Home Is Where The Nachos Are

31 May

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Friday afternoon I found myself in a yin yoga class with Hilary.

Yin yoga is my favorite kind of yoga, mainly because I know I can do it.  I know I can stretch and grow and leave feeling refreshed.  Sometimes I go to these 1.5 hour hot yoga classes in Malibu, and all I can think is I’ll never be able to do this, I must give up yoga and probably everything else.

But yin yoga at noon at Pepperdine is one of my favorite things in the world.

Hilary smiles throughout the whole class.  You should really try working out with that girl.  Her eyes are closed, she’s in shavasana, and she’s got a big, broad grin across her whole face.

Hilary has many of the things I do not have.  It’s what makes us good friends, my eagerness to soak some of it up.

After yoga I told Hilary I wanted fries.  I saw an Instagram shot of fries and I needed fries and so to Duke’s we went because I know about their fries.

(And their nachos.)

(And their hula pies.)

We’ve been here nearly three years, Hilary and I.  I got a notification that the blog I started in London–a very sad, very small, desperate thing of a blog–just turned four.

FOUR YEARS OLD!  My London times are in preschool.  They no longer just happened.

I remember moving here, fresh back from London and everything was London this and London that and it’s not anymore. I hardly mention it.  It’s part of my history, and certainly not the most important part right now.

Not even close.

The boys Cait and I dated that first year we were here, the ones we gave nicknames and who were topics of conversation–they have grown older, grown out of their nicknames.  The other day I found out one of them is expecting a child with his now wife.

I texted Cait.

She responded with a picture of a burrito.

Three years.

Not quite.

Almost three years.

It’s enough to make a place a home, I think.  Or it’s getting close.

I get sad, sometimes, about my life here.  I have friends, and good ones.  But not that many of them.  And none who knew me before.  These are all “new” friends, people who met me when London was fresh.  People who have never met the boys who broke my heart or the friends and family who healed it.

My friends here feel so separate from the rest of my life, sometimes.

Rob has two friends from other areas of his life, a childhood friend and a college friend, who are both here in Southern California.

I envy that.

What I would do to have a childhood friend out here!  A high school friend!  My sole college friend! (Hi Laura!)

There are times when my life in California feels so separate from my life elsewhere.  My life in Utah, I suppose.

All of my siblings are back in Utah now, did you know?

You wouldn’t know.

For a stretch there it was only 1/5 Denning children in the Beehive State, all of us spread out, doing our own thing, likely never to return, and then without warning everyone is coming back but me.

It’s enough to make a girl think.  What am I doing here?  How long will I be here?  What do I want of my life?

I think these things anyway, but the prospect of all the people I love regularly gathering without me, I think them harder.

I have a life here.  I’m no longer at the stage where I wonder when my real life will begin.  I am living my real life, right now, this very moment, with the dregs of my cold tea and my California cherries and the four books I have open on my bed because nothing is really holding my attention reading-wise these days.

This is my life.  A life of yin yoga and french fries, of sea salt and foggy skies.

I don’t want to ever leave Malibu.

I think this fairly regularly.

Every time I drive up the PCH, past the stilted houses and the dots of surfers and the overpriced restaurants–I feel the air come back into my lungs and I think, “How could I ever leave this?”

Malibu feels like home.

I have my places.  A magazine stand, a burrito stop, my favorite scoop of ice cream.

Places take time.

So do people.

Rob reminds me of this when I’m feeling sad about being here.  “Jill,” he says.  “Your people in Utah have 15 years with you.  It’s natural that it’s different here.”

It’s natural and it’s hard.

It’s my real life, right now, this very moment.

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7 Responses to “Home Is Where The Nachos Are”

  1. Linnea June 1, 2015 at 7:11 am #

    There was this amazing moment for me when a childhood friend moved out to DC (Jamie) and we got together – it was this wonderful merging of my old and new lives and felt so complete. I love making new friends and meeting new people, but there is also something special about spending time with someone who knows you – knows your past, knows dorky things about you.

    Anyway, I get you. Someday we might go back to Utah, but I can’t imagine doing it right now. We’re going to be moving 45 minutes away soon and I’m already freaking out about leaving my beloved DC.

    • jillianlorraine June 2, 2015 at 8:53 pm #

      I need that melding moment, I think. Or maybe that moment won’t come and I need to learn how to balance the different people and lives.

  2. Bailey Brewer June 1, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

    I can relate very much to this. I just passed my 3 year anniversary in LA, and I have spent much time in therapy discussing feeling left out from familial gatherings. Don’t worry, I’ll talk your ear off about all of it at some unannounced, unsolicited point. :)

    It does take time. But I am so much happier than I was, and I hope you’ll get there, too.

    And finally — burrito stops. YES.

    • jillianlorraine June 2, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

      I am very much looking forward to this unannounced, unsolicited point.

  3. Heather Lindquist June 3, 2015 at 5:17 am #

    I love this. I love nachos and French fries. I love to read your writing.

  4. Laura Lundquist June 5, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    Hi Jill!! :) Thanks for the shoutout. I totally get the feeling, having just moved from our 4 years in AZ, I found myself much sadder than I expected. I think a large part of it is exactly what you were talking about, I’m leaving a place that had no connection to the past, but now I’m moving somewhere that has even less of a connection. Kind of weird and melancholy. But I’m happy you’ve found a home where you are happy. Love this blog, so happy to jump on and see new posts!

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