So we don’t forget -
I’ve decided it’s time to stop waiting for the ‘perfect time’ to write about my
trip 4 month adventure and just do it now while it’s still relatively fresh in my memory.
The time spent in Cali was both breathtakingly and tremendously cathartic. I’ve always wanted to spend time away on my own, away from my family and friends, to be my own person. To understand who I was and perhaps who I was made to be. And what I realized was that people change, some quite drastically when they’re put into a new environment - especially when you’re all alone in a foreign land and no one knows the you you had to be your entire 23 years thus far (save for one friend). I will save you the gory details but I learnt that you can be two different people in two different places, and still be the same person - how you can stop being boxed in in wide open spaces, do things differently in ways no one has taught you how.
Living in Santa Cruz itself, and getting to know all the people I worked with and stayed with opened my eyes to their way of life - the NorCal way. People cruised through life, without so much of a battering of eyelid about what the far off future held. The chest bumps (which hurt when I first tried them), how I was someone’s ‘homegirl’, how they both worked hard and played harder. These were all things I could learn from, especially coming from a society and culture where we tend to eyeball the future constantly and leave the other spinning madly - you can’t focus on two things at the same time so what better option is there then to just be here, now?
Also, the incredible non-tangible rewards of plunging into friendships you never thought you would have - with people from places you’d never even think you’d visit. I once thought it was lame to make superficial conversation and be hi-bye friends, but when you’re stuck in a rented out apartment with housemates and international neighbours for 3 months, you’re doing yourself a disfavor if you stay indoors. Countless friendships were formed, most done recklessly and whole-heartedly, and none regretted. The beauty of it all being that colored eyes and foreign languages only make you realize that underneath it all we are the same - hopes and fears, dreams and disappointments binding us tighter than the lines we draw on a world map. As a friend once said, it’s not ‘you vs.me’ it’s ‘us vs. all the things life throws at us’.
It’s been an amazing journey and I haven’t even reached my destination yet, but I will be back one day, and still be able to say I think you still have the part of me that’s been missing all this time.