When I was in college, I completely forgot that it was this age that I was looking forward to as a child. I dreamt of joining a sorority and sporting my letters, I also dreamt of feeding bottles to my future babies and changing their diapers, but it was this in-between part that I forgot all about. In college I dreaded this time because I had no idea where my career was going. I stressed daily about my impending graduation date knowing that no one would steer me in the right direction once I was no longer coddled by college credit, class schedules and all-night study sessions. At that time I had no interest in IKEA (I had never stepped foot inside until August, in fact) and fancy cookware seemed like a total waste of resources when you could buy 15 dresses from Forever 21 for that same price.
Now I look at some of those dresses that still (for whatever reason) hang in my closet with their threads out and wonder how I ever could have snubbed the adorable floral paring knives and oh my god, that blender! I spent $8 on a tiny bottle of truffle mayo the other day, guys. I'm not saying this was reasonable, because let's be real my budget could do without an hour of my first post-grad job wage spent on a condiment, but it was an interesting feeling getting so pumped about a silly little jar of perishable sandwich cream.
It feels good to be here. I spent the majority of my first year and a half in California feeling too in-between to ever feel at ease. I was constantly trying to make friends, find a steady job, feel fulfilled by said job and fight the loneliness that comes with moving away from everything you've ever known. I made friends, but most of them were at least a 2-hour commute away; I cuddled with my dog, but when I went to visit friends she was left alone; I found a boy but he was a 6-hour flight away and 6 months later we ended things; I found a job, but it didn't make me happy and seven months later I got laid off. Things turned when I found a loving family in need of a nanny, but they knew eventually I would continue on this weird path with these ambiguous aspirations in the name of writing and being creative.
They were supportive and open. I had time to think, breathe, feel the panic of what my next move would be but also the comfort of knowing they wouldn't let me fall flat on my face. It was a completely new and wonderful experience to watch this sweet and incredible infant grow, learn and own my heart. Once I moved closer to my friends and found roommates who helped grow my social circle as we all navigated this new city together, I realized that the reason that first year flew by was because I forgot to breathe. There were great adventures and so many new experiences, but I was tense. Sure, I'm still tense, my guard rarely goes down and I know it might just be a matter of time before I'm scrambling to figure out where my next chapter will start, but right now in this particular phase, I'm giving myself some slack.
I'm breathing deeply and I'm remembering that this is the part I couldn't wait for.