7 || HOMESICKNESS
You miss me? Sorry it’s been a hot second. Been trying to sort out my life and, as it turns out, life is a lot to sort out. To be honest with you I hardly have time to shave like literally anything on my body, let alone sit down and write a letter, but shit has been sort of weird this last week and a half and I figure I ought to enlighten you with some advice while I feel thoughtful enough to give it. I know, the big question in all of this: have I actually shaved since that last letter? Yes. But also… pants are pretty cool. And shirts that hide your armpits. I dig those.
The other (totally less important, but also) big question: what’s been going on? Well, the short of it is that I was supposed to get in my car and drive up the coast toward home last Tuesday. I’m writing this to you from my apartment in LA so, clearly, that did not happen. The trip had been planned for a while, but crappy circumstance after crappy circumstance got in the way. I won’t go into details on those because what happened happened and it doesn’t matter anymore. The last circumstance, however, was a hefty car bill that needed to be paid. So bye bye Seattle, hello car that won’t break down in rush hour on the 5. Truthfully, after the bill was paid, there was still money left to do to the trip. But ultimately I would’ve come back to far too little in my bank account to survive the next couple months in even mildly stable condition. So decisions, decisions.
The understanding that I really wasn’t going home hit me, and will hit you when you get around to this part of our life, like a god damn piece of shit elephant being shot out of a cannon at breakneck speeds. College brought along a lot of homesickness. Sophomore year, especially, you’re going to spend a great deal of time fully clothed, sitting in a grimy bathtub full of water that is suspiciously gray, crying. Why did you not undress before climbing into a bathtub? Because, evidently, this is the stage in your life where you’re going to be embracing Tumblr levels of depression. That’s just part of the transition period though, and you’re going to be okay. I can say that because I lived it and I get it now.
But when you graduate and move to LA it’s going to be a bit different. People seem to forget that once school is over there aren’t scheduled breaks to go home anymore. Well actually, no, that’s not true. I think we’re all semi-aware that Spring Break in the real world is just another average work week where you occasionally run across a photo of a younger acquaintance still enjoying their freedom and think, “That fucker.” But when taking multiple week long vacations annually is no longer worked in as part of your schedule it does make traveling more difficult to justify. Where you live is where you work and where you work is where you live and if you’re going to head out of town for more than just a long weekend it better be for a wedding or a funeral because otherwise you’re going to have to explain yourself to a lot of coworkers who will be saying, “Wow, I can’t believe she’s actually take a WEEK off,” behind your back like traveling for leisure is absolute insanity. (Which, honestly, in the film industry it IS absolute insanity because if you’re not working 25/24 hours a day you’re not working, but that’s a tangent I’ll throw at you some other time.)
Long story short, when you grow up it’s harder to travel. Going home becomes less of a routine and being homesick becomes less of a short-term problem. For some people it’s a non-issue. For others, it’s apocalyptic. For you it’s about half and half. Most of the time it’s all fine and dandy, but when shit hits the fan homesickness descends on you like a motherfucker. Still now it messes me up. After an incredibly bipolar couple months, the thought of going home was one of the sole contributors, in recent weeks, to a(n almost) peaceful mental state. Losing it threw me through a loop. But here’s how I dealt with it and am still now dealing with it:
I acknowledged that I was absolutely not okay and that the entire situation fucking sucked.
For you, bouts of homesickness are always going to be a bitch. Maybe in time they’ll go away and you’ll embrace LA like it’s the best city in the world. Or, more realistically, you’ll continue to miss the trees and water and rock beaches filled with dead jellyfish that you poke at with driftwood and strangers who say “hello” when you pass them on the street and always wave their thanks when you let them merge on the freeway. You’ll continue to miss the drizzle that never seems to go away and the cloud cover that makes you question if the sun really does exist and the way that the majority of the population, regardless of whether or not they’re going to a punk concert or going on a hike, look like they’re going to a punk concert or going on a hike.
So (advice time) what am I trying to say here? In simplest terms: you’re going to always miss Seattle. That’s the truth of it. It makes sense that you would miss it the most when conditions get rocky because your comfort is laid in that foundation. It’s not just where you once lived and grew up, it’s deeply rooted into who you are as a person. No amount of time elsewhere is going to change that. Some days you’ll love LA and some days you’ll refer to it with contempt, as you do with all places that overheat in the summer, as “Satan’s asshole.” Just remember that, despite the difficulty you’ll have finding time and money and whatever else needed to visit home, you will eventually get back there. Seattle isn’t going anywhere. You chose film and you chose this industry, so you’re just going to have to do your best to embrace being a transplant and know that nostalgia comes with the territory.
And most of all you have to remember, even on the days that you miss Seattle the most, that you’re going to be just fine. If nothing else, I can promise that.