They say that it takes 5 years to really adjust to Los Angeles.
I have been here five years now (and a few months).
I think I can say it is true. It does take five years.
When I first moved here I felt lost in this city, so spread out, with no center, no suburbs.
Everything was the center and the suburbs at the same time.
It was so far and different from all I was used to that I could barely handle it.
I felt overwhelmed so many times. At some point I stopped counting how many times.
I desperately tried to go with the flow and survive all the emotions.
I found myself defeated and scary and lonely for months.
I had to find my place in such a new world that now and then I was deeply sad and wanted to go back home to Italy. I was drowning. And I could barely keep my head off the pain. Sometimes not even that.
But now that feeling is over.
Now I know that I am home here too.
I feel it.
I have my balance, my happiness.
I am much stronger.
After such a dark period, now I know I am fine with myself and the world around me.
I can enjoy staying here.
Driving is not scary anymore.
Talking is not necessarily ad adventure through misunderstanding, guessing and silence.
Everything is familiar and sometimes I even find it funny ;) .
I went through such a difficult time that now I am proud of what I have become.
Five years ago I was as frail as leaves are.
Now I am as strong and solid as roots are.
I went through that painful process on my own and I knew nobody could have ever helped me.
I knew I had to work on myself with no external help.
It's a strength that one day you just find within yourself and that's you the only one who built it, step by step, brick after brick. It may happen and it may not happen, in my case it happened. I had that strength and I know it will stay with me forever.
I know that I could never go back to that dark period.
It's another me now. Now I can stand on my feet with non help. I know I can survive.
And I did it all alone.
After five years I have really adjusted to Los Angeles.
This implies that I have been cutting my ties with friends in Italy.
I am not too sorry for that.
We have walked through different paths, made opposite choices.
I wish them all the best but there is not much left.
And if I push this thought farther, I ask myself: Will I stay here for good?
Do not think so, but time will tell.
And I am not in a rush.