I miss a lot about New York. Without sounding too Sex and the City, I miss the fact that every film that is released is playing somewhere in New York. I miss Central Park and the shopping and the fact that there are actual seasons. I miss all of the free events and my friends and the adrenaline. I spent a good portion of my teenage years desperate to get out of Redlands and move to any city, and I got my wish; I got to live in New York for two stressful and thrilling years.
But now that I am older I love it here in Redlands. As I walked home from the gym tonight, the sun was setting a gorgeous blend of orange and blue and it was 70 degrees out. I was alone on the sidewalk, which never happens in New York. I was not alone in the scary I might get raped sense, but alone in the sense that I could breathe and no one would accost me and I could smell the honeysuckle and I felt extremely calm. I heard someone announcing names in the distance followed by muffled cheers. Graduation. I remembered this night for me at the same place--the Redlands Bowl--eleven years ago. I hated high school and was ready to leave. I didn't cry or anything, but there was still this sense of freedom and possibility that comes with graduation that I hope those students are feeling tonight. I hope they will do well and not fall into all of the traps waiting out there for them. I really do hope they will be happy.
One day, my sons will likely graduate from the same school in the same bowl and I will hear their voices over that speaker. It will be a beautiful Redlands night like tonight. And I will cry my motherfucking eyes out.