The last time I was in California was Thanksgiving 2010… exactly one year ago. It was a rough time to be back as I had only left one month prior and was still dealing heavily with the emotional trauma of a breakup, adjusting to a new home, and all in all figuring out what the hell I was doing and what was going to happen next. My world was both light and dark… often at the same time. There was so much going on in my head and I had a rough time feeling anything but hatred for this place.
It’s really amazing how much can change over the course of 365 days. People evolve, animosity fades into apathy, the good memories take their rightful place in the forefront and push the negative thoughts back into shadow. Actions and words, while never forgotten, are forgiven and lessons are learned that couldn’t have been otherwise.
This year’s trip has been different. I was slightly apprehensive about what I would feel once I landed in Ontario… afraid, if you will, of feeling the same things that I felt last year. But after being here for a little over 24 hours, I haven’t felt any of the sour feelings that I did previously. In fact it has been the exact opposite.
My mom and I spent the day running around Temecula enjoying good food and tasty wine. I actually got a little excited when I saw signs for the 10 freeway and started remembering the good times I had while living in California. I even wished that I had a few more days to make a trip up to LA to visit friends (though I’m making plans for that in the Spring). I’ve been getting texts and Facebook messages from homies who want to catch me while I’m in town and kind words letting me know that I have been missed.
I guess I didn’t really realize how many people my leaving would affect or the impact that I’ve had on my friends over the years. When you go through a life trial it’s easy to focus on the emotional pain instead of on the positive aspects of what’s happening. Being back here has been a positive experience thus far and it has made me really miss being out here. While I still feel that I have outgrown California, I’m most definitely not opposed to visiting a bit more frequently.
Never in my life did I think the hatred I had would fade… but really, it wasn’t California that I hated. Yes, Los Angeles is a dirty, disgusting place with way too many people who have their heads shoved so far up their asses that they can’t tell the difference between the light of the studio and the sun. But, it’s where I grew up and it’s where I met some of the most amazing friends that a girl could ask for. What I hated was the way that my circumstances had made me FEEL. I hated the way another person’s POWER over me made me feel. I hated that I had allowed someone else to have that much power. California just happened to symbolize everything that was happening to me emotionally at that time.
This time around I can honestly say that it’s good to be here. It’s nice to be back. It’s cool to be reminded of all the good and crazy times I had while I was growing up here. I’m happy to be with my mom and to see some of my friends. To know that I mattered… and still matter… it’s a rad feeling. Being back in California has confirmed my own evolution and growth. I’m different than I was at this same time last year and it’s a relief to actually see what such substantial change can do for a person. I heard once that people are like tea bags… they don’t know their own strength until they get into hot water.
Thanks for the hot water, California.