Ah, the annual New-Year's-Day, Yes-I'm-Still-Alive Post.
I have a new apartment, one that makes me feel like I'm at home. I haven't felt "at home" in a place since moving into my very first apartment at age 17, so this is unusual and fascinating. I moved in November — in fact, the last box was packed on Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend — and things are still chaotic as I sort through things I've kept too long and need to go and slowly make purchases I'd long postponed. (What can I say? I'm not sure why the latest Laurie R. King novel is more important than a set of place mats, but there you have it. Priorities.)
When I was working as a travel writer, I found a huge difference in the character of cities I visited, and I always loved that. In Los Angeles, when I buzzed around town, the neighborhoods had varying flavors, but they all were imbued with a quality that always felt like L.A.. Perhaps it was because I grew up there; perhaps I simply didn't live in enough neighborhoods sufficiently different from each other. I think it had to do with the infrastructure of the city itself, because every once in awhile if I drove through the canyons or hills, there was the feeling of being somewhere else.
In any case, the neighborhood of the new apartment is as different from the old neighborhood as Santa Monica from Death Valley, and it's been tremendously healing for my state of mind. I haven't had a television (or a microwave) since moving and cell phone service is spotty, so the pace of life is quite a bit slower. I don't have more time, but I'm using my time differently, and my mental real estate has shifted. I'm thinking about different things. I'm feeling more contented.
Relationships have changed. I've grown closer to some people and farther from others, both geographically and emotionally.
Some things are same as they ever were: I'm still hip deep in hypnosis as a profession, hobby, obsession, and lifestyle; I still love writing, books, movies (my genre preferences haven't changed, either); still love church (although there I'm in flux again); winter still isn't my favorite time of year (although it and I have come to détente). Still writing (although obviously not here).
Wishing everyone a terrific day, month, and year. May all the changes bring you closer to your dreams. I don't know what 2012 is going to hold for me (I'm a hypnotist, Jim — not a psychic), but it's going to be good.