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Coming Home With a Good Case of #SwitchersRemorse

Disclosure: This is a paid post for Verizon’s #SwitchersRemorse campaign. If you switched away from Verizon and are regretting it, don’t worry. They’re making it easy for customers to come back. For more information, head over to your local Verizon store.

I’ve spent my life going back and forth. Sometimes, to my dismay, one step forward and two steps back. There are no regrets, though, not a one. Each step, backwards or forwards has taught me something, gained me a friend, an experience or a joy. I do however, occasionally get switchers remorse, that feeling you get when you’ve done something and wish you could take it back.

I’ve traveled far from home, always chasing after my dreams. Searching for that indefineable, nameless something that poets seek, that writers seek inspiration from. Sometimes my journeys have a definite purpose or a plan. Some do not. All of them though have had one common thread, that of coming home.

I always come home, no matter how far I roam. L.A. and its seductive quality always call me home. In the streets of Manhattan, I hear its siren’s call and turn my feet towards the west. I book a flight, head for JFK and as soon as I’m over that Pacific ocean, seeing it’s gleam as my plane lowers itself in altitude, there is this sense of coming home, of peace, of incredible rightness. It is my soul place, the home of my birth and that of my heart. I always come back home.

Los Angeles is a gritty city. It’s a land of dreams, some broken more often than not. It’s not a city for the weak. If you are, get strong quick or get gone to your own safe place. It is a place where you may often find yourself stepping on the shards of someone’s broken dreams or pieces of heartbreak all over the dirty streets. L.A. is a city of heartbreak, sometimes my own. Still, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Heartache is something to write about.

My city has a strong diversity. You feel you’ve landed in a world of different worlds. A fanciful and fake land where dogs have spas and cats get their own restaurants. A polyglot’s wet dream of languages. I’ve heard obscure Mayan dialects, Nahuatl, Chinese, Russian, German and French among others. It is truly an international city. Scents, aromas and noise assault you on the streets. You can find food from just about every nation too. We love food here no matter what Michelin thinks.

I love this city I was born in and find more inspiration for my writing here than farther afield. The rivers, the grit, the mountains, the ocean and beaches, the arroyos and little neighborhoods on the east side all find their way into my stories and each has that love I feel for my home woven into their paragraphs.

Sometimes it is a whisper of memory, a smell of something cooking or a song I hear on the street that brings all that love, that sense of longing for home and gives me switcher’s remorse. That’s when the call to home gets stronger and yells at me saying, “What were you thinking, Ginita? Go home!”

Whatever it is is, when it happens it makes me think of home, my crazy beautiful city and reminds me of being a child in the car on that 5 freeway coming home from a long trip. There were still deer on the hills near Griffith Park then and the hills were so green they would make my heart ache in a most poetic way. That feeling of aching love for those green hills made me a fan of that line in Gabriel Garcia Lorca’s poem Romance Sonambula, “verde te quiero verde.” I love that line so much I wrote a story that was inspired by it, called Lorca Green. Now, those once verdant hills are devoid of the curious deer that would come watch the freeway traffic. They are drought-ridden and parched, but they still pull on my heart strings. I know when I see them that I am coming home. I never regret making the old switcharoo back again. This is where I belong.

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