Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Season of Holidays

I moved to California at the end of January, when the biggest holiday I had to face for months was Valentine's Day (which was pretty tragic).

I've spent most of this year alone in California, and that's been okay. For the first several months.

But at the end of September, my birthday kicks off a season of holidays that I have to face spending alone, outside of my regular routines that I spent 14 years building in New York.

No after-work birthday happy hour here in LA. I didn't think anyone would come. Most certainly plenty would want to and intend to, but we live in the land of endless desires and best intentions, unrequited love and dreams deferred. As much as I hoped it wouldn't turn out that way, I couldn't bear the thought of spending yet another night sitting at a bar alone - not on my birthday - so I went to Vegas.

And now I face Halloween, a favorite holiday second only to Christmas. No clutching onto friends as we wind through haunted houses or corn mazes. No Halloween night party in my apartment with orange snacks and ridiculous games. I'm shopping for a costume but I don't know where I'll where it or who will see it.

I've often spent Thanksgiving alone, or as an orphan invited to someone else's celebration, from college weekends spent with Jon in Massachusetts to dinners with Michelle and her parents in Manhattan. This year, all the way out here in California, I'm far from almost everyone who would take pity on me, save for one friend who extended a Thanksgiving dinner invitation to me months ago, practically immediately upon my arrival to LA, with one condition: I would have to bring a date. He said it with a wink, and only wishes the best for me, but I really hope that he's kidding.

Thank God I'm managing to go back to Syracuse to spend Christmas with the family that has become mine.

And New Year's? Alone, I'm sure. Naturally.

And once again to face the humiliation of a lonelyhearts Valentine's Day

But these are choices I have made and that I continue to make. I chose to move to the Left Coast, the West Coast, the Best Coast, even though I didn't really have anybody that close out here. I chose to stay out here when I lost the job that relocated me here. And I've waited nine months to return to New York City (a trip which looms next weekend), to let me gestate properly, to become Californian, to prove that I can make it on my own.

I choose not to date people who aren't the right match.

I choose to spare the expense and travel hassle for Thanksgiving, which is really just one day.

I can't always run back. I have to figure out how to live in LA on my own.

I have to make a life of my own. Or find someone to make one with.

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