The California Coastline

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Two days ago we were driving down the winding coastline, swinging around the curves in the road and pulling over to stand at the brink of the waves, the salty water, with the dusty sand between our toes. Yesterday, fives lanes of car lights shone in each direction in the dark on the drive to the airport. Before I know it, my plane will be landing in New York. And I’m not sure I’m really ready.

The other day, I gave a talk on food writing and local eating at my old high school. To prepare for it, I scrolled way back in the blog, looking at entries I had written a year ago, and then even some beyond that. It’s bizarre reading your own writing with a year or two in between you and it, it comes close to reading the writing of a stranger, except you have a creepy feeling that that person knows who you are, or rather, that you know that stranger inside and out. Around this time last year, I was finally coming home from Europe, with absolutely zero idea as to what I would be doing for the next few months. I was lost, terrified and very, very stressed, close to throwing it all in and becoming a ski bum except that it was too late in the season to be on the job-hunt. It seemed almost too late to start any kind of search.

Some people wander easily, it’s simply their nature. Other people struggle with order their entire lives. I like to think I come down somewhere in the middle, riding in the back of the car along the highway, my iPod on, staring out at the ocean, but my mind lost in its own thoughts, plotting, planning the path ahead.

I arrived in New York yesterday evening after a flight of sleep and unrest and with a sense of dread for the weeks ahead. A day later, several pieces I had been stressing about seem to finally be falling in place. I remember leaving here a couple of weeks ago high-strung, upset and desperate for a way out. But coming back, it’s calmer, easier to face the problems for what they were. And also harder to accept that my surroundings are not this anymore:

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