For the past year, it’s felt like every time I get used to a situation, the rug gets pulled out from under me. I was in a relationship for the first time in years, then he suddenly left Japan. I had a pleasant final summer traveling and hanging out with friends, then I moved countries. I got settled in Los Angeles, and felt ready to start my life here, then I got Covid.
And now, I’ve had a falling out with my roommate, a blow up that was big enough that I couldn’t continue to live there, and I find myself starting over yet again.
I don’t wish to go into the details of what happened, but it was pretty emotional. It felt like a breakup. It still feels like a breakup.
I’m now living in an area called Northridge, which is part of the San Fernando Valley – yes, that valley, the one of “valley girl” fame. It’s very flat, hot, and suburban here, and while it is part of the greater Los Angeles area, it feels quite far from the city, especially since I don’t have a car. My new roommates are a pair of married teachers, one of whom has been my friend for twenty years, and their neurotic but lovable rescue dog. It’s a quiet neighborhood, a wholesome household. We have family dinners together, walks with the dog, chats over tea in the living room where someone inevitably busts out a guitar or ukulele or sits down at the piano. It’s a far cry from the partying I was doing in the middle of the city, and definitely not what I thought I wanted for my LA stay.
And yet, I think it might be just what I need. Sure, I was having a lot of fun, but all that fun was distracting me from my goals of saving money and making plans for the future. I’m beginning to question how good that living situation really was for me, and it feels like the universe decided it was time to get me out of there since I couldn’t see it myself. While I naturally vibe on big city energy, quiet lulls are good for me. I need quiet and boredom in order to think, reflect, and create. When I think back on the quiet periods in my life, such as the work exchange I did in the Bavarian forest or my years living in Kanazawa, I recall those times fondly as being moments of huge challenge but also huge growth. My housemates will be traveling quite a bit this summer, leaving me to mind the house. I’m looking forward to it as a personal retreat. My hot valley girl summer.
Another sign that this is where I’m meant to be now has to do with the concepts of legacy and family history I’ve talked about in previous posts. While I’m still planning on writing that book on my father’s family history, somewhat surprisingly I now find myself confronted by my mother’s, for my mother grew up in the very same neighborhood where I’m living now. I can walk to her middle school, and my friend that I’m living with teaches at the high school that my mother attended. It’s quite surreal how full circle this is. Now that I’m finally qualified as a substitute teacher, I will probably end up teaching at the same schools that my mother attended as a young person.
None of this is to say that this has been easy. It’s been a lot to deal with, and I’m still in the process of picking up the pieces and figuring out what my life looks like right now. But if I’m anything, I am an optimist to my core, and a believer that things really do work out how they are supposed to. So this will too.
Safe and Happy Travels,