50 Stories, Week 32: California

Once upon a time, there was a girl who dreamed of moving to California. She would write in her diary at ten years old that she was going to live in Malibu, like Barbie. When she was a teenager, she would write about how she was going to live in Hollywood and make movies. And when she was 20, she followed a boy to San Diego who dumped her shortly after her arrival, but she stayed anyway. Her first job was at SeaWorld, working the stuffed toy whale kiosk. That job didn’t last because two weeks later, she joined the PETA protest at the gates of the park. Over the course of the next few years, she worked as a telemarketer, waitress, live-in nanny, and shave ice stand manager, while attending community college. She even met a boy who she loved so much, she thought she could change. Then she applied to finish college in San Francisco, and they moved north, where she stayed for another 17 years.

All along, she took advantage of every opportunity to see the diversity of California’s beaches, deserts, mountains, farms, grasslands, and cities. There was always a road trip planned, a new adventure to be had, and friends made to last a lifetime. And there was even a baby boy, who grew into a man, blessed to be born and raised in the Golden State. On her most blissful days, feeling the sun on her face, she could not ever imagine living anywhere else.

And then one day, she could. The idea of living somewhere new, just for a little while, could not stop popping into her head. She felt itchy in her skin and suffocated in her clothes. She was outgrowing the city by the bay and in fact, the land of milk and honey at large. And after much discussion with her then 13-year-old boy, she took a job in NYC. Shortly after her arrival, she realized the colossal mistake of taking a job that didn’t fit but by then, it was too late – she had already fallen in love with a man who later became her husband. So she spent the next nine years flying back and forth every couple of months to visit her boy and her girlfriends, always keeping the tether, the cord of California, connected to her. And she isn’t sorry about that at all.

Adventure California Dreams Growth Life goals Perspective Writing

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Wow. What a total delight. What a beautiful voice.
    One of my two favorite Joni Mitchell songs ( ‘Carey’ is the other). I knew all the words when I was 7 ( older sisters album!), still know ’em, still sing this song.
    ( surprised?)

    Like

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