Once upon a time I lived in Santa Cruz, CA. Ever since I left Santa Cruz, I've yearned to return; but, what would I be returning to? When I was there I was in a totally different place in my life. I was homeless and drug addicted, and there was absolutely NO stability in my life. Now, I'm a father of three, I'm married, and I work full time to support my family.
I think that I'm in love with memories. I look back on my time there and think to myself that it was my own personal garden of eden, but alas, it was not. My life was fucked up beyond belief. Sure there were amazing times when nothing seemed like it could go wrong, but there were thousands of times when it was the exact opposite.
My family and I took a vacation back to Santa Cruz last year, and while it was wonderful to see it all again, I still had to see my very close friends struggling with their continued homelessness. I had to see them starving, and ravaged by drugs. It was not the same town... even though it completely was.
Going back to live there could never be the same. I would have to make new friends because it would be unfair to subject my children to the daily ongoings of junkies. I would have to make (nearly) all new friends, and I would have to avoid all the places that my junkie friends would be at. That sounds like a lot of work.
There are people there, however, that I would definitely still hang out with. I guess what it comes down to is this: I love my friends in Santa Cruz, I just don't know if it's a good place to raise my kids. Temptation could possibly be much too strong for me, and then the next thing you know, my life would be ruined. That is something that I COULD NOT handle.
This is not set in stone however. Maybe some day down the road, I will have enough faith in myself to be able to handle such a situation... I don't know for sure. What I do know is that Santa Cruz is not the city IN my dreams, even if it is the city OF my dreams. Thinking time.