Believe it or not, I used to hate it here. Sitting on the beach in mid September, 2015, in one of the most beautiful places in the world, I was convinced that climbing into my little white Honda and driving 30 hours west of everything and everyone I loved to “pursue my dreams” was the biggest mistake I had ever made. Every night was an excerpt from a sad poetry book over a cup of tea and a good cry. Every morning was a face mask to cure my puffy, yes-I-cried-all-night-again eyes and a sadness that hung off my shoulders like a robe. Nothing was beautiful and everything sucked.
But nothing lasts forever, not even gut-wrenching depression or the fear of your little brothers forgetting who you are by Thanksgiving break. I screamed. I hid. I sulked. I broke down. I cried. I fought. But I couldn’t go home, so I grew the hell up.
When I was little, my Grammy and I would go to the flea market to buy old china plates and saucers to make into mosaics. When we got home, we would put the delicate little dishes into bags, and smash them to pieces. And although they would never break quite the way you wanted them to, the mosaic that those jagged, unpredictable fragments became was always so much more striking and beautiful than those innocent and dainty little dishes.
Driving 1,650 miles outside of my comfort zone didn’t shatter me in the ways I had dreamt it would. It was devestating, uncomfortable, awkward, a total disaster. My fragile concept of reality was smashed to pieces. I was completely caught off guard.
One year later, my pieces have slowly been put back together. But they are not alone- the stray shards of other fellow dishes nestled have around them, to create a priceless mosaic. I am surrounded by some of the most radiant, uninhibited, creative, badass, individual, caring souls I have ever known.
All of the mornings eating croissants on the cliff, the hundreds of dollars spent developing film, the sunset walks around the mesa, the Cinemondays, the late nights followed by early mornings, the cranberry juice, the trips to Venice and San Francisco, the spontaneous nose piercings, the midnight dances on the beach, the time we jumped off the pier, the heinous dogs we lived with, all those breakfast burritos… The very thing that has caused me the most pain in my life has also brought me more joy than I ever thought possible.
I’m no longer a visitor, a stranger, an alien, a shattered and misplaced piece of china. I’ve been rebuilt, reborn, and reestablished, and I know now that leaving all my comfort and security in the dust and letting myself shatter was the best decision I have ever made.
So seriously, dive out of your comfort zone. Let yourself shatter. What’s the worst that could happen?
Until next time,