We are HOMESICK!! Well I am especially homesick. Ya wanna know what I miss? I’ll tell you what I miss:
1) Cold. It’s never cold here. Even when it is cold, it’s not really cold. It’s “cold”, as in “colder than what we’re used to” which means it’s like 60 degrees when it’s usually 70 degrees. As a North-Jersey-ite, I DO feel like a jerk pulling on slippers and a woolen blanket when it’s 60 degrees outside.
2) A snap in the air. This is similar to cold, I realize but it’s not. Crispness in the air is not just a feeling. It’s also a smell and an emotional feeling. It doesn’t exist here. THAT IS A BUMMER BIGTIME.
3) Smells in general. On the East Coast there are smells for everything. The air smells different when it’s sunny, when it rains, when it snows. Cold smells different than heat. Pine tress smell different than regular trees. Your perfume smells different in cold air than it does in warm air. Cigarette smoke smells particularly different in cold air. THIS DOESN’T EXIST IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. There are different smells here SORT OF. Like since there is different vegetation here, there are different floral smells, some good, some weird. And sometimes you can smell when it’s gonna rain but that’s rare.
4) Moisture. Everything is DRY up in this bitch. I am tired of cracked earth. On the east coast, everything is moist/damp. It was windy the other day (which it is NEVER windy by us, we’re too far inland) and it kicked up SO MUCH DUST. I clean the table on the lanai all the time and all the time, it is filthy when I go back again. Like FILTHY like I haven’t cleaned it in weeks. It’s because of all of the dust. Boo.
5) On the East Coast, you can drive for a little while and be in a totally different state. In California, you can drive forever and still be in California.
6) We know how to have fun in NJ. We know where to shop, where to eat, where to go camping. Here, we only know the basics. Because for the most time we’ve been here, it has been sans dinero, we don’t know shit about SoCal except which highways get us to our drudgery. Well that’s not true, we DO have a cavalcade of things we’d LIKE to do or things we’ve gotten to do ONCE but we have no comfort rituals here. Like things we do on a semi-regular basis that make us high-five when we think of doing it. In NJ, if we wanted to treat ourselves on a weekend, we might go to Jim Dandy’s or we might go to the cupcake shop or we might go yard saling or whatever depending on the season. Point is, we had places to go. We don’t have “places” here.
7) Time. We don’t have any days off here together. I am looking towards becoming unemployed again though pretty soon so that will be null. I’ll probably have the whole summer “off”. This really just means I’ll spend the entire summer grubbing for jobs. We will have time off together again but we’ll need to spend it sitting in our apartment in the dark so as not to use any electricity, gas or water lest we cannot pay our bill. *Sads*
8) Family and friends. I didn’t put this so far down on the list because of the “unimportance” of this. I just figured this is a given. We miss our family and our friends. But we already went through this heartache last month so now our homesickness is more leaning towards the material and “quality of life” type ailments. :/
9) Relating to people. I keep my mouth SHUT up in this bitch. I do NOT know how to talk to people out here. People are VERY careful with what they say out here and so I just follow suit. I don’t think I’ve said anything too ridonkulously faux-pas-ish since I’ve been here but I’ve also set the dial on my crazy to “A private affair”. In NJ, forget it. I wear my crazyass on my sleeve but people (for the most part) are down with that in NJ. Everyone basically wears their crazy on their sleeve in NJ. Hence why shows like “The Jersey Shore” are popular. People thinkspeak as in say shit WHILE they’re thinking it. Out here, people think AND THEN SPEAK, haha. So I’ve become a lot more reticent in the way I communicate and it is a mothercrunking DRAG. The result of this is that I never, ever speak to anyone. I talk to the cats. OH DO I TALK TO THE CATS. And I talk to Kristyn. I chew my Mother’s ear off every day on the horn and that’s about that. I’ve noticed that when I do get into a conversation with someone now, I scurry away halfway through, afraid I’ve said too much. I do this BECAUSE I’ve noticed with myself that when I DO get someone’s ear, man are they in for it. Not that brevity has ever been my strong point but now? Forget that shit. If I get talking, I will tell you stories that happened to OTHER PEOPLE just to exercise my goddamn jaw and voicebox. It’s sick. OR I apologize after every other sentence. “Blahblahblah…I’m talking too much aren’t I? Blahblahblah…I can shut up if you want me to…blahblahblah…Are you sure I’m not bothering you?” It’s ANNOYING.
10) Myself. I just feel like a very different person than I used to be. I mean in some ways, I’m much the same person, maybe even a little bit improved because I value things so much more than I used to. In the past, I think I took too much stuff for granted, even though I thought I was being grateful. But now I KNOW what it’s like to REALLY struggle. Nothing in life is a certainty. A loaf of bread can be the difference between a good day and a bad day. Sounds stupid but it can be.
