Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 177.

For the past like, three days, I've been thinking seriously about breaking up with the Bay Area. At one point, there was something that really drew me in to this place. Everything felt warm and inviting. I had friends and I felt supported. I felt free to be myself in ways that I never felt in Southern California, where I grew up and went to college. And I was super inspired to be around so many like-minded folks who were trying to make the world a better place. Even the people who I wouldn't consider like-minded, who had chosen paths way different than mine, seemed more open to rational conversation about living responsibly than most folks I had encountered (at that time) living in other areas of the country.

Things have changed. I've seen how even more people live. I've seen how people live in other countries and in other states and regions in this country. I've seen how people take care of each other. I've seen accountability processes. I've felt accepted and taken care of in places like Minneapolis, after having been there for a couple of weeks, in ways that I've never felt in the Bay. I even took a much needed break from "movement work" (ie. nonprofit work) and from the Bay last year. I came back excited to see who might have missed me. A few people did. A few people seemed to, until I needed something. I thought I might have been able to land a job by now, seeing as how, oh, um, I don't know, I was a co-founding staff member of the last organization I worked for and helped build it from the ground up. I thought I might have some people checking on me, calling to see how things are going, or just to see if I want to hang out. There have definitely been a few people, yeah. And I don't want to downplay my immense appreciation for them. But mostly I am just feeling like if I went away, not many people would notice.

There's so much stuff here. So much stimuli. There are so many people. So many transient people, often unwilling to commit energy & resources to building relationships, because they're probably moving to New York in two months. There is so much competition. People want to prove that they are smarter than you, or more radical, or more well-known, or more talented, or more business-savvy. I am so not feeling competitive right now. I just want to have some friends on this journey. I want to have a decent job that actually feels like it causes more good than harm and have a potluck every once in a while. I want to go dancing with a group of people, not go dancing alone and run into eight people I know well enough to say hello to but don't really know anything about. I want to hang out with groups of people who don't just want to borrow my truck when they need to move, but want to ask me how I'm doing and actually listen to the answer. And I don't want to feel like there is this whole group of people, this whole scene (or many scenes, really) that are more ______ than I am. I don't care. I just want to be liked and to have people notice that I like them. While we're at it, I would really love it if all those people who are my friends on facebook wouldn't act like they don't remember who I am when we run into each other. What is it with that? Hello, I see you "like"ing my shit. Don't act like we didn't talk about In Living Color for like 20 minutes on that couch that one time.

I'm seriously so done with the popularity contest that is the Bay. If this doesn't change for me soon (and yes, I am actively working to make it change on multiple levels, from self/dealing with my own shit -> one-on-one interactions/remembering that people could be dealing with shit I don't know anything about -> getting out into my community -> whatever else you could think of, I'm pretty sure I've at least heard about it or thought about it by now), I'm probably going to run away. I don't really want to, but I need a community, and I don't have one. I don't want to be so invisible. And I'm really tired of trying so many things within the same context. Maybe it's the context that needs to change?


  1. I'm totally feelin' you. I left the Bay a year and a half ago. There are many things I miss, but the community here in Mexico is beautiful. Creative and truly interesting people doing amazing stuff but have nothing to prove. Come visit any time. I mean that.

    Christopher Maeda-Pease

  2. come back to socal. there is such beautiful community there, QTPOC folks who are really committed to LA for the long term. i'm looking forward to making it my permanent home next year, and it's been a wonderful 2nd home for me these past two years.

  3. Starchilde - There is nothing like when people just do what they do and have nothing to prove. Just nothing like it at all. So beautiful. I miss Mexico constantly and just might take you up on that one of these days.

    amita - I've thought about it. Sometimes I feel like my calling might be to help guide the mini qpoc young 'uns through upbringings similar to the one I went through. If I ever move back to LA, you better know I'mma call you! I'm even going to ask you to show up when I need help sometimes!

  4. very simply said, there is a place under my dining table that is missing you and a place for you to stay and friends to figure shit out with you... oh oh oh... i am sorry it is sucking and how i wish i could nab you to come live here in minneapolis.

  5. Oh Susan! What perfect memory of safety & love, that canoodling under the dining table. I think of you all a lot and wish it was easy to just be able to replicate that kind of community here. It's so hard. It makes me miss you a lot.

  6. i know we barely met, but i really wanted to say that SO much of this post resonates do a lot of your other posts. thank you so much for sharing your journey. it helps.

  7. Hey Ava! Thanks for reading. I am torn between happiness & sadness, seeing that this resonates for you. Isolation & loneliness suck. But you say it helps and that makes me smile. It's nice to encounter people who get it on the journey.