I won’t be leaving for Scotland until the end of August but I’ll be staying in Los Angeles until then, meaning I had to say goodbye to my hometown of San Diego for a while. Unless I return to the U.S. in December, I won’t be there until next June or even later.
As expected, it was a bittersweet goodbye.
An exceptional majority of my friends live in San Diego and it’s tough saying goodbye to these people I’ve known since I was twelve. Meeting them in middle school made those two years of hell pretty tolerable. We weren’t the best of friends but maybe at one point we were. I told maybe one or two of them what was truly going on with me, but they were that group. You know, that one group where you seem to fit in perfectly? That one group where you can do absolutely nothing for hours and still have a great time.
No matter how long we didn’t speak, the moment we spent time together it was like the silence never happened. There was a time when we didn’t speak for months but they nonetheless visited me while I was thrown into the hospital. The realization hit me that I would be so far away that I can’t pick up my phone and ask them to hang out with me just for the sake of it. It makes me wish that I had contacted them more often. I was never really the most mentally sound person, but somehow they managed to deal with that… most of the time.
Walking away the other night after about ten hours of spending time with my friends was so difficult for me. I sat in my car for a few minutes close to tears, wondering if I should go back and say one last goodbye… but I hate goodbyes, which is why I thought about leaving without a word several times throughout the night. It makes it seem like I’ll never see them again. In all honestly, I believe there’s a chance that’ll happen. We’re all going on with our own lives… on to bigger and better things.
That’s why it’s so bittersweet.
I’ve lived in several cities throughout my life but none of them could compare to San Diego, which was the only place that truly felt like home. This was my safe place. I remember going home several times bawling my eyes out feeling weary, anxious, and depressed just so I could feel better. I remember having to stay there for months of therapy and hospitalization. I also remember going a bit insane after a lengthy manic episode and driving But I remember going to the beach at night and sitting in some of the most obscure cafés in the city. I remember roaming the malls during the holidays and the unbelievably scorching heat and the smell of the sea and…. the food.
And obviously, I’ll remember the people. I was never really the one that fit into the Southern California stereotype; I don’t surf, I don’t necessarily like the beach, and I prefered staying indoors. I didn’t really integrate well into the society but I met that group of outliers and that’s what made everything alright for me.