The version of me that spent three-ish years in the LA area may as well have been a different person. That's one of the refrains I use on myself to avoid thinking too hard about whether I'd prefer to be there now or not.
I used to believe in no regrets, but after some years I've settled more on not only regrets. It doesn't have the same ring to it, and it's not going to make the cut for a motivational poster, but after a few decades I can't image it's not OK to look in the rearview mirror sometimes and think, "Oof, maybe I should have turned there." The key is not to dwell on it. If you've figured that one out, tell me how.
Where were we...
Coming up in December: four days in the LA area. My wife and I are going to check in on the things we miss. Porto's Bakery in Burbank. Sushi Komasa in Little Tokyo. 金海餐厅 in Monterey Park. Pick up a Green Tea Mille Crêpes cake at Lady M. Dumplings at Din Tai Fung in Glendale. Oysters from the Pacific Fish Center at the Redondo Pier.
And others. If we can fit it in—fit in in the schedule, fit it in our stomach.
There are people there that I miss as well. Of course, there's never enough time for that. But we'll try.
There are other things in my memory from that time as well, but I don't know how to classify them. I only lived there in Burbank—lived as in having my own address— for about 15 months. But I was there for 42 months, though the first 24 were only half-time because I was traveling two weeks on/two weeks off for work. So my memory from the time is a mess of running trails and diners and bars and roads and bookstores. As snapshots, when they come uninvited to mind, the memories are so crisp and tangible, but as they pass they leave eddies in their wake, fouling the memory image so you wonder if the substance of the memory was ever there at all. It doesn't hurt. It's more of a curiosity. Like seeing a face you think you recognize, only to realize that it's a mirror.