I went to high school in Oceanside. I lived there for a while, after being kicked out of my parent’s home, and then the school itself (not expelled, just asked to not come back).

We are on a trip to SoCal, and we often visit Oceanside when visiting Susan’s family. I took Clover there, so e could meet my tribe members that live there.

I won’t be returning. That isn’t a hard rule, I won’t avoid driving on I-5 through it, or going there for important things (like helping friends move!). But I won’t visit it casually, which really means I won’t be visiting the people who live there.

It is exhausting. As much as I actively, consciously dislike the area, there is a huge mental expenditure subconsciously. There are a lot of triggers there, and it isn’t the kind of trauma that needs to be resolved to move on. It is just crap.

I used to cringe at the idea of restricting something, and it may be part of what people refer to as a “sense of invulnerability”. I also used to drink half cases of Red Bull, and stayed friends with mean people. I don’t think it is particularly indicative of maturity, but I am glad I am sensitive to toxic elements, and have the confidence to avoid them.

So, Oceanside is out.