Upon reading more blogs from various Peace Corps Volunteers I’ve come to a rather interesting conclusion: as much as I may want to get the hell out of here and on to the next step I have to take a moment to appreciate what I have and where I am before I leave. With that in mind I’ve been keeping an eye out for the seemingly mundane things that I could otherwise have taken for granted.
- Walking home late at night staring at the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance (which you can’t really see from the Google Map below).
- Catching a glimpse of Sutro Tower (which I firmly believed was called Twin Peaks until I wrote this blog. Nope. That’s the name of the hill it’s on.) when it’s lightly covered in clouds. Almost like the top half is invisible or too tall for us to be able to see. Sometimes you catch a glint of the antennae just above the clouds. Occasionally, when you drive up to the top of the hill you think you’ve entered an odd mix between a really trashy scary story and some netherworld. The fog absolutely takes over.
- NOT seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. People come from all over the world to catch a glimpse of this amazing feat of man and then stare at this vaguely ominous darkness. No bridge, no sun, only a dark fog. I absolutely love the bridge like that.
- Indian Food and Wine delivered to my door in an hour or less. In my humble opinion, all the world’s ills can be solved with Indian food and a little red wine. First day off in a few months? Unwind with Indian food and wine. Crappy day? Make it better with Indian food and wine! Awesome day? Top it off with Indian food and wine!! The fact that both of these things can easily appear at my doorway in approximately an hour just makes it all that much more enchanting.
- Batman marathons. Batman comic books. Batman cartoons. So, maybe just all things Batman. I have to be mindful of what I pack when I go away. I can’t carry my whole library to wherever I end up. I might be able to take my iPad, but let’s not hold our breath. I am preparing myself for a life with very little Batman. But fear not, my friends, nothing will come between me and my undying love for the caped crusader, the dark knight, the masked manhunter, the demon of the night.
- The strip clubs at night. That’s right, kids, the strip clubs. Not because I’ve ever been to one or because I condone the practice but because they amuse me so. I mean, how very out of place they seem to be in the middle of Little Italy. You drive by at night and you see the matching steeples of Saints Peter and Paul Church in the distance, watch all the hustle and bustle of people going to wonderful, high end, Italian restaurants, and then BAM! Strip Clubs. They’re lit up like Christmas, or (perhaps more aptly…) Vegas.
- Santa Cruz! It may very well be the closest thing I’ve ever had to home. More so than Raleigh, where I spent the first bit of my life, by far. This is where I grew up. I only lived there for two years but it’s the only city other than San Francisco that I feel such a strong tie. From the Boardwalk, to the hidden beaches, to my tattoo studio, to Natural Bridges, to the Monarch migration, to the hole in the cliff, to the surf museum.
- The Rose Garden at Raleigh Little Theatre. Before there was Santa Cruz there was North Carolina. There aren’t a whole lot of places that I miss, we moved a lot so there’s no one house that really signifies a home for me there. The place that brings back the most good memories, that seems to be the most consistent, that will always hold a place in my heart (whether I actually get married there or not) is the Rose Garden. I remember how sad I was every year when they would cut back the roses right in the middle of summer. I remember how gross the fountain used to be. I remember all the little hiding spots and details that makes it beautiful and home.
- Seven Maples Campground – Hancock, NH. A strange campground. Most of the time when I was growing up it was poorly managed and poorly maintained with more RVs than tents and awful showers. To give it a little credit, it’s much better now. The new owners have been doing great things since they bought it and it’s really much nicer. Even when it was a dump, though, it was always perfect. Every summer it’s where I could go and be surrounded by the biggest, loudest, rowdiest, most wonderful family a girl could ever hope for.
- My family. Not necessarily the people tied to me by blood but the people that have grown to love me unreservedly without familial obligation. The people who have been there with me through the trenches and back out the other side. I will miss every single cast member I have worked with. You are all so dear to me. I’ll do my best not to drop off the face of the planet but for each of you reading this, whether your picture ended up below or not, I love you and you make my life a little better by sharing it with me.
- My family. The ones that brought me in to this world, who met me a little later, who love me forever and always just the way I am. Anyone who knows me knows there is nothing more important to me in this world than my family. So, hats off to the rowdy bunch of mismatched lunatics that managed to raise me. You’re all nuts and you all make me crazy but I wouldn’t change it for the world. There were too many of you to add pictures of but you know who you are.
I could keep going. All the things I love. The places and memories that make me happy. The Red Sox, Land’s End, Wilmington Beach, bio-luminescent oceans, star gazing on Mount Diablo, The Academy of Science’s Nightlife evenings, the planetarium, scary movie marathons, Eeyore, DisneyLand, Highway 1, and countless others. I’m grateful for where I am and the places I’ve lived, the people who love me. I’m also grateful that I might have the opportunity to go elsewhere and experience even more spectacular life events. So, let’s do this!