I’m two days home from California and yet I feel a lifetime away from a week ago when I left.
I’ve been to Chicago, New York and Los Angeles in less than four months. Granted, people go to these places all the time, and sometimes all of them in the course of a week. But I’m just Lynn from Podunk, PA, and I don’t get out much. These last four months have been overwhelmingly not normal.
Usually when you return from vacation, aren’t you supposed to feel refreshed and ready to work your job again and live the ordinary life you left behind for a few days with more energy and patience? I’m still waiting for that vacation peace to hit me. So far, I’ve just been bored and impatient.
In a perfect world, I’d go to LA every other week. I didn’t expect to love it like I did. Before I left, my perception of LA was that of a smog-infested and congested city with impatient people and a few movie stars. From the second I got into the Alamo shuttle bus at LAX to the moment the plane left the ground bound for Pittsburgh, I learned and learned and learned that LA is nothing like I imagined.
Yes, the 405 is a busy road. People drive fast. They drive worse out east (sorry east coast readers, but it’s the truth). Yes, there is smog, but there are also palm trees and mountains and flowers that I couldn’t stop staring at. I know it’s a really large city with a lot of really big problems, but how can you not get caught up in the beauty of the Hollywood Hills, the San Gabriel’s, and the Pacific Ocean? Do you just get used to it all? Does it all become rote and ordinary? If so, what’s left of beauty to appreciate?
Even Beverly Hills, with its opulence and wealth, was welcoming. Lunch at The Ivy was no different than lunch anywhere else except that someone famous might walk in and cause a slight stir. That and the gimlets were $14 a pop. Patrons ate, drank and talked to their companions, same as anywhere else. The atmosphere was comforting, as were my dining companions – my daughter and my friend Michael.
I expected to be intimidated and lost. I thought I’d get homesick and want to leave the next day. Instead, I hated leaving and wished I had more time. It’s been a long time since a vacation did that to me.
I’m not sure what to do with this feeling of spaciousness. It’s like I’ve spent the last 7 years in a bubble and I’ve finally been let out into the air. There is so much to see in this world and I feel stuck. Do you ever feel that way, living where you live and doing what you do?
Here are a few more vacation photos. Michael and me before saying goodbye in Beverly Hills; me with my cousin Rick (whom I haven’t seen in 18 years) at my nephew’s birthday party; and a photo of my beautiful diva granddaughter wearing the sunglasses and jelly shoes I bought her at Kitson. She promptly took off the jellies after this photo and started eating them. I guess that’s what keeps me grounded. She’s the cutest damn thing ever and I could never leave her for longer than a few days.
Sorry to be such a downer tonight. I’ll get over my angst soon, I’m sure. I have to learn to balance the fantastic with the reality. Given I didn’t experience much fantastic the last seven years due to my self-imposed isolation when I was obese, this will take a little time.