I had the huge blessing to go to San Diego, California a couple weeks ago for an Asian American nursing conference. I took the liberty to extend my stay a little longer, because when else would I get the chance to fly to California for free? Well, May, actually. There's a chance I'll be going to Irvine, California to present research with my research mentor. But we'll see about that.
California was an unreal experience. Even better than my spring break in Puerto Rico, which I must blog about soon also (oops). I didn't expect to get what I did out of it. Originally, I'd gone in with the intention of just seeing a new place and enjoying the sun (Boston weather's been real shitty). But I ended up leaving with so much more. So much more than just visions of blue skies, perfect winds, and green.
The next day I went to Balboa Park and checked out the gardens. I was really excited to see the Japanese Friendship Garden, but am sad to admit that it was rather underwhelming. What did captivate me, though, were the buildings in the park. So unexpectedly grand, but commonplace for the park. And the cacti! That was different. I then drove to sunset cliffs and went on a run, where I met two guys who were super nice and took a picture for me. Had the chance to just sit on the cliffs and look out and really think about things and breathe in the circulating winds. There, I met another guy from a college in Maine. We made small talk and he left. After, I checked out a cafe and when to Mission Beach Boardwalk where I struggled to look for an outlet to charge my phone and ate my Jack in the Box for the first time in front of the sunset. One interesting tidbit about sunsets* - they set faster than you think. Never knew it happened so quickly. That was nice.
Checking out these places was fun. But what hit home more was the hanging out part of it. When I wasn't trying to look at a new place and just wanted to sit back and feel how life passed you by. Sitting on the couch and watching a movie; getting a coffee; playing Mario Party; drinking with friends. The best was driving in my car rental beneath the sun along the trees and valleys. It felt like an experience all in itself.
The morning I left, I intended to drive back to La Jolla Cove and watch the sun rise by myself one last time before I flew back to the East Coast. I failed pretty miserably. Not only did the sun not rise, but it was dark as fuck and I was kind of scared all by myself. I also didn't know how to get to the original place I was when I first went, so I had a pretty shitty view of the ocean also. Oh well.
I don't care what it takes to get there. I think I need to be there. All the numbers are just adding up; this gradual, serious appreciation for sunshine because of nursing; how right it feels to envision the start of my own life in a new place doing what I want in life. I want to work here for a few years, save up, move to California, and eventually open up my own cafe and use that as an opportunity to brand.
Take me away. I'm ready for life.