But I’m sincerely ready to say goodbye to you. Not because I didn’t enjoy the time we spent together - at times it was fantastic, at times it was depressing, and at times it was the same as it would have been anywhere else. But I’m getting to that point, friend, where I feel like our friendship and appreciation for one another would grow if we parted ways for awhile.
It’s not that I don’t love you, I do…really I do…It’s that I just don’t think I’m a match for what you need. You see, I don’t have a lot of the things you require in order to provide a quality relationship.
You need money…lots of money. I don’t really have lots of money, Los Angeles. And every time I start to have lots of money (relative, of course), you take it from me by increasing your rent, increasing the cost of gas, increasing the cost of my car insurance, increasing the cost of groceries, increasing the cost of utilities (and increasing the requirements to qualify for low-income utilities so I still don’t qualify by a margin of $500…always a margin of $500)
You ticket my car because you say you would have cleaned that street if I hadn’t been parked there. I felt bad for intruding so I didn’t park there again but Los Angeles, the streets are still dirty. That hurt my feelings, Los Angeles…I mean, I gave you $80.00 in good faith that you would have cleaned the street had I not gotten in your way. What happened?
You have no left hand turn signs for miles and you have both made me late because of it and ticketed me when I gave up and made the left anyway so I could make it to my appointment on time.
I have spent, over the last 10 years of my life, a collective 6,500 hours sitting in your traffic. And Los Angeles, this was to go less than 10 miles to work. Oh Los Angeles, how can you blame me? I can’t text, send emails or talk on my phone in your traffic, lest I want to receive a $215.00 ticket for talking on the phone or a $159.00 ticket for sending a text or an email. I’m not into talk radio so these hours are really just gone from my day.
I’d like to buy a house soon, Los Angeles. I don’t think that bodes well either, considering you want me to have a half a million dollars in order to accomplish this. I’m sorry, LA, but even if I hadn’t paid your tickets, rent, utilities, grocery prices, car insurance or gas prices I probably still wouldn’t have the half a mill it costs to buy property in your vicinity. I wish I could, Los Angeles, really I do…but I can’t. And I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. You see, us Social Workers don’t get paid all that much even though we are doing everything we can to help improve you, from helping eradicate homelessness to working with domestic violence victims to providing mental health services to your most needy citizens.
I’d like to be able to visit my friends without negotiating “rush hour.” You see, other cities allow people to commune much easier because they are centralized, there is public transportation, and people can get to and from each other in under 20 minutes. Really! I know, that might sound overrated to you, but for me it sounds nice. I’d sure like that, Los Angeles. I’d like to be a member of a community that is centralized, easy to navigate and user friendly.
Can we revisit one another in a few years? I’ve got a hunch I’ll come to appreciate you more if I leave for awhile. Don’t worry, I’ll visit you! I’ve got 10 years of ties and roots in your vicinity, from the most amazing friends to alumni connections to work connections to just a general sense of love and ownership of the communities that I have inhabited here. I’ll never be gone forever, I’ll always return to say hello. In the meantime, maybe I could save some money and buy that house I’ve been thinking about, invest in my career a little bit and build up some savings. Maybe I’ll return to you someday with more to offer and a way of investing in improving the quality of life for people here who struggle with the same things I’ve listed. Like starting a community garden or Art Center - for FREE! Or donating therapy hours through community clinics. Or opening a program that teaches women how to make a living from home using skills like sewing, embroidery, soap making, candle making, jewelry making, and editorial skills…maybe? Or maybe I can give back via alumni scholarships and mentorships for those new faces in your midst that just need a little help to make it here?
You’re not entirely unforgiving, Los Angeles. I’ve definitely survived. But it’s time for me to thrive. I hope you understand. Now, just to find a job somewhere…*sigh*