Posted by: steveonfilm | June 20, 2008

Way Out West

My cousin Chris called me yesterday with big news. He’s moving to Los Angeles, California.

Chris works as some sort of engineer for a company that specializes in the “construction of the thermal envelope and industrial refrigeration systems that keep … products cold, and help … business[es] run efficiently.” An opportunity for him within the company opened up out West and he decided to take it.

Chris has lived here in Atlanta for about the same time that I have. We’ve hung out a few times. It’s nice to know that I have family so close. But Chris hasn’t been happy, not for a while. A lot of stuff has contributed to that and he was in dire need of a fresh start. He’d always wanted to move out West. This opportunity was a great chance to kill two birds with one stone.

That makes it six people who live out in the greater Los Angeles area that I know. All of them living somewhere I’d always dreamed of moving. All of them following their life’s ambitions. And I can honestly say I’m a bit bitter about that.

Life has a way of throwing up road blocks. For me that’s my wife. We’ve been together eight years. Married for one. I knew when I decided to spend the rest of my life with her that I’d never make it out West. Part of me is angry. But what are you going to do? You can’t help who you fall in love with. And the person I fell in love with has zero interest in Southern California.

I’m not even sure what it is that I find so appealing. I think, at least for me, it’s just always served as a metaphor for freedom. While I was growing up in Detroit, California was as far away as you could get. It was warm. Sunny. Had mountains. The ocean. Lakes. It seemed like it had everything.

Even as a guy who works in IT, the West coast is where everything exciting is happening. Silicon Valley. Google. Microsoft. Intel. Apple. It’s all out West. The West coast is where people look forward, not back.

Each day I get older I see my dream slipping away. I’ll be thirty in October. Still young. But lets be honest, where you are when you’re thirty is pretty much where you’re going to stay. I don’t want to give up on my dreams. But yet something keeps telling me to let them go, become complacent. It’s as if I’m trying to prevent myself from feeling bad about not achieving what I set out so long ago to do.

Maybe that’s why I write. To escape. To prevent myself from remembering that while others are going for it, I’m stuck here, in a cubical, with blaring florescent over head lights blistering down on me, while others are looking out over the vast Pacific Ocean. Every possibility at their mere fingertips.

Maybe.

Enjoy.
-Steve

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