Los Angeles is huge.
Thats whats been running my internal monologue during this holiday. LA is really frikkin huge.
The first few days out here, I lived in an acquaintance's guest room out along the Miracle Mile. They are digging a new purple line subway under there.
The neighborhood is far removed from the trappings of walkable society, and even a bicycle only gets you so far.
At the moment, I'm in an AirBNB hotel in South LA. Its something of a traditional hostel, living alongside another 8 or so college students. Wasn't intentional, but thats how these things end up. The new expo line is at most a half mile walk north. Ample access to bus lines. A large, well-manicutred private college campus nearby. The campus locks itself up at night as is certainly the most contemporary description of late-stage capitalism.
The private automobile maintains a tight monopoly on the use of public space in this city. It is fascinating, and has me realizing that I do make a number of implicit assumptions about the cities I choose to visit. Those assumptions didn't pan out in LA and I struggle to cope with the disappointment.
This year I pivoted. My side gig became my main gig, as a friend described it to me. I left engineering for some strange new world of California state law, politics, and property rights. I draw a paycheck in this line of work, believe it or not.
Its not where I expected to be just as 2017 rolls out into the past; I like where I am and what I do.
I describe myself to others as a community organizer. Guiding people into direct action to apply political and legal pressure on local governments. The law is wrong and must be changed.
My two titles depending on the mood of the room are Co-Executive and Co-Executive Director; there's a subtle difference there not to be missed. One implements a plan, the other advances an agenda. Nobody actually cares about this detail, however. Its just there for my own guidance.
The next year is going to force me to reevaluate my ambitions; reconcile my role as State Housing Cop with my anarchist principles of autonomy and self-governance. I might even attend the next chaos communication congress.
I'm squeezing my relationships into this, somehow. Since starting buproprion I've come to have a renewed sense of connection with my family. Some of that connection has been twisting in the wind for too long and I'm motivated to fix that again.
New Years is the only holiday I celebrate in earnest. I'm glad to see 2017 pass. The next year will be rougher. Harder. Something will break and the floor will fall out. I don't feel like I'm ready for that. Bad omen. Tending to the relationships I've let grow cold will be something I prioritize in the new year. Just in case, you know. The fruits of that labor will be bountiful in good time.
This brings me to my resolution. I will be better at asking for help, at asking for the things I need, at relying on and trusting the people supporting me.
I've been accompanied on this adventure to Los Angeles by my partner, K. They've been a part of my life for nearly two years now. Fiercely independent. Strong. A rock for me when I need it. Relationship anarchy comes to mind as a descriptor for the Us we've nurtured and grown together. I rely on them, I rely on us; it nurtures me, it nurtures us.
They've taught me a lot about trusting another and drawing boundaries from that trust. My resolution is to grow this capability; to foster it in my other relationships.
23 hours until 2018 swings in and the world descends further into the void. I'm going to be ready, and I won't be alone.