Here I am, in a beautiful hotel in my former neighborhood. It was so strange, to leave from an airport that I have never seen before and arrive in an airport that is so incredibly familiar.

Taking trips, plane trips, were so out of the question when I was small. I had been on a plane once, when I was five. But the rest of the time, planes were as far away as the moon. No money, no open door, no flight path.

So, when I got older, flights were very possible. I am nervous in airports, but I LOVE to fly.

And I was excited to leave from Burbank, to find out what this new airport was. It is kind of disappointing. San Francisco airport, the one that I know, that I have memories and stories in, is much nicer.

And here I am, in the shadow of the Transamerica pyramid, in this beautiful, amazing, creative, energetic, sexy city that I love so much.

It’s not MY city anymore. I’ve never lived here. But I lived for seven years in the San Francisco Bay Area…The Bay Area…That means that San Francisco is mine.

Well, the first few years were full of unhappy memories. But the last few years were the best in my life.

It is hard to think that I am not part of here anymore. Here is very much a part of me.

I live in Los Angeles now. And I really do live in Los Angeles…I live and work right in the middle of the city of Los Angeles. I am part of the city.

But this city is not really part of me. I don’t have so many stories here. I am still trying to grok this huge sprawling city. I am bewildered and intimidated by the highways and the styles. I am trying to understand what I should be afraid of; who I should be afraid of.

Everyone says there are things to be afraid of here. “Haven’t you HEARD of Compton? Don’t you know about Watts? And East L.A.?”

I think it’s sad that I have to learn to fear like that. But I do know that I, one person, cannot change decades of segregation by ignoring it. I have to be smart.

It takes a while to get used to a new place. I’ve moved enough to remember that. I have more experience, and I know that.

LA seems like it has a lot to offer. I have more to offer too.

I’m glad to be out of the bay area. There were too many bruises on the map, even though I had shining moments and places.

I’m happy to be in a place that I can make my own, now that I have more of my own to make with. It just feels empty until then.

I guess I’ve moved from a place I’ve grown out of into a place I haven’t grown into yet.

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