I think it is human nature to want to feel safe. At least it feels perfectly natural to me to want that. To want that sense of security, familiarity, travel among the known elements. To feel comfortable. It’s probably why I lived in California for so long, it was safe. I knew it. Pretty much every nook and cranny of it and the nooks and crannies I didn’t want to know I left alone. Though I can still remember when I first arrived there, it seemed so foreign and strange. And for I do believe it was years, I muttered about hating L.A. and wanting to leave. Yet, I never did. Why? I really couldn’t say. Perhaps it was because I just got used to it and too, where would I go? Back to Michigan with it’s cold winters and bad job market? Unless I wanted to build snowmen and cars there was nothing for me there either.
So, I stayed in L.A. and somewhere along the line I came to love it. I came to love the mostly clement weather. The sunshine. The fresh produce year round. The clubs, the music, the bizarre individuals who gravitated there. The shopping. The bargains. The fact that one out of ten homeowners had guest houses and they were cute and cheap and I lived in many of them over the years. In short, at some point it just became home to me.
Which is not to say that there weren’t things about it that annoyed me – the largely whacko politics, the streams of endless illegal immigrants that made ingress into certain neighborhoods nearly impossible, the smog, the noise, the weirdness. Part of me would always be a midwestern girl and that part would always complain about such things. Though after a while I just didn’t think about it – it was simply home.
Since my move from L.A. to the east coast though, I’ve been thinking a lot about it. What makes home to a person. What makes life seem safe. I’ve begun to notice all the many things (large and small) which I took for granted – where to find a bargain, drumming up work, where to find the best produce, finding a bank, grocery store and the dmv, the local triple a office, where to go to the movies, the library, used bookstores, which are the safe neighborhoods. The whole ball of wax. I guess it never occurred to me (why that is I can’t tell you) that there would be so many details that would be blank when I got here. It never occurred to me that I would feel a little wobbly and in fact, dizzy, disoriented and even a little lost. It may surprise you to know that I’ve barely driven since I’ve been here. The whole street pattern is so different from what I’m used to that I’m just too worried I’ll get lost or end up on the dreaded freeway which has a notorious reputation. I don’t really like to drive that much anyway, so having that as a phobia kind of cinches that, eh?
And I know I need to. I need to drive around and get to know the place. I need to find the details that make up one’s daily life. I need to develop new favorites, new places, new haunts. I need to find that way to make the new my home. To find the ‘safe’ in the new place. Wish me luck.
12 thoughts on “Safe”
you’ll get there. Sometimes it takes a little time
Good luck 🙂
Yes, you’re right, but being the impatient little cuss that I am, I find that annoying. 😉
The first time my sister drove on the freeway there, she pulled over and started bawling. It has its reputation for a reason – however, you are a lot stronger than you think – this I kinda feel. You get out there, kick some ass- take some numbers and roar down that freeway because you are a force to be reckoned with. Change is just plain old scary whether it be new job, new house, new … new or change whatever = scary! Before you know it, you wont even be muttering “asshole!” under your breath when you drive; it’ll just be second nature 😉
or a new pet… huh? What’s that? Yes, I got a new pet- and I’m a little scared. I hope Cozmo still feels the love, ya know?
GOOD LUCK to you Annie!
Yeah I guess you’re right. I’m feeling more adventurous the last couple of days – perhaps because we have finally just settled into a place where I know we aren’t going to be moving again any time soon. New pet? Oooh, what kind? A new puppy? I love new puppies they are so cute. Just tell Cozmo that it is his job to look out for the new little one- he’ll feel the love and the power. 😉
Oh man, I’ve been there.
Never from one coast to the next though.
Just city to city.
I taught myself to think if it as an adventure instead of a chore. My thinking helped make things easier. Not better. But a little easier.
Sounds like you have a similar idea…
Best of luck to you!
Well hello and welcome – nice to see you here. Yes, definitely an adventure if nothing else, right? City to city can be just as scary, depending on which city. Acclimating to L.A. for example could be very daunting I think for someone not used to it. So, I don’t suppose it really does matter what fish pond you end up in, does it?
This is how I felt when I moved from Ontario to Quebec. In reality only 15 minutes away, but I might as well have moved to a different country.