I don’t know, I’m just realizing that I am DEFINITELY not a West Coast type of person. I think in order for me to be truly happy, I have to live on the East Coast. That said, I can’t ever live in Kearny again. It’s just too full of ghosts. We aren’t saying that we’re coming home any time soon but we ARE starting to try to come up with ways to do it that would make us happy. Moreso, we are trying to think of ways we could come home without living a repeat experience…OR ways to come home and live in a way we haven’t thought of before. Like we are trying to think of different towns and cities we can live in that we hadn’t considered before. Like why do we have to live in NJ? We don’t. We can live in NY too. And I am talking both NYC and/or Upstate. Like if we can live in the shoebox we are living in on one salary, with two we could probably live in a shoebox in Manhattan for a little while. And do not even tell me that Manhattan is for nerds and “no one lives there”. LOOK. If I’m gonna live in NYC, I’m not going to move to Brooklyn or some other “outside of Manhattan” hipsterville. Well probably not. If I want to live in NY, I want to live in NEW YORK. And to me, that means living in Manhattan. Sure we’d have to struggle, but it’s possible if we have low standards haha.
Also, we can live in Upstate NY. Well not like REALLY far Upstate, but like over the Thruway. Sugar Loaf or something. I don’t know, we might not even do this stuff but why in the world not? Definitely if we ever moved home, we’d want to work in NY because that’s where the entertainment industry lies. So we would need to live in or around NYC but nowhere near Kearny, NJ. And this would be neat because we’d be just as close to family and friends without sacrificing “doing something”. Like being out here, we are “doing something”. Just the act of being here is “doing something”. What I hated about living in Kearny was that it felt, TO ME, like settling. Not that there is anything wrong with Kearny. It’s a pretty cute place if you look at it with fresh eyes and the rent is pretty cheap. With proximity to NY like we have, it’s one of the best deals in the area. But I just can’t do it anymore. None of my family really lives there anymore (besides my Grandma). Everyone moved either just out of town or REALLY out of town.
Something I want to explain is this. When you’re from NJ, you are used to living in a very, very, very small state that is just TOTALLY PACKED TO THE GILLS WITH PEOPLE. So you can drive 20 minutes in any direction and end up in a VERY DIFFERENT place. Because of this, anything over that 20 minute drive seems TOTALLY FAR AWAY AND OUT OF MY REACH. LA though? At certain times of the day, I can drive for an hour or more and STILL BE IN LA. This city is as big as like seven or more towns in NJ. Each town in NJ is like 2 miles long give or take. I think it is 12 miles from Kristyn’s job in Westwood (a neighborhood in LA) down Santa Monica Blvd to our apartment in Silver Lake (a neighborhood in LA). And that’s not even “all” of LA. So I am used to driving 12 miles PLUS to work every day, then 12 miles home then 12 miles back to get Kristyn after work and then 12 miles home again. In one given day, I will drive a minimum of 48 miles, not including detours that are everywhere at night. So when we flew home, we rented a car and drove down to our parents’ houses. This is a 45 minute-an hour drive. I’d forgotten that this was considered “far”. What I’m saying is that, whereever we are in and around NYC, we will be “far” according to our loved ones but “not far” according to us.
Also, moving out here has opened the door for us to do lots of unpaid internships. I was talking to my Mom about this the other day. In NJ, there NEVER would have come a time where I’d have resigned from my job and taken an unpaid internship. It wouldn’t have made sense and I would not have done it. But here, with nothing else to do? Why NOT take an unpaid internship? And plus we’re HERE, we might as well make the most of it right? We could have gone into the entertainment industry at home but we wouldn’t have. No way, no how. We wouldn’t have made time for it. That said, we wouldn’t have ever thought to move to another neighborhood on the east coast either. Because everything seems “far”, it would have been ludicrous to even consider moving too far from Kearny. We were used to living in a large apartment with a yard in Kearny. Even when we had small apartments, they were still bigger than this dump. I don’t “like” living in a tiny dump. BUT, I “do like” living in a city (for now). If we hadn’t moved to this apartment, sight unseen, there’s no way in hell we’d have ever moved to a smaller place. Now that we’re used to living like this, it kind of opens up our possibilities for what we can and can’t live without. This may seem like a downgrade to you but it’s not. It opens the realm of possibility up for us and I think that’s kind of cool.
Anyway, I gotta go. Kristyn’s outside. I leave you with a picture of her drinking my coffee in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. I probably took this in 2008. We had a LOT of fun in 2008.