I haven't tried to say anything profound in awhile. Probably for good reason. Read on...
Today makes three.
Then it was an air mattress with a single pillow. A clock radio glowing with red numbers near my head. A suitcase with a week's worth of clothes not far from my feet. Outside - the city.
Three years ago today I unloaded four cats, a suitcase and a few odds and ends into my new apartment. For three days I had traveled from
The trip surprised me. I never planned to make it; never dreamed I'd live in such a place. I never desired it. I never wished for it. Then it was. Now three years have passed and tomorrow begins a fourth year. And then maybe a fifth? A sixth?
So much has passed between that first night on the air mattress in an empty apartment and now. More furniture. Less cats. A whole world of friends and coworkers and moments that will someday make for endless hours of stories and laughter.
I never meant to come here. Living in
And it was a test. Like many, I have spent a lifetime figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. Also, I have spent a lifetime figuring out where I belong. I always thought it was the small towns I had known as a child. Porch swings. Neighbors stopping by. Friday night high school football games. And I do belong there - sometimes.
I have learned in the passing years that I also belong in the city with all its many small wonders. Movie theatres. Live shows. College football games. Sparkling computer parts stores. I enjoy the trappings of the urban core - sometimes.
One day, about a year after I had moved to
A year later I returned from a winter trip back to
Home remains an elusive ideal. Is it the place we are born? The place we die? The place we live longest? Is home truly where the heart is? Or simply the place we always go back to? I do not know.
I have lived in only two places longer than I have lived in
Had I never lived in
I learn something new from them each day. Words. Customs. Traditions. Foods - oh, the foods! Most importantly I learn that home is where we make it.
For now, this is my home. I do not know for how much longer. Years? Decades? Next week? This place is far from perfect. Long commutes. Dirty air. Homeless folks panhandling on the corners. Prostitutes displaying their goods at the stoplights on Crenshaw. This place is not all that bad either. Shiny new movie theatres. Countless arenas, stadiums, coliseums and a Rose Bowl. Only twenty days of rain a year. No winter. No snow.
Today makes three years in
I never wanted to move to
On this last day of my third year I can say I have found home. Home is the place that makes us happy. Home is the people that make it that way. And home need not be a single place when it can be anyplace we want it to be.