A couple of weeks ago, I was out at the pool at The Flamingo. It was a gorgeous Saturday. My sister was in town. Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas" was bumpin' on the loudspeakers. I was looking at the happy, drunk tourists and all I could think was that my head hurt. Well, that and the fact that the girls in the pool with the headbands across their foreheads (you know we love them, Liz) clearly hadn't yet experienced the dreaded headband sunburn.
Don't get me wrong, I heart Vegas. Period. I have never been happier than I am right now amidst all this sunshine, love and glitter. However, as a gal from Seattle, I sometimes look around and think, "What the HELL am I doing here?!" When I went home to Seattle earlier this month, I flew into the little town of Bellingham, WA. (How do I explain Bellingham? As my high school Spanish teacher once told me, "They grow their own food there.") The woman I sat next to on the plane turned to me mid-flight and said, "I saw you at the terminal and knew you were a Bellingham girl." When I explained to her that although I am from WA, I currently live in Vegas, she looked stunned. "You're kidding, I never would have guessed that."
You and me both, sister. You and me both.
However, when I was in WA, it felt like an outgrown favorite sweater. Comforting, but it no longer fit. When I returned to Vegas after my almost three week trip "home" - I became instantly and acutely aware of how much I need to make this my new home. But how does a person do that? A person who (with the exception of a rare morning mimosa) does not want an alcoholic beverage at 10am, thank you very much. A person who longs for the days of last call, when people were expected to be in bed at 2:30am. A person who drives past the strip on her way home from work with needy children and looks around at all the opulence and thinks what a beautiful waste this all really is. A person who is unapologetically liberal and has come to expect convenient recycling receptacles. (Honestly, Vegas, what is up with your lack of recycling? It is, at best, an outrage.)
Maybe my job is to find a way to nurture the me that makes me me in this lovely desert, in all these blinding lights... So, here I am. Waking up in Vegas. Lost, but happy. Homesick, but - perhaps - home.