I've been here four years now. I'm a different woman than the girl who squinted at the screaming sun and marveled at the palm trees, the warmth, the green. Somehow, the dizzying city has become home. The people in my head have coalesced and then blossomed again, in a direction more me than I was becoming four years ago.
A year and a day ago (approximately), I stood tall as shackles of my own making clicked gently and fell off, leaving me a free agent. I'd chained myself to life, by necessity, to the only stable tether-point I could find. Today I'm both reasonably free (I've still obligations for another half-year) and alive.
Saturday, I was cared for, cherished.
Today, I was told by my landlady that we've come a long way in the past three and a half years. We're not as poor, we're closer to our goals, we have goals... we're stronger, in general. More mature.
Tonight, I walked home from work and reflected how long I've been here.