Finding My Way Back Home

My oh my, have these past couple of weeks been a whirlwind. And I thought I owe you all an update.

I’ve gone through a lot of changes as of late–some mental, some physical–and it’s hard to wrap my head around everything that’s been going on. But, I feel as if I’ve been coming face to face with myself again. In a good way.

Four years of college is definitely a long and defining period of life. I’ve been away from home for this big chunk of my life and found that there’s always been something pulling me back here–to my small little town in suburban Northern California.

I’ve reflected on being loved by too many and being “emotionally unavailable;” I’ve attempted to harness my desire for everything into one thing; and I’ve had the itch to keep my life on the move, hardly seeming to keep up with myself at the same time.

Early July, I turned down a ride up to the Bay Area to attend a music friend’s “Songwriter Night” in Los Angeles (in which my friend reached out to get me to play one of these days); I took a 10-hour bus ride back to the Bay on a Tuesday; I dined with family I haven’t seen in half a year the next day; I woke up at 5am that July 9 to be with my friend for her big “coming of age” birthday party, traveling to five different cities in one day with one hour of sleep; I befriended a new music friend as we talked dreams and doing what you love while strolling the streets of San Francisco; I woke up early the next day to spend a day in Napa wine tasting with a dear friend; and I woke up early again that weekend to attend a local coffee tasting with my brother and his girlfriend.

Some may call me crazy, some might say I’m bored, but I’ve always lived with the motto that if there’s something you really want to do, just go do it. Your sleepy eyes, obnoxious stress pimples and anxious heart will forgive you for putting in the effort to sacrifice comfort for the moments that bring you the most joy. (That, or I have a serious case of “#FearOfMissingOut”).

Falling more and more in love with this city and its people. PC: My Mom

Falling more and more in love with this city and its people. PC: My Mom

Being back in the Bay Area has definitely been a relaxing and rejuvenating time for me. My time as an undergraduate student is over and I am now more equipped and ready than ever to enter the real world–with all its uncertainty, fear and opportunities.

I’ve shared conversations with old friends who have reminded me of how much I have a home up here. And I’ve realized that my roots of safety and comfort run so deep with these few solid friendships, that even as I have come and gone within the past four years, seeing these friends only a few times out of the year, my connections with them have been carried throughout everything I do. It’s made me realize why it has been so easy for me to freely open myself to the world and engage in new opportunities without feeling scared or lonely or empty inside–because I have the comfort of a strong family and friend base in my life.

I’ve met and befriended a local Instagrammer while I’ve been home, which has been both crazy and exciting because I’ve realized just how much Instagram has been a great tool for me to connect with other individuals and engage in projects that I’m passionate about. We’ve jammed, shared coffee and recorded a little music video in the woods that I am very excited to share with you all (once it is up), since he is a very talented freelance artist/photographer/videographer.

I love being on the move, but sometimes I feel as if I need to slow down.

On the move, but sometimes I feel as if I need to slow down.

I’ve even taken the chance to meet another Instagram follower who has been interested in me and have been surprised to hear just how much someone can know and observe of me just through my social media presence (and how spot on it can be at the same time). It led to a nice conversation that reminded me of why people have kept up with me–because it’s “refreshing to see someone so young chasing, doing and pursuing what they love, especially in the Bay Area.” Conversations and moments like this reassure and encourage me to keep doing what I do and going after what I love, in the way that I know myself best.

But above all, after four eighteen straight years of being a student, this sense of freedom is exciting. I fondly remember having a moment at the beginning of college where I doubted spending my time as a student, thinking of all the things I could do with this “prime” time in my life. I so badly wanted to get out into the world and just start doing things–writing, playing music, pursuing the things I love. But, I’ve grown so much as an individual inside and out throughout my time in college that I am forever grateful to have had these past four years to “test” what I thought myself to be, only to be reaffirmed of what I’ve always known about myself.

At the moment, I have been taking these past couple of weeks to have one last “real” summer. Reconnecting with friends and family has been the best part, but having the time to freely explore this newfound sense of comfort and direction in myself has been exciting. I’ve had my days of feeling sluggish, sick and lazy, but it’s strange to realize how confident I feel. For once in my life, I can say that I have a large body of experiences–from the content on my blog, interviews I’ve done, stories I’ve contributed and productions I ran in college–that can give me leverage; I have two university degrees that I honestly don’t think too much of, but still think can show how driven I am; and, I feel like I am so much more open to the struggle, the hustle, the things to learn, jobs to experience and people to meet.

And, as I sit here right now writing to you in my humble abode of a home, I realize how dangerous it is for me to get “too comfortable.” It is very easy to fall back on family, friends and the people and places who know and love me most. But, as I’ve always been a very ambitious and driven person, I want to seek out the unknown. I want to experience new people and places. I want to grow more and more as a person. And I want to challenge myself.

For someone like me, it’s crazy to recognize all the people who have actively reached out and helped me in my life. I’m not sure why that one YouTube guy hit on me; I’m not sure how the band I grew up listening to at 13 somehow befriended me, and I began to know their friends; I’m not sure why people have reached out to want to help, collaborate, connect and even offer their service, or friendship.

I am unsure about a lot of things at the moment. But at the same time, I am very grateful for all that I’ve experienced and have been given. I will admit, I live an interesting and weird life, and sometimes I feel I can spread myself too thin with too many interests and things I want to do, but it’s only because I’ve always wanted to make my life interesting. In any way I could, in the best way I knew.

And it’s always started with listening to the callings and desires in my heart, and not be afraid to listen to them, as cheesy as that sounds.

Reconnecting with my home and the people who have made up that home. Photo Credit: Ayana Giann Carlos

Reconnecting with my home and the people who have made up that home. Photo Credit: Ayana Giann Carlos

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