Monday, August 19, 2013

Some Things Stay the Same

I'm not really sure where I stand in terms of where I belong on the map. I don't feel like I can claim San Diego as my "hometown", but it's the city (and suburbs) that I'm the most familiar: the malls I camped out at for Black Friday, the freeways I learned to drive on, the hills and the beaches I loved. I wasn't a big city explorer and most days I'm still not. Downtown San Diego gave me the heebie-jeebies (that's a technical term) and it hasn't gotten better from there.

Moving to Burbank was a big jump for me. I've lived my whole life on military bases, in military housing, or in suburbs- right next to police stations and I used to walk everywhere because I felt safe enough to do so. The prospect of moving downtown somewhere was terrifying- what if I get mugged? What if I get jumped? What if I get held up or held down or run over?

And then we actually moved.

And it wasn't so bad. Yes, there are alleys everywhere and sometimes you hear arguments in the underground parking garages or catch shadowed individuals in the alley extinguishing a smoke, but there are humongous trees lining the streets and beautiful architecture and the constant bustle of people just sidewalks away.

I'm still learning to like the city. Every so often I find something that lessens the worry that much more: a new route to walk Ripley reveals a gorgeous church. A new restaurant. A library.

There is literally nothing more relaxing than to walk inside of a library. I'm the kind of girl who will walk out of the building with a kink in my neck and a purse weighed down with musty hardbacks. There were definitely points in my college career when I would climb to the 7th floor (popular fiction) and just. sit. All of the anxiety and the worry and the stress stopped at the door.
That's actually Mr. E and myself there...
I haven't changed one bit. The anxiety and cabin fever from sitting at home and applying for jobs was too much today but as soon as I walked through those sliding doors and into the air conditioning the world was alright again.

The smell was the same: dry and slightly musty. Of the bottom of backpacks and the first turned page.
The lighting was the same: overhead fluorescents reflecting off of plastic jacketed books.
The sound was the same: rustling pants, clacking keyboards and a tense murmur anticipating the accompanying shush.
After signing up and checking out, I walked home with a new outlook on the neighborhood: the library is only 7 minutes away by foot. Perfect.

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Mrs. E