There are things that I love in life. Things that I’m figuring out. Things I feel called to. And I’m learning that there are things that I need.
I love art. I love stories, both hearing them and telling them. This is why I love people, even though I make such a point of saying that I don’t. I love writing and being able to share that side of me. Being encouraged in that is one of my favorite things. Being pushed to do that is what I really need though. Which is why I love community. I need a community that has at least one person who will do these things with me, because my anxiety won’t let me do them on my own. That’s something I had when I was in school, but I have no desire to be back in LA, with the traffic and how long it takes to get anywhere.
I love mountains. I love nature and open spaces. I love adventures and hiking and skiing and kayaking and swimming in lakes. I love that these places aren’t crowded. I love that I could take off my clothes and jump into freezing cold water and not have to worry that anyone would see me. I could do this back home. But I didn’t love the isolation. I felt like I couldn’t breathe there. Two different kinds of people were telling me who to be, and the people I found myself listening to weren’t the best people for me. I needed to do something on my own. And there wasn’t art, not in the way I crave it. The artists there were lazy. If someone had talent, no one would know it, and not enough people cared enough to pursue it. You had to have the type of personality to make your own name known. That’s not who I am. I hide.
And Mammoth was so far from everything. Two hours to get to the nearest city, and working too much to make going anywhere possible. No one pushed me to be the best me, but that’s not anyone’s fault. It’s a town of individuals. Those individuals didn’t build the kind of community I needed.
I love good music. I love musicians. I love history and wildlife and culture. That’s something that Florence has, although I haven’t grasped it yet. There’s events all the time. I just found out the university here has live lions as their mascot, though they weren’t out when I went to see them because it was too late in the day. This town has culture and nature and art. It has people who I could love, if I would stick around enough to be in their community.
But I’m an individual. And I work in hospitality. So I don’t have weekends or a regular schedule. I used to go out after work and drink, but be only five minutes from home. I was spoiled. If I didn’t want to be by myself, I didn’t have to schedule time.
I was called here. Or I thought I was. But I wonder if I just wanted to escape what I thought was an unhealthy environment. I wanted to do something on my own. I was miserable. I need to remember that. I needed to know that I can make it on my own. Yet, I keep asking myself why I decided to do life alone. I went running the other day and realized that absolutely no one knew where I was. I suddenly was very aware that if I disappeared, no one would notice for quite some time. And no one would know where to look for me. But who the hell am I going to tell my daily whereabouts to? Isn’t that a weird thing to do?
I’m not giving up. I’m just having a lot of doubts in myself. I keep wondering what I have done.
I want so badly to find a place where I belong. I want mountains and lakes and kayaking. I want culture and community. I want poetry and art and options. I want the city. I want the snow. I want to be my best self and I want to be somewhere that I can thrive. But I don’t want to do it alone anymore.