I’ve lived in the same place my whole life, but I’ve never realized how beautiful it is until recently.
Maybe I just didn’t notice it before or I wasn’t old enough to appreciate it, but lately I catch myself staring up at the mountains.
It has been raining a lot lately. On my drive home, I noticed that the north-facing slopes are so much greener than the south-facing ones.
But Dad says this isn’t supposed to happen. South and west-facing slopes are usually the greenest, at least where we are, because of sunlight and rainwater, he explained. The south-facing Topa Topas are just dry because of their rocky terrain.
I’m not sure why even still I think of the fire when I’m admiring the mountains. Maybe it made me appreciate them more.
The trees still seem like skeletons to me. They are black and withered and don’t really fit in with the bright grass that’s growing in. They used to be so much greener. But at least they are still standing. I’m thankful for that.
There isn’t really much to do in this sleepy town, especially after having been here for sixteen years. But despite that, I can’t think of a better place to have grown up.
At 11:59 p.m., Friday, January 18th in Santa Barbara, I was still seventeen years old.
I spent the last sixty seconds of my childhood in a Lyft with all my best friends going back to my aunt’s house after just watching Escape Room and I was truly happy.
But, as the clock struck 12, I was no longer a minor. I was eighteen years old and officially an adult.
During every single birthday, my family always asks me if I feel older at all. Usually, I don’t, because there usually aren’t any changes that happen that make me feel older. I know that as a sixteen year old I was legally allowed to get a driver’s license, but I didn’t get one and I still don’t have one because I haven’t found any reason for it. At seventeen, I was able to go to a rated R movie, but I always went to those anyways.
However, when I turned 18, I truly, finally felt older right away than ever before.
I know I’m a year older, but it happened only in a day. From 11:59 to 12:00, it suddenly hit me that I was a legal adult.
On my 18th birthday, I went and got a cartilage piercing and I didn’t need my parents to sign my release form. I was old enough to do it by myself. Then, I went and bought a scratcher ticket, and when they asked for my ID, I was able to satisfyingly show it to them and buy it. I didn’t win any money and I don’t plan on buying one again, but it was the experience that made me so happy because I finally can buy one if I wanted to. For the first time on my birthday, I finally felt older.
My birthday itself was amazing too. I remembered last year I was on a train up to Santa Barbara, breaking down because the mudslides kept me from having a birthday celebration with my friends. This year, I spent the whole weekend with my best friends in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. My two worlds came together and my friends from OVS and my friend from my old school finally met for the first time. We were out until midnight laughing crazily on all the rides at Santa Monica Pier without a care in the world. My birthday weekend was also full of delicious meals, amazing desserts, and all my family and friends. My cousin was even able to come to the brunch celebration on the Sunday afterwards, she usually is never to come to those events because she’s so busy, but it was amazing.
I know my eighteenth birthday will always be one I remember and though I’m horrified about the fact that I’m no longer a minor and that I actually feel older, I’m happy about it.
the only thing i can remember is riding bikes around this small town with people who are now mundane
biking around before anyone could drive and before things got so complicated and you liked drinking so much and your new friends
when we would go down random streets just to go down them and listen to music that made us fall in love
not with each other although we loved each other but with this silly small town and the feeling it gave us
maybe it didn’t make us fall in love maybe it only made me
you’re much cooler now but we put your speaker in the bike basket and listened to music with girls singing who had much prettier voices than you and had picnics and sat in grass that made me itchy all over
and this isn’t a love story in any way nor am i mad i just wish i was more artistic and didn’t have to read on people who are much cooler than i am to become inspired
i think that’s where all of this sprouts from
my lack of creativity and artistic ability and i try but maybe i’m made to grow up and hate my job
while i’m at it i might as well just quit this whole class along with every other one too
i’ll probably just keep picking the skin off my thumbs and dedicate my life towards the absolute rotting of my brain like all my friends are doing
and i’ll stay in the same shitty town where i listened to shitty music with you in that only made us hate each other probably because your voice was prettier than hers but I would never tell you that
and this town is rainy now and not the good type of rain but the sad type and the places we used to go make me sick and you
you and your new friends exchange presents while i’m sitting there and that makes me feel lonelier than i already did
and i’m not artistic and i have good grades but if i know anything i know i don’t want to work in an office
but my family told me only people who are super motivated to do something else can get bad grades
and they tell me that will never be me
so i guess i’m going to be sitting in a office at a job i detest but if i’m lucky enough i’ll be in downtown LA or maybe new york
or maybe i’ll blend in with the rest and maybe people will think i’m cool on instagram and i’ll sit around my house on the road to fucking nowhere.
you are some type of artist- any kind whether it be you’re a musician, film-maker, painter, writer, or dancer. it doesn’t matter what type of art but you create it, it’s ok even if you only show me.
