I was born in South Florida, Hollywood to be exact. And I spent the first nine, almost 10, years of my life growing up in Miami.
The childhood I remember was spent barefoot most of the time, weekends at the beach, and playing outside until the streetlights came on. And it still makes me smile when I think of it.
Once a week, the theme to Hawaii 5-0 would accompany me as I slowly walked down the hall to my room at bedtime, occasionally being granted the few extra minutes to watch the opening sequence. Walter Cronkite brought us the news, and Sonny and Cher the entertainment.
My mom and I moved to Vermont and I turned 10 shortly after.
It was so different! I was freezing in June, there were no palm trees or ocean, and so few people it was like being in another world. And winter was cold, grey, and long.
By the time I left, I had lived in Vermont longer than any other place (my young family and I did live in Maryland for a few years in between) And even though Florida felt familiar and nostalgic every time I went back, Vermont still held this idea of "home" for me.
As the years came and went, the more intolerant I became of winter. People saw beauty in the snow, I saw annoyance. I suppose it was charming between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I was contantly freezing and often wondered why I still lived there.
Well, why does anyone live anywhere? I suppose it was what I was used to. I had my family there, friends, work that I loved (which actually was a variety of different jobs over the years). It was my pond, I knew every fish, and I was comfortable. At least to some extent.
Yet, I could feel myself getting restless. I knew I did not want to stay there forever, but where to go?
Besides a couple of work/play trips to Puerto Rico, most of our vacations were spent going to Florida to visit my family. After my grandfather died, we would go down and help my grandmother care for the outside of the house. My husband would trim the foliage, powerwash the mold off of the shed, and I would clean the rain gutters. And then she died, and my connection with the place I called home faded.
A few months later, we decided to take a trip somewhere we had never been before.
My son's best friend had been living in Los Angeles for a few years, and he suggested we go there. Even though I had never had the desire to go, it just felt like so light, as if something had been awakened in me at the suggestion.
I will remember forever that feeling I had. From the moment I stepped off the jetway into LAX, it felt like I was home. Not like Florida, not like Vermont, a place where I felt entrained with the energy. The only place so far, I have felt that way.
Everywhere I looked, from the color changing pylon sentinals at the airport to the wild and weird Venice Beach, from Melrose to the Griffith Park, from the waves of the Pacific to the vineyards of Malibu, I fell in love.
By the end of the trip, I knew where I desired to be. No, required to be.
About a year later, my son moved to Santa Monica. He stayed with his friend, until it was time to get his own place, closer to his internship, which ended up being Burbank and then Glendale. I flew out every three months to visit him.
It was as if I lived for those trips, and the time I spent in between running a business, hanging with friends, working out, those moments were just biding time until I could fly again.
I was homesick. People thought it was only because my son lived there. And honestly, every trip I made, I expected the veil to be lifted, the wool to fall, for the trip to be a chore.
That never happened.
I fell deeper in love each time, and it became harder and harder to go back to Vermont. Especially in winter.
My son moved back after his internship ended, and I feared my pull to LA would slowly disappate, as a dream upon waking, and that I would die in a place I had started to hate living in.
Life went on. My business closed, I got new jobs, learned new skills, worked with amazing people, my relationship was not going well, both my parents got cancer, my dad died, and I got sick.
Some sort of flu hit me hard towards the tail end of my grief. I laid on the couch for two weeks, barely moving, my dog not leaving my side. As I slowly recovered, my dad's words kept coming to me. He wished he had traveled more, he told me, and how it stuck with me was: don't wait to do something you desire to do or one day, you will be laying there dying wishing you did.
It was about 10 months after he told me his one regret, that my son and I chose to sell everything we couldn't fit in our cars, and move west, to Los Angeles.
The whole trip still feels so surreal, as if I stepped into a dream. And that first sunset we saw driving toward the downtown skyline was magic.
We have been here for over two years now and most days, as I walk to work, I look around and feel such gratitude and disbelief that I actually did it.
It is as if I lived here in another life, and that connection to the energy here stayed with me into this one.
This word "Hometown" can mean many things.
It could be the place where you are born, and the nostalgia of childhood. It could be where your family moved to and put down roots. It could be a place you never knew it would be, and even though no one else really understood, you chose it.
To me, LA is that place. I am in love with everything this city is and can be. It is a place of creative energy.
Here, I have no reference points. Here, I have no old story limiting me. Here, is home.
About the Creator
Musings and imaginings from the brain of a fifty something year old Gemini who sold everything and moved to Los Angeles in 2018.
I am no professional, I write because it brings me joy, release, and peace.