A couple of weekends ago, I spent some time in the cafe that was my home away from home when I lived in the Clinton neighborhood and I was reminiscing on the six years I spent in that part of town. How much I loved it, how I loved being so close to downtown, how I loved being so close to everything! And I could walk to my favorite restaurant, bar and cafe. I ended up going home and looking at real estate in the area (yeah right, SO over my ever possible price range) and also apartments, just to see. Seeing that apartments were the same price as my mortgage stopped that search short and I decided to just embrace how much I loved being there then and try to embrace the comfort of my beautiful home now (despite my cruel neighbors and not-so-nice neighborhood).
But yesterday, when it started to snow, I got wistful again. I never spent much time inside when it snowed in my neighborhood off Clinton Street. I lived in a lovely residential neighborhood in a tri-plex so I never felt like I was in an apartment. When it snowed, I'd bundle up in my finest hiking shoes, cutest cold weather hat and get out in the snow! I had a friend who lived down the street so I'd gather her up and we'd walk the neighborhood. We'd go to the cafe for coffee, we'd go to NoHos for lunch, we'd go to New Season's for supplies. It would take us an HOUR to get to New Seasons and back in the kind of snow we had the few times we had snow, but it was a BLAST! We were warm enough and so happy to be in a quiet neighborhood winter wonderland. It felt like magic.
And frankly, I miss that. I don't have that here, living around watchful and spiteful neighbors, off two busy streets, behind a vacant high school, the rush of the freeway behind me. There is just so little magic to be had for me here on days like this. I try to revel in the comfort in my warm space (both literally and figuratively), and focus my energy on making a great meal, on reading a great book, on watching a great movie ... really taking advantage of the downtime.
But I think, even after 4.5 years, my heart still belongs to Clinton. There are some days that I feel there is a lot I would give to be back there. But then I remember where I am. And how I got here. And I try to remember that I AM grateful and I AM happy. That sometimes it's just hard to let go of certain aspects of the past simply because they were so beautiful. And that's okay.
I can love it here and love it there at the same time. I guess the challenge now is finding the magic here somehow. And if not, then I find it within and not without and hold tight to that instead.
Happy snowmen making out there, friends!