Speaking of evolution, it’s amazing what a difference a year can make. Cliché? Yes. True? Also yes. After having scraped myself from my father’s couch and moving back to New York last year, I was ready to put my shattered life back together piece by painful piece. I had moved back to my old neighborhood (literally across the street from my old apartment), reconnected with my New York friends who hadn’t fled the city for life in suburban wedded bliss, and put my feelers out for new career opportunities and love interests- though only half heartedly on the latter.
I hadn’t been back to California since leaving that last time. I mean, it’s a long flight, plus I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about being back there. However, my dad was long overdue for a visit and the way the weather was looking on the east coast, I was happy to suffer through a five hour flight for a stint in the sunshine. Upon landing in LA, I immediately felt a bittersweet nostalgia. Driving through familiar streets in Silicon Valley, I felt eery familiarity and the memories of my past came creeping back.
Fortunately, I have a friend who is the kind of friend everyone should wish for. She’s the “ride or die” type and the moment she got my sobbing phone call that I would be moving out of the home I shared with my ex, she was quite literally on a plane to come and help with the heavy lifting and to lift my heavy heart. Her name is Katie and you may remember her. Upon arriving at said residence, my ex had been so “kind” as to have already packed all of my belongings (well, everything he didn’t try and pilfer) and arrange them conveniently at the front door. Talk about adding insult to injury. But on the brightside, this gave us more time to spend together chatting rather than packing. Katie having never done so, we hopped in her rental and took a ride down the PCH. Remembering a must see recommendation from a pal Katie had made on the plane (she’s always making friends), we stopped somewhere along Big Sur at a place called Post Ranch Inn where we dined while taking in the views at Sierra Mar. The views are quite literally breathtaking and those with acrophobia may want to refrain from venturing out onto the balconies. I was so happy to be in such beautiful surroundings with my beautiful friend, but halfway through my second glass of prosecco, I broke down into tears.
I wanted to share this place with people who love me unconditionally and make new memories that were joyful not jaded. My middle brother, Andy and my dad are two men I know I can always count on besides Smitty and I wanted to take them somewhere I loved. We hopped in Dick’s tiny sportscar (I generously relinquished shotgun and crammed myself into the backseat) and off we went down the windy PCH on our way back to Post Ranch Inn, stopping intermittently to snap photos at scenic overlooks. Ironically enough, we were seated at the exact same table where Katie and I sat the year before. This year, however, I didn’t cry into my garden green salad. I guess that’s the thing about bad memories, sometimes you just have to face them, make new ones, and move on.
top: Free People (similar-and on sale-here), bralette: Victoria’s Secret, pants: 7 for All Mankind, boots: All Saints (similar here), bag: Balenciaga, jacket: Andrew Marc
Don’t worry, I didn’t jump.
photographs by Andrew Smith (my middle big brother- who you should also follow on Instagram)