May 16, 2011

I Was In Love With The Place

I don't hate the number 4 so much now.

Before I lived in my studio in Banker's Hill, San Diego didn't feel much like my city. I moved all the time, changing zip codes as if it was nothing. I never felt at home. Community, and living alone for the first time in my life, changed that. In that quirky, old and crooked apartment I fell in love with San Diego.

Living two blocks from Balboa Park, an easy stroll from Hillcrest and an $8 cab ride from downtown connected me to the city. There was so much to do and experience, always people around, always someone doing what you're doing which makes a person living alone feel not so alone. For once, since moving out of our home the summer before my senior year of high school after my parent's divorce, I felt like I belonged. That space was mine to do with as I pleased, to cook what and when I wanted, to have whoever I desired over, to clean as often and as obsessively as I needed. My cat was no longer harassed, I no longer worried about who would be up when I came home, and sharing evenings with my neighbors made me happy to be social again.

But I also fell out of love in that apartment. With this newfound love for my city, and especially for my neighborhood and my job, my heart started leaking the love I had for my relationship. That love was suddenly no longer as important. My cat, my life, my city and my passion were all so much more deserving of love so I let the other one go. Looking back I mourn the temporary nature of my job and that I had to leave that apartment and that neighborhood, but I don't mourn the loss of my relationship.

Finally, that apartment was where the seeds of a future love were laid. Weeks, possibly days, before I packed up and left I was falling asleep when the person whose arms were comfortably wrapped around me whispered "I love you." I wasn't meant to hear those words so I pretended to be asleep. Those words weren't exactly real at the time, but they did mean there was more than just companionship. I wasn't ready to be in love with another person then, and because of that the following months were a roller coaster of disappointments. Now those seeds that were planted just before I left that place have sprouted and they feel like they're in full bloom.

Maybe it's all in my mind, just like the song:
I was in love with the place in my mind, in my mind
I made a lot of mistakes in my mind, in my mind
It's hard to think of certain things as mistakes though. I don't like that I don't live in Banker's Hill, but I can't afford it; I don't like that I'm not in love, but I wasn't ready when it was offered. In a perfect world I'll live in my old neighborhood again and the one I want will be nearby, and I'll just be the happiest girl in San Diego. Maybe it's time for me to make more of an effort at getting what I want.

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