I'm back in LA again, and it feels good. It didn't feel good when I woke up early in the morning to a thunderstorm and had to get out of bed instead of snuggle in and fall back asleep; it didn't feel good when the rain didn't abate, so I had to wrap my bags in plastic for the 10-block walk to the lightrail (Minneapolis' version of the subway, or the T-train), which would bring me to the airport; it didn't feel good as I sat alone at the gate, wondering if I'll ever be content. But then I got home and saw Toby for the first time in a week, and I kissed his freckles and we went to the beach and I drove on the 405, and now it feels good. Funny how that happens, eh?
Lately I've been in a constant state of torn-ness. The word "torn" sounds painful and awful, but for me it's a gentle, pulsing state of mind. It doesn't hurt so much as ache, like a bruise that you forget about until you bump into something. And contrary to how it may seem, my torn-ness doesn't indicate unhappiness. Could I be a little more satisfied and grateful for all of the wonderful things in my life? Yes. Couldn't we all? But I'm not unhappy by any means. I'm actually incredibly happy. And torn. I'm happytorn. I just want ALL THE THINGS, all the time, which is a bad habit to get into in an imperfect world. I'm a semi-intelligent lady, so I know that I can never have everything; right now I'm focusing on retraining my brain to be content with what I have now, and to let everything else fall into place in the future (and to be okay if it doesn't).
There is a palpable difference between Minnesota and Los Angeles. For me, the former means safety and comfort; a place where I am known, and where stability and memories exist. The latter is full of the Unknown. It is adventure and excitement and challenges and the possibility of failure and figuring out how to be a Real Woman. One is meditation, the other is...scary. And thrilling. When I say I want "all the things", I'm saying that I want all of those feelings and experiences and places to exist simultaneously, and maybe they will someday, but for right now...they don't. And I don't think they should. I want to grow, and most of the time growth isn't comfortable. This is a period of discomfort. And strangely, I find comfort in that knowledge.
I've also learned that it helps to take life a little less seriously. On Monday, I turned a work meeting into a date at the beach. I dragged Toby along with me, made him wait for my meeting to end, and then made him carry my bag so I could run around him in circles taking pictures. I was so excited to be by the ocean again. The water was a deep teal color I hadn't remembered it being, and there were so many surfers out past the break that they looked like a flock of little seagulls. The air was the perfect temperature and smelled of salt and sunscreen, and I took deep breaths and reminded myself that this, this is why I live in California. This, among many other reasons.
For now, this is what I need.