I moved to California 14 years ago this month. In my little Honda civic hatchback, I drove across the country with no place to live, a lot of hope and some gumption that came from who knows where. My plan, at the time, was to cram three years of graduate school coursework into two, and return to my homeland for “the rest of the plan” in about 22 months.
Little did I know how differently things would turn out.
During my first February here, there were birds of paradise blooming outside my window. A wall of bougainvillea adorned the building where I lived. And by early spring time, sheets of wisteria covered nearby homes and trellises, when I’d merely seen single stalks in the past. But it was the sweet scent of the jasmine that sealed the deal. I’m still intoxicated when I walk down the streets and swoon in the memory of this falling in love with my new home.
I suppose in many ways it was risky business to pack up and head to the big wild west. My heart knew something was here and the deep longing for the unknown whatever catapulted me out of the comfort zone. One of my goals at the time was to be “more me.” Reading things I wrote at that time, I see a confidence that sometimes eludes me today. I didn’t see it at the time, of course. But I look back and seek to reclaim the gumption and confidence that propelled me on this path.
Writing prompt: I remember…