I wanted a change. Something new. An adventure. So I took a chance, made some risks, and set out. And sometimes it's scary. Sometimes it's hard. But sometimes it's amazing. Those good moments always come on days when I wonder what I got myself into.
I came out here towards the tail end of February, days after my twenty-sixth birthday. I stepped off of the plane with no real plan, no place for me to call home. Just an internship that I still don't know how I got lucky enough to get and no return ticket home. I was excited. I was terrified.
I found roommates through Craigslist the day I got there. I moved in three days later. Hangers were bought to help house my one suitcase worth of clothes. I slept on an air mattress on the floor. My desk was made of two cardboard boxes stacked on one another. Weekly walks to Goodwill brought lamps, mirrors, curtains, bedding, new additions to my little wardrobe. Kind new friends let me tag along while running their errands so I could benefit from their cars. I had information overload at my internship. I learned new skills, made new friends, printed cool posters.
I left. I went home to California. For a month I participated in a friend's wedding festivities. Throwing bridal showers and bachelorette parties. Spending time with my family while my dad was going through chemo and radiation. Picking up work. Visiting friends. Visiting my favorite place in the world, San Francisco, a place that will forever feel like home to me.
I came back. This time I brought two suitcases, one full of shoes alone. I started watching The Wonder Years from episode one. I decided that Winnie Cooper is a bitch. I found job. A good job. At least for now. I felt out of place. Out of sorts. Somedays I still do. I took myself on a solo dinner. And then I took myself to the bar. I made new friends. There was roommate drama. Now there's a new roommate. I watched lived music. Mostly by myself. Sometimes with new friends. I walked. Here. There. Anywhere I needed to be. I frequented Goodwill and scoured their clothes. I tried not to think about how they've probably all already been farted in. I ate poorly. I bought a basil plant and a fern. Haven't died yet. I danced. In the living room. In the kitchen. At Motown Mondays down the street. I cried. Sometimes in public. Sometimes in the shower. And I learned more about who I am. As a person, as a woman.
It is August. I'm living in Tennessee. And it feels right.