The obvious challenge is the language. I can get by with English and very broken French, but it’s not the same as just walking into a store and asking for what you want. And, to my surprise, you can’t even by the same foods. Try and buy some nice crackers for instance! Turns out the French don’t eat crackers. And rye flour to make my pumpernickel bread? No where to be found. And don’t think you just buy pumpernickel bread. That isn’t going to happen either.
Well, it’s been a year, and I am starting to feel like this is my town … sort of. I still haven’t ventured very far on my own. Come the Spring I will have to make more of an effort.
I suspect you and I are a lot alike in this regard. We spent years scoping out our little corner of the world and then it changed, all because of a man, eh? 😉 I imagine too that moving to a city where the primary language is not your primary language has all kinds of challenges and might feel like a different country even if it is just mere miles from your previous home. Good luck to you too. 😉
Feeling melancholy, eh? There’s nothing wrong with a little reminiscing, and I find it gives me strength. After all, a move across country, the shock of such a complete and decisive transition, is bound to leave one a little rattled. Being a military man, I do this every three years or so. It helps to remember the good times past and what we’ve left behind, but realize that “home” is that place where reside those who love you.
Keep your chin up! 🙂
Yup, I guess I am feeling a little melancholy now that you mention it. I can’t imagine moving every three years or so – I take my hat off to you (even though it’s cold and my ears would rather I didn’t). Yes, home is where the heart is, eh? 🙂
I’ve been there…. it will happen eventually. Yes, you do need to venture out some.. and you will… just give yourself time. Good luck. 🙂
I am and I will – it’s been better the last few days now that I know we have a permanent home base. Hopefully it will seem like home. Thanks.
Dear, dear Annie – You were lost but now you’re found. Stay safe, stay determined (its what you do best anyways)and stay open to the changes.
Please get in touch.
Oh my lawd! Why Miss Billie I can’t believe it! Spooky girl, cuz I just thought about you the other day and wondered where you got to. I will be answering the email soon. Of course I remember you, are you kidding? Great to see you again. Yay!!!!!
I’ll be waiting, quietly yet excited at the prospect of hearing about all the new changes in your life!
LOL – otay then. I guess I may have to send a second installment. 😉
Goodness, after all you’ve been through the last couple of months, of course you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. I haven’t the slightest doubt that if you could handle the transition to LA, you can handle a transition to anywhere. You just need a little time to catch your breath.
LOL – wow, sounds like I’ve been living in a bad novel, eh? Yeah, I like the idea of catching my breath but I’ve got miles to go before I sleep I’m afraid. Each day it seems a bit better and easier, you know? Thanks. 😉
Oh Goodie !!
An Oppurtunity to make a wish for one of my dear friends. I wish – For you. There,Its done.
Big wish wished for you. I know what your saying here,and what I’m going to say is you followed your lovely heart to more serene pastures. I loved the way you described saftey and familiarity.
Big wishes and huge love for my friend Annie
Ps. I put your state in You Tube to see where you are in the world. Wow !! Your state looks so very beautiful.
Happy New Year, dear. Thanks for the wishes, you are so generous with them. It is indeed a very beautiful state – I hear it is incredible in the spring too. I’ve taken a few pics, which I’ll post pretty soon.
Good to see you here again – even though I’ve been a bit of a stranger myself. 🙂
From a purely practical standpoint, you should invest in a GPS unit for your car if you don’t have one already. 🙂 I moved to a new city a few months back, and that GPS has been my lifesaver on many occasions! Plus, I don’t worry about getting lost if I venture to far from home, because I can just plug “home” into my destination, and I’m on my way. 🙂
What a brilliant idea! I checked a few out and I have one brand picked out to get. It will be a little while but, yup that was a great suggestion.
Hey Annie, you have a wonderful blog here. I hope it’s okay if I visit awhile. 🙂 The funny thing is, a building or suburb or city has never felt like home to me unless there are people I love there… it’s only then that the place might feel a little friendlier, a little warmer. I don’t know if that makes any sense at all. :p
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No, I don’t mind at all if you look around – I like to think of this place as the ultimate coffee klatch locale so pull up a chair and pour yourself a cup of joe.
I know what you mean about a place feeling like home when you have loved ones around you. I suppose that really is what home and feeling safe is all about.