For someone who doesn't believe in fate and rolls my eyes at the idea that everything happens for a reason, I'm big on the idea that sometimes the universe pulls you in a certain direction. Lately, I've felt a million little things drawing me towards California, and later today, I'll get off a plane in Burbank and soak in as much of it as I can before Monday.
Sometimes I feel like I have a really strong relationship with Los Angeles and sometimes I feel like it's all in my head. I was born there, but my family moved to Atlanta before I got the chance to form memories in California and before long, we had left Georgia, too. I’ve been back there a couple times since, though, and I think more so than any other place that I have actually been, I see it in vivid snapshots.
We went back when I was still very young when I was a flower girl in my parents’ friends' wedding and decided to give myself a haircut the day of the rehearsal dinner. When I returned just short of a decade later, that couple had divorced and my parents had split up, too. I didn’t want to go to Disneyland anymore; I wanted to go to Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I vaguely know what the house we lived in looks like because we drove through Glendale just to take a glimpse of it, and my mom wanted to get a picture of my sister and I in front of it but I protested because I was scared that whoever actually lived there then was home. The garage was open and I thought some carpentry project was happening, because obviously whoever lived there after us were the type to build things; they were making improvements on whatever we had lived in and intended to keep a permanent home. I wish we had, though, but it's nice in my memory...Spanish style house, trees and pink flowers climbing up and above the roof top.
I'm excited for whatever happens these next few days. I haven't done much planning and I think I'll probably end up being a bad tourist and not really doing the things you're supposed to do when you travel to a faraway place, but that's okay. I'll probably just have songs from Ladies of the Canyon stuck in my head and do whatever feels right and enjoy the company of people I wish I could see more often. I think it's kind of nicer to live a bit like it's a real place...like I'm trying it on for size.
Anyway, here are some pictures of my mom from a little bit before I was born in a California I'll never know.