A love letter to California

31 August 2019
2 min read

Dear Calfornia,

As you know, we've had a love / hate relationship for a long time.

When I first met you, there was a kind of infatuation. I thought that life with you was like living in heaven. Everyone seemed glamorous and affluent, without worries or responsibilities.

When we finally decided to date (and we moved in together), I was a little shocked by your personalities. You had a housing and density problem in SF, homelessness in Oakland, and a ridiculous bipersonality disorder down in South Bay. So I decided to live for myself - give you space and figure out my own way around you. I found cheap apartments, lived through shitty roommates, and focused on getting what I wanted out of life (aka paying off my student loans).

And when I finally found some inner peace in figuring out how to live with you, I made a decision to leave. Because this isn't how I want to live my life - disconnected and discontent. I'd be doing a disservice to both of us if I didn't say I grew up with you. I learned how to adult - got in my first accident, explored your sleepy towns, fell in love with you again at Farmers Markets.

I know you have an appeal. You're the cutest charismatic person in the room - with the best climate, the best produce (which does go a long way), and the hippest and bougiest tastes. You draw people in. But I can't look past your shadows anymore. Your transient and tech-obsessed culture is draining me. I've learned to live with it but I think we both deserve better.

I want to go try living in a real city. In the center, where there's proper public transportation and where the personalities within aren't tortured tech souls. I know that there will be a lot of overlap. The look and feel, growth and evolution, culture and density, of cities all start to converge. I'm sure I'll compare you and my new city because I'll miss you and need a point of reference.

But I want to try something new. And maybe I'll come back. But don't hang on to that hope forever.

Thank you for everything, California.

I do love you and will definitely miss you.




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I acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Custodians on whose land I live, play, and work. I pay my deepest respects to all Indigenous Elders past, present and emerging.

© Jun 2024 Vinita Israni
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