I Blame the Chair

Don't freak out.

Believe me, I've got all sorts of excuses for being away so long, but I'd rather blame it all on one inanimate object which will never be able to retaliate. It's cleaner that way, right? And not at all ridiculous.

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Things Happen

Accidents happen all the time. I'm no stranger to accidents... especially in Los Angeles. About a week ago, as I was driving to work, minding my own business, I was rear-ended. This is my Jetta that I was planning on driving to Boise.

In an instant it was regarded as totaled by my insurance... In an instant my plans of driving my car (that I do NOT make payments on) to Boise was no longer possible. I'm fine... a little whiplash... and I found a good lawyer...

But, I've been thinking about this season of my life... this chance to start fresh... a new city, a new job, a new home, and now a new car... maybe I just wasn't supposed to bring the Jetta on this leg of the journey. Maybe letting go of seemingly essential things leaves my arms open to embrace all the newness coming my way.

I was driving through Downtown LA (in my rental car) the other day... on the 110 freeway. It's the oldest LA freeway and never meant to hold this many people. I remember being so afraid of this particular freeway when I first moved here. It's winding and narrow lanes, it's on/off ramps are nothing more than stop signs... up and over the highland park hills past Dodger Stadium and into the concrete jungle of one way streets and bank buildings. 

Almost 8 years later, I have memorized which lane to be in, all the curves, the hours to avoid it... As I drove it this last time the sun was a copper penny dipping into a hazy (smoggy) horizon and turning all the buildings pink. I had found an old zippered case of CD's I had made around the time I moved here (2006-2007)... in the bottom of the glovebox in the Jetta. I was enjoyinh listening to very old Alanis Morrisette and the Dixie Chicks and then it happened...

Patty Griffin came on singing, "When it Don't Come Easy" - Headlights are flashing on the highway, sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get home..." And suddenly I was reduced to a puddle. Have you ever noticed that songs about leaving Los Angeles are pretty depressing? Well: here's a playlist for you:

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Saying Goodbye is Hard

I thought I understood this. Sure, saying goodbye is hard... of course it is... I've been telling myself that it's not goodbye - not really. It's "I'll talk to you soon." I keep trying to reassure myself and my friends that my move DOES NOT mean that I am breaking up with them. As I type this, tears are falling into my oatmeal... and a very slight rain is dripping down my windows.

On friday my dear girlfriends, Hannah and Laura, surprised me with afternoon tea at the Chado Tea Room in Downtown Pasadena. For nearly 3 hours we sat and sipped tea and ate salad and laughed so hard that people were staring - just like we do when the three of us meet for dinner once a month. This was our last one... now we are scheduling our facetime dates and planning our trips back and forth to visit each other.

I took the long way home after our tea. I wanted to drive my old streets one more time. I parked outside my very first Pasadena apartment... it's a wonder it's still standing - it looks the same - maybe smaller and dirtier. The landlord was a slumlord, there's mold and a leaky roof but I loved that old place... I did a lot of growing up here.

This is the view of Pasadena from the Balcony of Laura's new office. I lived in Pasadena for 6 years before moving to Long Beach last year. It's not the shiny place I remember... it's the city that gave me my first asthma attack... The city that remembers me as the girl who was hit by a car... But it's the city where I made so many amazing friends.

See the manhold cover in the crosswalk? That was the exact spot where I was walking when I was struck by the Nissan Versa on October 19th, 2009. I feel like I was a completely different person then. 

Again, I'm not leaving people - I'm leaving a city... in hopes that this next season is a whole lot simpler.