Growing Up a Seeker

The other day I found myself checking into my new apartment, being handed over those fresh, dangling new keys. I abruptly left my family in the midst of a brief trip to LA/Hollywood, as I soon found myself sitting in an empty building in an empty room with no familiar faces nearby, plunged into a new life.

My summer escapades full of nights crawled up under the sheets watching television, seeking out new cover songs as I secretly recorded in my newly-cleaned room, and when dreams of a music and writing career crept up behind my heart at times those yearnings hit the hardest… What will this life do for me?

Most of the time, I feel like my life is full of distraction. On the first day of Welcome Week, I spent the day with four of my good guy friends from Kaba traversing around the shops of Orange. Later on in the week, I spent an afternoon watching students attempt to hit balls at each other to break a world record. I saw old friends as we covered our ears from screams and cheers and munched on food at restaurants to comfort our starving tummies. I missed my first day of class to go see an old classic rock band in LA and drove the entire day back-and-forth. I spent a weekend with an old friend in Disneyland as I humiliated myself screaming and freaking out on a horror ride, took embarrassing pictures with a furry blue man, made a handyman have a nervous breakdown as I asked for the nearest restroom, and chatted with a young couple with their adorable daughter in line for a ride. Why is it I get so much attention from strangers–those glances, those stares, those nervous, shaking tones in their voices as they talk to me–down here more-so than elsewhere?

I’ve always told myself that home is wherever I am with the ones I love. When you can’t exactly feel “at home” in some place, distraction is the easiest solution to cure the restlessness.

Albeit, I haven’t been given many distractions this year. Without the dorm or being constantly surrounded by friends and my Otero-family, I am much more able to keep myself “in check”. My thoughts are clearer, my ambitions are more apparent, and my focus is stronger. (Though, I can’t excuse the classes I’ve “accidentally” already missed for the first time, plus my missing assignments…) As a person who has never quite felt she fully belonged in the place where she is, everything will seem a distraction to me unless I find myself fully emerged into the life I want to be leading. I am your average “seeker” who wants to live a life of purpose, who does not yet realize that purpose is to come from this.

This afternoon, I found myself buying my own watermelon and cutting that humungous, great green fruit in half, and then into fourths, and then into itty-bitty pieces that could be consumed. I know it sounds like such a small, trivial thing, but sometimes those great “revelations” come to you in the weirdest ways, shapes, and forms. Today, that came to me in my watermelon! I have to say that I felt like my mom doing this, feeling all “independent” and “on-my-own” as I scarily served this to my roommates, but, the reality of growing up came to me through this. It’s something very out of my element, but something one can get by, and through.

These past couple of days, I have realized why I have let talking to strangers come so easy to me… Why I try to make conversations with people I find interesting… Why I’m not afraid to scream and shout and yell and embarrass myself in Disneyland… Why I let people adore and fawn over me–even if it leads to outrageous stories of boys acting out of their minds, without my doing anything… There is an inner motive of my wanting to “get something” out of the other person. I love talking to strangers and making friends with them because we’re all here to have fun (at Disneyland, that is…). I like playing around with them and making a fool out of myself because life is awesome when you can let everything go and just laugh for a moment with someone you don’t even know. It’s great to remember that people look up to you–through your carefree attitude or openness–and that people see something great in you–why all those people flock to you and befriend you, while boys want to hit on you, adore you, or want their kid to grow up to be like you… It’s adoration from a distance–almost like a dream. I give people hope. I make people feel better about themselves. I’m a sheltered, well-behaved girl who knows her limits. I know what I want in life. Yet, I don’t have what I most long for. The blessed girl living a life full of distractions… Why isn’t she enthused about life with all these blessings coming her way?!? Hm. I ought to settle down and continue to give people their ‘hope’ and their ‘laughs’, but remember to give myself that same hope and laughs at times. I know how to be a ‘dream’, but when can I see my own dream?

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