there's this thing that happens when you move 2/3 of the way across the country. or, technically, all the way across the country - albeit with a 3 1/2 year 'layover' in chicago. there's almost an undoing of yourself, of everything you've known, grown accustom to, comfortable with. you're forced to shed layers of learning that no longer make sense, memories that have become unclear, hazy, that seem to belong to someone else - as if you'd read about them in a book instead of experienced them first hand. you look out the window at mountains in the distance and they feel so far away, until suddenly you realize you're driving through them. the white caps spilling snow down the front of your rental suv, the back weighed down with your belongings.
moving first to chicago was an undertaking of ownership, of exploration and adventure. i moved there for graduate school in creative writing, and ended up earning an education in who i am, what makes me happy, who i want to surround myself with. i accomplished some devastating setbacks, and survived. i tossed through sleepless nights, and woke to new suns. i rode my bike through rain and sleet and snow and ice, through sun and humidity and perfect fall days. i fell in love with new family, and made the most magical of friendships. i fell and rose up in a love that i can only describe through the endless embraces we've shared through moments of trial and utter happiness. i started writing letters for a living, and it's never felt like work. moving to chicago was the best possible thing i could have done almost four years ago. leaving chicago was the best possible thing i could have done last week.
moving here, to oakland, the bay area, san francisco, california, the west coast - this is, very recognizably, an act of utter and total craziness. this is true ownership. independence. freedom. this is an embrace of everything i've built to this point. an unraveling of the things that didn't work, an unfolding presentation of the things that will take root here.
i'm excited to share with you this new adventure, and invite you all to share with me your journeys and success and challenges. thanks so much for reading; west coast, hello!!