Still, I miss Market Close already - The house, the space, the privacy, the location, the feeling of knowing that it's mine. Already I'm being bothered by trivial things, like the fridge not being cold enough - but it's not my fridge, so I can't change the setting. The worst part though, is living in a Skazaa zone; just to get as far as Kinson, where the nearest shops are, I have to walk through a mile of chav-filled estates. Needless to say I haven't yet, and probably never will unless I absolutely have to. Almost every night I can hear them outside, and every now and then someone will have a party or a fight or something that spills out on the street and results in an hour or so of shouting whilst you're trying to get to sleep. I've long felt that the main reason for working and earning money, is so that I can not live in places like this.
I don't know how long I'll stay, but I do have certain goals. First, is learning to drive. I want to book some lessons as soon as possible, and take them regularly - I'm thinking maybe three or four a week. Second, I want to pay off my loan, and put a reasonable amount of money back in my savings, probably about £2,000 or so. Third, to find somewhere good to move to; last time I had the pressure of a time limit to find somewhere else to live, so I took the first flat I found because it seemed decent. It was alright, luckily, but this time that pressure isn't there, and I'm not going anywhere unless it's somewhere I'd actually like to live. Being able to drive also vastly expands my options, as I don't need to be near public transportation. All in all, I expect to be here about six months.
Speaking of six months, that's how long it's been since my friend not-Jenniffer first came here to absolutely definately not do anything like become my girlfriend. The amount of time itself isn't particularly significant to me, but as I said to Diana this evening, I've realised that it's been long enough that I don't clearly remember where it began; it's something that just is, that I've taken into my life as a constant, to rely on. Feeling as if it's always been that way, and always will be - I find that very comforting. Looking back, I do see almost distinct 'stages' in our relationship leading to this 'settling', which is interesting. After excitement of the initial visit and feeling like it was perfect, the inevitable differences in expectations did present themselves. Over time though, you find that a lot of them just don't matter any more. Some were just misunderstandings, some were met all along but in a different way, some were just hidden by fears. In our case certainly a lot were caused just by the way I show (or appear not to show) my feelings, and drive for stability before all else. There've been times it's seemed like our ways were just not compatible, but that isn't true: however they appear from the outside, they're the same thing in the end.
It's been a couple of things lately that have really made me realise how I feel about a future for us. The first was a single sentence she said to me a couple of weeks back. I don't even remember the exact wording of it, and I wasn't going to repeat it anyway, but it was something nobody had ever said to me before, and it gave me hope that something very important would be different this time. The second was only a few days ago, and was actually the result of a very frustrating argument. It was pretty much the recognition of how stupid the argument was, not only that one but others as well, and it brought me a feeling of peace and an idea of why those arguments should never happen. Mixed in with that has been plenty of external drama, with yet another bloody anonymous commenter (who was actually quite easily identified), an argument with one of Diana's friends and a certain recent 'incident' with another one, although none of them have actually had that much effect, and right now I'm feeling happy and optimistic. I love her, and I still really do believe this can work.
Even work is in an interesting phase at the moment. Something of a... transition is occuring, and it feels kind of strange but rewarding to be a part of it. This may be the beginning of many changes in the way I work and the long awaited steps towards greater independence from California. It's taken a long time to get here, but I think the last year has been better than all the previous years combined, with so many things starting to go right, and be done properly. There's still plenty more to do, certainly, but it all actually seems possible now. One of the weirdest moments was a realisation the other night that the three people I was meeting with are California, that it was informal purely because we all know each other personally, and that I was there because my input mattered. It's interesting to think about my 'unofficial' position, and the story of how I got there.
Now it's time for some sleep. As always there's much I've omitted, but I'm tired and it can wait. I wish this room didn't attract so many damn flying things, which are of course all fascinated by the only light source here, my laptop screen.