Make Me Stay
October 28, 2011 § 6 Comments
This quarter I am enrolled in a course that leaves me incredibly stressed out. It leaves me up all night worrying, not just because of the workload, but because this course focuses on something I never like thinking too hard about, the future. Every session there has been talk about graduating, about the possibility of not graduating, about starting professional careers.
In some ways, I know I’m panicking more than I should. Throughout life, I have trusted that things will work themselves out for no reason other than they always do, and I know this to be true now. But I know this type of worry very well, it was with me about a year and a half ago.
Los Angeles wasn’t in my plans. Mostly because I hate planning long term & avoid it when possible. Also because Southern California never sounded very appealing. I believed every negative stereotype about this city. That it was a place where people went to pursue entertainment careers and often failed, it was much too big and much too traffic congested, it was a place where people don’t care about each other. But I moved. & I was wrong for the most part about the negative stereotypes, I have a much more positive view of Los Angeles (which I refuse to refer to as the city because everyone knows “The City” is San Francisco). Yes, I have had my heart broken, my wallet stolen, & have become closer to being roadkill than ever before. But I did find things that I love, I found places that felt like home in my heart and have become familiar, I’ve met some really amazing people that I care very much about.
What worried me most about moving here wasn’t confronting those stereotypes. It was the fact that I felt I could just leave. I put off the decision as long as possible because I was waiting for something to make me stay. It wasn’t even a particular something, it could have been anything. A job offer, a friend who really needed me to be there, a pickle in the shape of a saint (not really on that last one). Just some kind of sign that I wasn’t meant to leave. But it never happened so I signed a housing contract and on September 1, 2010, I suddenly found myself in a strange apartment with every familiar item I’d be seeing for a while in boxes around me.
Now as I do weekly perusing of job postings, it seems much easier to find things that happen to be “somewhere else”. & while I have filled out those forms, sent them off with cover letters, and copies of my resume, I have been secretly wishing (& not wanting to admit, of course) that I had a reason to fight to stay here, that there was something to make me stay. To be honest, I feel like Los Angeles takes an especially long time to appreciate & that it is much easier to love when you aren’t spending so many days indoors doing research so yes, spending a few more years here would be nice. I wish I felt more like I belonged. I wish that someone here knew me well enough to know I was spending entire nights worrying & wasn’t easily fooled by my secret weapon. Although the time I’ve spent here as made me grow as a person, I wonder if I affected anyone at all or if our crossing paths was just that, a brief interaction. I selfishly want to be missed if/when I leave. I think I will always be excited for a new adventure and content with moving around. But I will forever be wishing for a reason to stay in one place.