I’m Bradley and I’m living proof that there doesn’t have to be just one place to call home. My first home was a small town in Southwest Michigan where I lived until I was ten. During my Junior and Senior High School years my home was in North Carolina. In my twenties I began working in the hotel industry, which allowed me to live in many parts of the USA, and most of those places I called home. Of all the many homes I’ve had, my heart and my true home is where I live now – the Los Angeles South Bay.
Because of the high cost of real estate in Los Angeles, our apartment could best be described as “humble,” but it is our home. The small size gives me limited options for writing space. I used to write from the desk crammed in a corner of our bedroom, however, since we are getting a new one, I am currently in the living room at a tiny little desk from IKEA. My view stares directly at the television. Fortunately, I watch very little TV, so it is always off while I’m working.
Being a full time writer, I anxiously await getting my new desk so I can work again in the more comfortable and brighter bedroom. While the living room looks out over the pool, our bedroom window is our only one where we can see a tree, or any other type of vegetation. My current writing project is a mystery that primarily takes place in the LGBT communities around Los Angeles.
Other than writing, my favorite activity is spending time at the beach. Sure we have traffic jams, earthquakes, wild fires, and mud slides, but we Angelinos brush them off as minor inconveniences. As long as I’m near the ocean, I’ll put up with the rest. Before I began writing full time, I went to the beach nearly every morning and still try to go at least a couple times a week. I don’t swim because I’m not a fan of salt water, but enjoy the salt air as I walk along the surf, or simply sit on the beach watching pelicans glide across the water. Occasionally I’m lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a school of dolphins and even a whale or two. I’m grateful to live in a community that is so easily accessible to the shore.
The South Bay is only a 30-minute drive from Los Angeles (depending on traffic, of course,) yet we rarely leave our little community. We have most everything we need here. When we do drive in to the city it’s usually to an art museum or a play. Despite what you may have been told, we do have plenty of culture in the City of Angels.
I share my home with my husband, Maurice, who I married nine incredible years ago. Although it was early in our relationship when my life took a down turn because of bipolar disorder, he held my hand the entire time I worked through the worst of it. He is still my rock and is fully supportive as I pursue writing as a full time career. My wonderful nineteen-year-old daughter is studying at a university in England.
Retirement is a long way off, but when that day comes we’ll have to make a decision whether we’ll stay in Los Angeles or move on. Our primary other option is to live in a little town north of San Francisco, called Guerneville, which sits in the woods along the Russian River. Despite its size, Guerneville has been a host to annual gay events for years. As a result, this little town has a relatively large gay community. Although we’d being living in the woods, the coast is only twenty miles away. I’m certain if we choose to move there, it will become home in a short amount of time.
I started my blog, “Insights from a Bipolar Bear,” in 2008 . I primarily blog about bipolar disorder and other mental health issues, but add some fun in there too.
Please come check out my blog and say “Hi” at www.insightsbipolarbear.com