Iain was captivated by the buses of course. And the cable cars. And all the people. I was fixated on the different neighborhoods and how much there was to explore. I wanted to park, pull out the stroller and stroll. But today was a day for shopping and the most efficient use of that time would still be had at San Francisco Centre. I won’t go in to the details of our shopping experience because after all it is still a mall. However, we ate lunch at a great French bakery and again met several really nice people who all seemed to be fascinated with Iain. We walked along Market in the hustle and bustle of other holiday shoppers, passed over the city sidewalk grates that could only be charming to someone like me, and stopped at a local café for an evening cappuccino.

So now, I am rethinking the city as a place to live.

I know myself well enough to know that I would eventually want to retreat to the comfort of Marin where parking is easy to come by and houses have backyards instead of fire escapes. But maybe, while I have the chance, I should live in the city for a little while. Maybe just rent for a year? Let Iain’s spongy brain soak in everything a city has to offer. Meet others who share a love for wine and books and theatre and music and all things independent. Maybe. While I still have the chance.

Capricious. Fickle. Flighty. Wishy-washy.

Would really love some resolution.


Blogger amanda said...

I don't think that you're being wishy-washy, I think that it's hard for you to make such a major decision when you are still reeling from so many other major changes in your life. I still have second thoughts about going to grad school--even though I've pretty much already committed to it. I'm just tired of being in a perpetual state of change.

Settling down will be a good thing.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Tricia,

As someone who moved across the country three years ago, I can tell you that moving is potentially nothing short of traumatic. And I moved back “home” and with my twin sister! That should have been fairly painless, right? Not hardly.You don’t realize how much you’ve taken for granted in your life until you don’t have it anymore. I came to realize that I had unwittingly “divorced myself”. Without my friends, my work, my space, my city (Los Angeles) where I had lived for the last 22 years, I was unmoored, lost. Moving to a new job would have helped immensely because it would have given me structure. But instead, there was grieving, culture shock, I felt like I had no identity. To be completely honest, I think about moving back everyday. And even though I have now re-connected with family and am doing much better (no longer really depressed), I still don’t have any friends to replace the ones I had known for so long. The ones who knew me.

Moving, for most people involves similar experiences and issues. Basically, the chaos that results from a big move will serve to put your current issues “on hold” while you deal with all of the new distractions and issues. But the issues won’t stay on hold and you’ll end up dealing with them one way or another. Moving is also financially expensive. Additionally, without your old network and personal references finding a good job will be more difficult.

I know I sound really “unsupportive”, but I’m just being completely honest. Reinventing yourself isn’t easy. I don’t want you to suffer unnecessarily. Maybe moving out of L.A. is something to consider in a year or two? I would encourage you to re-discover “Trica”. Examine your values and goals. What do you really want at this time of your life? Take inventory. I’ve been working on this as well for the last three years and have accumulated lots of great books/ references if you’re interested.

Love, (your friend!)


8:36 AM  
Blogger Sycz said...


You know LA is great. Put on some Randy Newman and enjoy the smog.


7:09 PM  

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