Since moving back home to the U.S. in September, I've had all sorts of ideas. I've crafted a new bucket list and made lists of the things I want: want to buy, want to craft, want to do and visit in my new life back in Southern California - Stateside.
Sometimes I feel as though I haven't progressed as far as I would have liked. Then again, when I think about it, I'm proud of all the things I've accomplished - often for the first time.
1. I went on a road-trip with my parents and visited Yosemite National Park (two firsts!)
2. I flew to visit DC once again, and drove to visit Brittany and Jeff at their place in Virginia for the first time since they got married. (insert: historic Jamestown ghost tour)
3. I moved into my very own apartment for the first time
4. I had my legs waxed (and I don't recommend the underarm region - ouch)
5. I baked sourdough!
6. I went on five new first dates - and had a dude cook for me in said apartment =)
7. I drove to see my California besties in their new places: Chels in San Diego & Shira in Marin Country
8. I flew to visit both my high-school besties: Bre at her home in Orangevale and Jenna at her new home in Portland!
9. I swam in this side of the Pacific (all over town: from Carp to Newport Beach)
10. I made dairy-free pasta sauce with yeast & nut milk
*Bonus: I got promoted to a senior consultant -- and a global program manager
There are more things, and tiny things, and big things, and countless small things. I tried Island Brew Company; I participated in a virtual beer fest (thanks to the pandemic). I drank at a cidery in Virginia; I also went to a new hair salon and had my hairs trimmed by an old family friend.
I went on a date wearing masks; I kissed my first Californian dude in years. I got a new tattoo, for the first time in my home region of Ventura County. I drove all the way to San Francisco and back solo, for my first time in seven years since moving to SF in 2014. I made a gallery wall of photos and prints from around the world. I had my own paint night on my balcony. I built a lamp. I garbage-picked a new office chair from my neighbor's sidewalk out front.
Most importantly, I started therapy. I started meditating more days than I don't. I kept journaling (as fiercely as I have since kindergarten). I went back to Hawaii (for a sixth time?) but for my first time with just Mom. We swam with a sea turtle for the first time in my life.
I've kept putting myself out there, in the pursuit of new relationships and new experiences, riding in the wake of their possibilities.
The novelty and awe inspired by new experiences don't have to wait until global travel resumes to re-emerge.
Abroad Down Under
Who am I?
I am a girl who loves my island and a girl who loves the sea; it calls me.