New York's home, but it ain't mine no more"
Essentially the first thing I did when I moved to L.A. was buy a car, and I did a really bad job doing so. I had done all the research, but when it came down to the actual buying, I paid a little too much and got a little too little. It doesn't really matter. The car drives. It gets me to where I need to go. And I don't think I would like driving anymore if I had gotten a better deal. It doesn't really matter, except that it does. Because that was the first thing I did in L.A., and I sucked at it.
A little more than a month after that, I scraped up and dented said car pretty badly. It was all cosmetic, it was totally my fault, and I didn't hurt anyone or anything else. It doesn't really matter either, and I refused to get it fixed because it doesn't need to be fixed. But it definitely didn't leave me feeling great about, well, anything related to the car or driving or this city.
It's been six months since then. And I worry. I love my program, but I worry constantly that I am not really good enough to make it. I have not published anything or presented at a conference yet. I constantly feel like I'm drowning under all the work that needs to get done. It's hard, and everyone else seems so much smarter than me, so much more self-assured, so much likelier to succeed. And I feel like I am not cut out for academia.
And I don't really have many friends here. Oh, I have people. People I know. People I like. People I can go to for Shabbos. But staying here for Pesach honestly seemed like the most awful thing in the world. I feel alone. And I hate how pathetic that sounds, but it's true.
I hate both the fact that I was willing to date someone who I knew wasn't nearly frum enough for me and the fact that he rejected me. I hate how much my roommates annoy me, and I hate how much they leave me feeling petty and doubting that I could ever successfully live with anyone even though I have successfully lived with many people before and even though I know it is not petty to not want your ice cream to disappear or to find Craisins crushed into your kitchen floor or to find your apartment door wide open even though no one is home.
Every time I look to see what time it is, I add three hours to figure out what time it is for all my friends. (I did this even when I was on the East Coast for winter break and then just ended up confused.) But sometimes, there's no one I can call when I need to talk. Oh, I know that if I really needed someone at 4 a.m. (on either coast), there are people I could call, but that's not what I mean. Sometimes you just really need to chat at midnight, and there's no one for me to chat with at midnight because it's 3 a.m. for all the people I want to chat with.
Don't get me wrong: There are lots of good things about L.A. I have met some really wonderful people and reconnected with some friends who live here now. I can wear flip-flops whenever I want. And there's Coffee Bean. And I am planning on going to the beach this week. (You can't do that in New York. I mean, I guess you could, but it wouldn't exactly be pleasant.) And I am getting paid to go to school, which is pretty much the best thing ever.
But I just keep on wishing that it will start getting easier, that L.A. will start feeling normal to me, that I will start feeling like my admission to school wasn't just a fluke. And, well, I'm still waiting.
(Sorry for this long, feeling-sorry-for-myself post. Every once in a while, I just need to get it all out, and it's my blog so I can, and I warned you.)