Friday, August 28, 2009

Life's a Beach.

Well, it’s been less than a week, and I’m already headed back to New York.

It’s a really brief return, though. In fact, just long enough to change planes – my mom, my dad, and I are headed back from Maine. The sunset outside their window is extraordinary:

(Note: it looks better in person.)

Anyway, the bro and the sis are off at school. College campuses are definitely a trip, especially in the years immediately after graduation. They look really familiar, but it’s a completely different world than the one you now live in. You look at the students, and you know what kind of thoughts they’re thinking. They echo in your head, because they’re the same ones you remember thinking yourself, years ago, when it was your turn to walk that campus.

(Undergrad are the years when you still think you’re brilliant. I won’t be the one to burst their bubble.)

The brother (a.k.a. the freshman) told us in kind yet not uncertain terms that we were overstaying our welcome. He was ready to start the business of making new friends. We said goodbye.

Then, we went to the beach. This is why I love my parents (one of many reasons). It was their idea. Stuck in Coastal Maine with several hours to kill before our flight home? Let’s go to the beach! Why not?

We went to Popham Beach. The coastline is primarily rocky. So, there aren’t many sandy beaches in Maine, and this one’s popular. Especially with endangered piping plovers.

(I’ve actually been to this beach before, on a science field trip during Maine Coast Semester several million years ago, ie. in high school. We saw piping plover nests, and we sketched the wild roses in bloom on the dunes.

These rosebushes aren't in bloom. The red bits are rose hips.

That’s right. The science classes were kind of intense: we were required to go on field trips twice a month and do art. I’ve never been terrific at ecology or biology, but some of it stuck: all weekend, whenever I recognized a plant, I would announce its name like a revelation: “Silver Birch!” “Stag-horned sumac!” “Something that starts with a C! (It likes saltwater!)”)

The guy in orange is my dad. He dresses like a Southern gentleman.

We waited for traffic to clear on the path to the beach and then stumbled down to the water.

My mom said, “Nothing says “tourist” like long pants and a camera.” (Yes, I had both. Fully visible.)

Maine is beautiful. If it weren’t for the cold, I could live there.

Next adventure - Unpacking. (There are 20 boxes. It'll be epic. Wait till you see those pictures.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Adventure Begins…

So, maybe it is a little crazy.

I quit my job, which I loved, so that I could leave New York, which I do not love.

The actual resignation was weeks ago. I moved today.

One of my dear friends and I were discussing the crazy things. We decided that we were both are liable to pull crazy stunts like the above. Kimmy, for instance, is living in a not-so-nice neighborhood and doing the Teaching Fellows of New York Program. She loves her job. She loves finding books that her high schoolers will love so much that they don’t give them back. Plenty of people would call that crazy, but she denies it.

We decided that when you are doing something a trifle insane, you have to shut off the part of you that calls it crazy. It’s probably for survival. Otherwise, you wouldn’t ever do the things you need to do.

Personally, I view quitting my job, packing up my life, and moving to California as an act of necessity, verging on desperation rather than an act of bravery.

But the insanity charge is starting to sink in.

It was the questions. “What’s in California?” people asked. (Sunshine.) “What about a job?” (I’ll find one.) “Do you have family out there?” (No.) “Friends?” (A few.)

Then, they compliment me – tell me I’m brave, etc. That’s when I start to recognize what a crazy thing I’ve done.

But life’s an adventure, right? If I don’t do it now, before the age of twenty-five, it will only get harder.

Also, I have a month-long stopover at my parents’ house to get used to the idea. I’ll sleep some and help them organize the house before their house. My younger brother and sister head off to college this weekend – he will be a freshman; she will graduate next May. It’ll be like being an only child again.

Also, I’ll get to read whatever I want. That’s amazing. I’m in the middle of a galley a friend Kirsten gave me – The Girl With Glass Feet.


I can’t believe that I’m back in Charlotte. I can’t believe I actually moved. It still feels like I’m going back in to work on Monday.