This week I returned to my old stomping grounds – It’s an odd feeling to find that you no longer miss something. I remember having this sense of nostalgia and an almost relief at driving over the hill and seeing the lights of the city I once called home…but upon my last visit, I discovered those feelings were gone. I haven’t been too personal on this blog (so far). My goals when starting it were to document my career path, and hopefully, help other writers, but here’s a little background. I grew up in Las Vegas; the former Las Vegas when the mob still had an active role, not this current garish nightmare. Now it’s all lights-advertisements-high rises-bottle service-day clubs aka the pool-more lights-revamping/reinventing/let’s go retro-ferris wheel-find the new “it thing”-bring your kids even though it’s not kid friendly-ridiculousness. Yes, I’ve grown a little cynical.
Driving around town, I could only find traces of what once made the city unique. Any history the town had has been torn down to make way for a building 10x bigger and looks exactly like the one next door. Residents had to protest when the city thought about removing the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. Have you seen Casino? It was filmed nearly 20 years ago, based on the events of the 70s, and the ending rings more true than ever. What would any of those men have to say about the current state of the town they built? Or Hunter S. Thompson? I realize that things must evolve but look at these before (when I was growing up) and after photos —
I always wanted to escape, feeling like a fish out of water in that town, and for years after moving away, it still remained “home”. After moving to Los Angeles, I was unable to get back for about three years. When I finally did have the chance to return, I still felt excited by the lights over the hill, but it had dramatically lessened. Now, it’s nonexistent. I’m not sure what changes within us, when we realize home is no longer home. There’s that scene in Garden State where Zach Braff’s character is talking to Natalie Portman and he says —
You’ll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.
My family doesn’t live there anymore either, so maybe it has something to do with that. I wouldn’t even visit again if two of my best friends didn’t still live there. And the sad thing is, that when I return to Los Angeles after being away, I don’t have that sense of “home” either (except that I am happy to return to my space). So maybe we are all missing some imaginary place?
This has nothing to do with writing, just merely an observation as I continue this journey called Life. I felt a sort of melancholy at this discovery, and thought that writing about it might help a bit. I guess realizing this in some way unifies all of us who have lost our “homes”. I am thankful that since I decided to get myself out more (joining my writer’s group) I’ve made some new friends that have made the transition easier – we create new families, develop new relationships, become adults…I’m not sure if this could be used in reference to our characters and their development, but it’s something to consider.
Thanks for letting me getting this off my chest. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Wishing you all the best!