|My Piggy Bank|
Saturday, August 11, 2012
"Change is the Only Constant. Hanging On is the Only Sin." - Denise McCluggage
So, I’m moving to back Long Beach and writing a book.
That sounds nice and romantic, doesn’t it? It sounds like I’ve made a decision, finally, to do something. To make forward progress in some aspect of my life.
Forward progress... this is what I feel I’ve not been doing lately. And by lately, I mean in the last year or so. And in the last year or so, I mean I can’t remember the last time I felt I was doing something that would bring me to a different level emotionally.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. When I started writing this blog two years ago, I did feel as if I had finally done something important. I had made significant changes in my life and who I wanted to be and it felt good to be doing something different.
But my life has gotten a little stagnant. So has this blog, for that matter. I feel like Stephen King, recycling the same stories over and over but giving them different names. Cory, Jeremy, Steven, Tim, Rob... etc. Girl meets boy, girl thinks boy is The One. Girl is disappointed to find out she’s wrong. Girl writes about it. Rinse and repeat.
It’s not just about my many failed relationships in this city. Well, to some degree it is. I am starting to think that the person I’m trying so hard to be is not the person I truly am. Therefore, I am attracting relationships (both romantic and platonic) that are good, but not as authentic as I am desiring.
I’m a good person... and that should be enough. But ever since I came out of that leadership program, I’ve been trying to be a perfect person. I’ve been trying to be outward, giving, caring, dedicated, expressive and responsible. I’m trying to keep it together so much when all I really want to do is scream my frustrations to the world.
I guess, in a sense, that is what this blog is for.
I was hanging out with Whitney a while back and we got on the subject of whether or not I was still interested in writing a book. The answer is yes, but the book I want to write is a fiction story loosely (or not so loosely) based on my life experiences, particularly in the dating world.
“The problem,” I told her, “is that I don’t have an end to the book. I’m still ‘in it’ and it doesn’t make sense to start to write something where I have no idea how I’m going to finish it up. Some writers can do that. I am not one of those writers. I could make up an ending, but it would be incredibly inauthentic.”
My friend, Dan, was kind enough to take my cat, Bailey. I drove her out to California on Tuesday morning. So far, it’s been a bit of a rough welcoming between Bailey and Tuxedo, Dan’s other cat. However, I’m confident that with a little time, they will realize they have a lot in common and things will work out swimmingly.
Just to make sure it wasn’t a total disaster, I decided to stay a few days in California while the two of them adjusted to one another. So, I shot down to Long Beach to crash for a few nights with my friend, Brendan. Brendan and I have known each other for almost five years. I met him here in Las Vegas just a month or so before he moved to California. We’ve always stayed in touch, have a handful of mutual friends and when we are both single, manage to have some excellent, emotionally unattached sex. It’s never really a bad thing to have a friend like that.
Brendan is one of those guys that is always in a positive mood, regardless of the circumstances. He’s all about the good time, is intelligent and free spirited. All three of these are favorite qualities of mine. It’s no surprise we’ve been able to be friends for so long without any kind of drama. Although never properly “dating” has probably been good for us as well.
Something was different this time, however. In many different aspects.
No sense in finding nice words for it... I fucked shit up in Long Beach when I lived there. I didn’t just leave eight years ago, I ran as fast as I could away from the many fires I created. I’ve been back to visit a handful of times since I moved to Vegas and each one had it’s own feelings of icky and uncomfortable. I feared running into people I used to know. Certain locations around the city reminded me of bad things and bad times. Most of the time, being in that city just made me feel heavy.
It wasn’t like that this time. This time, I felt like I was... home. The smells, the sounds, the beach... I thought about my perfect little apartment back in Las Vegas and realized that I would give all of it up to come back here, right now. In fact, the idea of getting back in my car to drive to Vegas made me choked up and uneasy.
Something was different with Brendan too. I’m still trying to sort through the emotions surrounding our time together as “talking about our feelings” is not the kind of relationship the two of us have. It wasn’t just about sex this time. It was like... we missed each other. There was something invading the space between us and while we didn’t seem to want to address it completely, I don’t think either one of us really wanted to ignore it either.
We walked to the beach at dusk the first night I was there. For a Tuesday night, the beach was packed. Runners, bike riders, beach bums, all out enjoying an unusually humid summer night. Against the rules, we had taken Brendan’s new puppy, Lunch Box, onto the beach. Although she is the kind of cute that no one would dare turn into the authorities.
We found a lifeguard tower, let Lunch Box go to town digging in the sand and sat down to watch the day come to an end. Suddenly, I realized something.
I had an end to my book.
It hit me all at once. I decided, in that moment, that I was going to move back. I still have ten months on my lease but it’s going to take me that long to save up the money for the move anyway. (My five dollar a day birthday box has now turned into a ten dollar a day moving fund)
I talked to my boss at work about a transfer to the Huntington Beach Cheesecake Factory and he seemed to think that would be just fine. I may take on a second serving or bartending job when I get out there, depending on how things work out with Cheesecake, but at least I’ll have a job to start. I still have a few contacts in Long Beach that don’t think I’m a total waste of time so getting work should be easier than usual if necessary.
As far as living goes in California, two is always better than one. So Brendan and I are going to get a two bedroom together somewhere near the water. It’s impossible to predict right now what our story could be... but the one constant we’ve always had is that we respect each other as friends and if there is nothing else there, we would probably still make pretty good roommates. It’s kind of funny... we both know each other’s track record when it comes to relationships so we say to each other how unlikely it is that we would ever work out as a couple. I don’t think I’ve ever started a relationship thinking “there’s no way this is going to work”. Not ideal for the romantic inside me, but certainly interesting for the intellectual side.
Ten months. It sounds like a long time, but I know it’s going to go very quickly. And I’m definitely going to miss this city. But I’ve gone through a lot of self discovery and while I am nervous about going back to a place where I exhibited the worst behavior of my life, I feel like I’m being given a second chance there. I had a beautiful apartment on the beach, a loving and caring boyfriend, a secure and promising job/career with Hyatt and I messed it all up with my selfish ways. The one thing I know for sure this time is that I will not take what I have for granted. I will love more than I have ever loved, give back as much as I can and appreciate every drive up the coast, every step on the sand and every night spent on a lifeguard tower.
And I will write that book. Because I’ve found that while my story is here in Las Vegas, my life is waiting for me in Long Beach.
Posted by Tina V at 3:53 PM