Tuesday, April 24, 2018

baja at 29

Nearly one year ago, on my golden birthday, I woke up to the Pacific Ocean. I was taken aback by how familiar that body of water has become. My 19-year-old self would've been astounded to know I'd been in Los Angeles for nearly three years at that point. An hour or so later, we drove to the border. I was unreasonably hungry (because we never do grow out of some ways of being) and nervous–what with my last name and the current President. The passport exchange was somehow more painless than previous drives from Canada; we found roadside churros also. Back in California, I turned my cell on to a cascade of happy 29th wishes via texts and voicemails. After a refreshing three day weekend in Mexico, I truly was. Happy, that is.
Happiness hasn't been something that's come easily in my twenties. I'm too learnedly cautious, or, as some may say, cynical. Whereas I desire an incredible amount from the world, I expect very little. I think that's why I've ended up inhabiting four cities in the past ten years. Submitting to one place requires a a reckoning with mundanity I've been far too intimidated to take on. And there's pressure in the choosing. And that's before considering the people that will matter there, the vulnerable investment true bonds require...
Clearly I'm still fearful. But I've also been ruminating over something my mom once said, about how 34 was her favorite because it was the age she fully embraced who she was and felt wholly satisfied with life she was creating. Even then I found the concept so beautiful. Now, I dually appreciate the courage that made it true. Living that sentiment might be what I'm most looking forward to. (For the record, I also intend to refute the claim that time's running out to visit these destinations. Are you kidding me.)
When he'd asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, I thought back to my 28th. I fondly remembered that Mexico has a wine country. We stayed by the water and dined in courses amongst the vines and made time for horseback riding, and ocean-front reading, and margaritas after a farm animal meet n' greet. We tasted a delectable array of smoky, sophisticated wines. It was such a privilege to satisfy so luxuriously; magical even. Here's to accepting more of that into this wild and precious life. Next month: 30, (Paris, Greece!).

Saturday, March 10, 2018

the significance of that weekend in texas

Six months ago, I took my last 501 work trip to Corpus Christi (and later, Austin). I spent the first humid morning exploring by foot. I realized I recognized the small Texan city from having passed through more than ten years prior, on a spring break trip that most definitely reflected my age at that time (17). So much had changed since. I imagine I would've had the same enthusiasm to stop by Selena's memorial though. I was transported to singing along to her cassette tape in my dad's car, my mom explaining to me, months later, why he'd come home from work so upset. I recalled how special it'd been when we to dinner and to see Jennifer Lopez's debut.
I'd flown to Corpus, Christi to supervise an event a new colleague was running. All went well. The following morning, we drove to Austin. I strolled from my Airbnb to another Austin-based colleague's home. We ended up on Rainey Street, others met us, and before long we were on a day-drinking adventure. I admired the easy, laid back approach to strong cocktails and good conversation, local beer and live music. It'd been awhile. I felt fortunate. I thought back to my road trip, when I'd just barely driven through.
On that last day in Texas, I traversed the entire city, UT Austin and the original Whole Foods included. I paused only for a Skype interview with an Executive Director, that has become my boss. Then I called my mom to join in my inspired excitement. What an opportunity! One that's moved me from Los Angeles to San Francisco, the California town I've seemingly always hoped to belong to.
So here I am, approaching 30, writing from the first city I've deliberately chosen as my own. It's amazing to reflect on just how much has been lived in the past decade+. Most worthwhile experiences have been documented on this blog; others, reserved for conversations with my closest confidantes, many of whom are still scattered around the world. And all the while an SF routine is in the making. Starting a new job, establishing new relationships, and creating a whole new branch of life is no less challenging simply because it's been done before. Thanks for bearing with me as I've come to acknowledge such wisdom. We'll be traveling again soon.