Slightly hung over from the 2 El Nino’s with a shot on the side of each Monica the next before, I wake up at 6am to get the ball rolling. I don’t shower, I don’t even change my underwear because I just don’t give a shit. Although, I did give a shit when it came to brushing my teeth because that’s something you can’t get away with. Everything was packed so I literally, wore what I did the day before to get a move on. I wanted to leave before the sun came up because I already felt emotionally leaving San Jose, my home for a few years.
Gilroy was different. There’s a special connection I have to it because it’s the one place I’ve always been able to call home. It’s where I brought a cow to show & tell in Kindergarten, went gopher hunting with my grandparents and dog Bully. Where I attended school from Pre-K-8th grade 9 of which at the same place with the majority of the same people. It’s where I broke my arm in second grade, where I went back to after science camp, sang Whitney Houston to my cows while sitting on the gate, shot my first bird and fed it to our wild cats, explored the unknown, caught taranchula’s and let them loose in our living room, walked across the field to my cousins house. Where I drove a tractor on the road with my grandfather to move it to his house a few miles away. It goes on and on and on so you can see my hesitation.
Extending this bond to a new place is one of the many challenges I had planned to face. I stretched it to San Francisco for a while but that rubber ban was meant to go further. I thought to myself, bigger and better things have to be in the work for me but they aren’t going to happen if I don’t make them. So I decided to leave (for more than that reason alone).
Before I left Gilroy this morning to start my journey, I stopped off to get gas & coffee. I made myself walk in rather than the drive thru because I was so hesitant to leave. As I walked out, a burst of energy rushed from my stomach and up through my veins, flowing through my heart, past my noes, and into my brain which triggered a massive amount of tears. I thought I was going to have a panic attack. Luckily, I didn’t but the tears went back and fourth for some time. My stereo was off, cell phone put away, and my eyes were on the road and filled with questions. Am I doing the right thing? Can I do it?
FUCK THAT. Of course I can. It only took me 4.5 hours to get here and now I can’t STOP smiling. Thankfully, I bought “The Host” on audio which happens to be 23hrs long for my rides back and fourth. Smart, I know. Makes the time go by so quickly! Before I knew it I was exiting Highland Ave off 101 into Hollywood to meet my destination.
The world down here is so different. I think I bring a different perspective to the table as well as learning theirs. The people who live in our complex are ridiculously nice and everyone knows each other. It’s a little freaky because at 323 we hardly talked to our neighbors let alone know their names/schedules but it has a sense of community. Something I desperately need in a place where I know so few people. It made me smile when I hear the pool gate open and a lady comes up to my door saying, “Are you AJ?” introducing herself as Kim. So friendly, nothing like the LA stereotypes.
I had other places lined up that were higher up on my list but as soon as I met Phil, my straight (taken) roommate, and the vibe he gave off personal and about this place I knew I had to take it. He text me while I was back home asking when I’d be back because there is a party he wanted to invite me to. Sadly, I couldn’t go but the offer made it that much easier to drive here.
So the unpacking, the planning, and the next chapter of my life will truly begin! As far as tonight goes, it’s drinks with a friend of a friend who is now a real friend and one of the nicest guys ever & his boyfriend at a local bar walking distance from my place. This guy literally, started driving around looking for “RENT” signs before he even met me. *Sigh* I’ve never been so excited to be a third wheel and possibly meet a fourth. That is a “sigh” of relief after holding my breathe for 4.5 hours.