you do extraordinary things, things you don’t even tell me about. i want to know you’re doing big things even if i don’t see you. big things can really be as small as you want. long story short, i just want to know you’re do good things you don’t feel the need to tell me about. i just want to know you’re always being kind.
i need you to have an open mind- i want you to be able to be open to the possibility of anything and everything? you say you hate pop music but you really mean you hate bubblegum pop which i stand behind.
you need to be better than me. tell me to stop being mean! encourage me to learn! teach me things! tell me to stop being mean, tell me to stop being mean, tell me to stop being MEAN! teach me things!
i need you to make me laugh. i want to look at each other when we overhear something we weren’t supposed to and start cracking up. i want to look at my texts and see that you thought of me when that kid on a skateboard with a beanie on was playing Ode to Viceroy by Mac Demarco on repeat because… well, we know why.
make me scared to lose you. you have to make me feel like i could never lose you or else i would lose my whole heart too. you will accomplish this by not being too clingy; don’t always touch me and make me feel clustered, so it feels special when you hold my hand. don’t love me any less, though. please don’t play games with me or else i might get insecure and end things before you can finish your sentence.
dependent, we can not be too dependent on each other because that’s toxic, we must find a balance.
you’re brilliant. it doesn’t have to be conventional. you don’t have to have a 4.0 or even a 3.5. you probably think the school system sucks and i probably agree. grades do not determine how intelligent you are! you can be smart in the way you think, the way you speak, your ideas, or the way you project your mind. there are so many ways to have a beautiful mind; i know you will have one.
you’re loving/lovable. you don’t care that sometimes i’m distant when i’m sad and you only try to bring me closer. somehow you will break that barrier between us and i’m sorry it’s going to be hard to do and god can only hope it’s possible, but i know you will (even though it’s going to be scary). you don’t care about how i look when i cry even though my face gets really red. you love me for everything i do and probably much more than i love myself. and i love you too.
i haven’t met you yet, or maybe I have, but i don’t know you well enough to be able to tell. one day, i will fall in love with you and hopefully you fall in love with me too. god, i hope it’s soon, but if it’s not that’s ok too.
(this is a blog about how i used to have absolutely NO standard. i took anything/everything i could because i did not value myself. i am growing into myself and now am setting some standards, because i am wonderful! i am meaningful! i am appreciated! no matter how much i don’t believe it, i know in some way or form it is true. i value myself too much to continue to “give” myself to people who are irrelevant in my life. not to say everyone i have ever talked to other than platonically is irrelevant in any way, but i have talked to some people who are irrelevant in my own life, but are going to be the most meaningful in someones else’s. i’m going into 2019 with expectations! for myself and the people i surround myself with not only romantically!)
“At a certain season of our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible site of a house.” (Thoreau) Write a description of your “home” or your many “homes.” You may write about the home you have or the home you dream of having in your future.
I’ve lived in one house for my entire life, nestled in between two mountain peaks that form the Ojai valley. There are only seven houses on my street, but it was an entire world to explore for my neighbors and me when we were five. We used to walk down to the end of the street and admire the sunset illuminating the overgrown grass and painted white fences. Home, to me, is the smell of the pepper trees that lined the end of the road, forming a green and red arch, as if to welcome me to the end of the cul-de-sac. Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days, when time passed so much slower, when it felt like summer all year long.
For as long as I can remember, the ocean is where I find peace. I can’t exactly describe why, but Solimar Beach is a magical place. Home, to me, is poking my toe in the center of a sea anemone, giggling as it squirts water back at me, as its turquoise and bright green tentacles stick to my skin. Home is my dad lifting me up onto his shoulders, then scouring the tidepools, searching for different creatures. As we wade further out into the shallow water, he teaches me about the tides, then we stop for a while to watch the sun sink below the horizon. Solimar is the place I will always want to return to for the rest of my life.
I like to think that, someday, I will make a home everywhere. I’ll sit on the balcony of my tiny apartment in Madrid or Barcelona, peering through my neighbors’ laundry, hung up to dry on clothes lines, down at the bustling city below. I’ll enjoy the morning sun as I sip coffee with condensed milk – a flavor that I despise now, but I think, someday, I’ll come to enjoy. I will smile, knowing that I’m there alone. I’m not sure how long I will be there for, probably not more than a year. After that, I’ll move on to somewhere new. I’ll live in a rainy forest along the Oregon coast, then I’ll go work at a school in Argentina or Chile. I’ll work on a ranch in Mexico, outside of a small fishing town. I don’t really care where I go; I just want to see the world.
It is true that home is where the heart is, but my heart is everywhere, I think. Growing up in a tiny town has made me appreciate the things that are routine. I love the fact that I could probably draw a map of my hometown purely from memory. It’s incredibly comforting to know a place so well that it becomes a part of you. But it has also instilled in me a desire to leave what is comfortable, to explore and to experience every place, culture, and way of life that is different from mine. A home is a place where you can come back to time and time again, and know that you belong, where you would go to without any hesitation. I’m lucky to have places like these.