June 1: Bi-Coastal (West)

We are half-way through. In two weeks time, I will be a Peace Corps Trainee, in Ethiopia.

Today, I’m with a good friend, at her book signing. The short drive from North Hollywood to Lancaster, California, gave me the opportunity to see another part of the state.

When I lived in California, I was in Long Beach. I still miss randomly driving and seeing the ocean. I’m not sure why I didn’t plan to visit my old stomping ground, while I was here. I spent six years as the Director of Special Collections, University Archivists/CSU Systems Archivists, at California State University, Dominguez Hills. I never traveled further than Universal Studios, then I would head right back to the beach.

Now, I’m back in Cali, to visit my friend Kelly Violet. That’s, of course, not her real name. All day today, I’ve had to remember to only use her pen name. I’ve enjoyed watching her, in full form, with this new identity. It’s gotten me thinking about my two selves, one East Coast and one West.

For the past two weeks, friends have asked me where I will live, when I return from Ethiopia. Honestly, I have no idea. I know that I will never return to Detroit, the place of my birth.

I will also not be returning to North Carolina, where I retired from Duke University. On the west coast, California was home. In 1975, I was stationed here, during my service, in the Air Force. I did my undergraduate degree, at CSU Long Beach. Then, I left, moved east, and returned to work at CSUDH. What I’m learning, on this trip, is that a place you once worked at is not necessarily home. It’s familiar, yes, but not really home.

Still searching — GGT

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