So much for going out with a bang. This week has just completely slipped through my fingers! Tomorrow I have a going away party, and in a few days time, I pack up a u-haul and drive north. It's finally here. And I can't believe it. Though in true Ashley form I have come down with a massive sinus cold and my allergies decided to finally kick in. The weather is being a jerk. But what else is new...
This is the last post I will be writing from California for quite some time. I'll be taking the next two weeks off from posting as I make my move North, but fear not, I have some lovely ladies filling in for me. I am quite excited to see their posts! I will still be active on my Facebook page, so if you're interested in following along with my moving adventure (Road Trip!), follow along here. I'll be back with lots of pictures, and outfits, and sewing, a bit of Gatsby Flair, and my apartment! Exciting times ahead!
But for now this is goodbye. Goodbye is weird y'know. I've always been pretty good at goodbyes. I'm a pretty upbeat person, I laugh and joke at everything, I don't like being down. So when I say goodbye I always look for the bright spots. I haven't had to say too many tough goodbyes in my life, and for that I am very thankful. But this one is tough. Tougher than I thought. I feel silly for this, but I've been on the brink of tears for weeks thinking about leaving, and now as I write this, it's all coming out. I kept starting to write this and then having to stop because I get lost trying to say everything.
I'm not sad to be leaving really. I'm excited! I'm excited for new experiences, new people, learning and growing, and living. I just can't really wrap my head around it. I mean I am finally leaving. I've been trying to get out of here for years. As reality has slowly set in, I've been trying to capture each moment and burn it into my memory. Each outing with friends and family is bittersweet as I realize this all stops come September. No more Chipotle Wednesdays, or going to Killarney's on a Friday night. No more Oceanside excursions, and picnics in these parks. The faces that I've seen nearly everyday for the past 24 years will no longer be daily sights. I won't be at the Pasadena Flea, or have the chance to complain about traffic in Los Angeles. No more pretty pastel sunsets that only happen because of that awful smog. I can't just get in my car, pick up a friend and head on down to San Diego for a night at Seaport Village. As much as I hate to say it, I am going to miss these things dearly. More than I thought I would.
Don't get me wrong, I really am happy to be going! And I am not sad about leaving the awful place. It is still awful to me. But I guess like any bad relationship, sometimes letting go of the awful is harder than expected. My memories are from here, the people I love are here. Sure there were some really bad times, but there some good times too. The other day I sat on the counter of the kitchen at work and just took in the whole room, the awful paint colour, the tacky wallpaper boarder, the stupid redbull fridge. I want to remember it. Everything! I'm taken pictures with friends and printing them so we each have copies. I'm full of snail mail plans, and late night skype sessions, but knowing that I can't just hop in a car and within an hour or two be among people I love and flit off on an adventure is weird.
So I guess what I'm saying is that I've been too hard on this home state of mine. It's not all bad. It's almost completely bad, but not all bad. San Diego will always feel like home to me, Riverside will always be where I did my growing up. I will always be comically disgusted with LA. I will never tire of the beach at sunset, or the smell of the warm ocean air. I'm going to miss the constant reminder of surf culture, and the pride one feels when hearing our unofficial state musicians. I drive like a maniac and yell at people who are driving "too slow" going 75mph. I'm a bit more Californian than I like to admit.
I've had moments where I just panic that I am making a terrible choice. Sure I loved Corvallis for five days, but what if I hate it after five months? I know that's just fear talking. Yeah, I'm scared. But I learned long ago that when I'm afraid to do something it means I should do it. I'm not making the wrong choice. I need to leave. I've never really felt like I belonged here: I'm just a little too weird. Sure Californians are weird, but not in the same way I am. I've out grown this place. I love it, but I've out grown it. And I'm ready to move on, I just have to keep reminding myself of that.
I've toyed with the idea of closing down this blog and starting a new one as I start a new phase. But then I realized something: the only things that's really changing is my location. My love of talking hasn't changed. My love of clothing hasn't changed. My love for my family hasn't and won't change, my love for my friends won't change. I'll always have those fond memories and weird late night grocery store shenanigans, and spur of the moment adventures. I'll always feel a sort of magical joy on the stupid bridge over looking the ocean. I'll always turn up my nose at the Plaza on Friday Night and laugh when we get the Robot waitress yet again. Those things aren't changing, just my address. Putting it in these terms have made leaving a bit less bitter and a bit more sweet. Trips back "home" will have to involve all those things and I know those will be even more wonderful knowing how special they are. I look forward to getting to share these things with new people, and sharing the new experiences I have with old people.
In closing here's what I really want to say (and where the water works really start): Thank you. To everyone. To all you readers who have stuck through my ramblings and made me feel joyful to share bits of my life with you. I don't think anyone will ever fully know just how much this silly little blog has changed my life. I can honestly say that if it hadn't been for this blog, I would not be who I am today. I am so thankful for all the friends I've made around the world, and all the wonderful support this online world gives. Thank you to the people around me, the ones who stayed and the ones who left. Thank you for the parts you played in my life -good or bad. Thank you for putting me down, and bringing me up. Thank you for making me stronger whether you meant to or not. Thank you for all the advice. Thank you for giving it to me even when I didn't want to hear. There are so many of you out there who mean so much to me. Some of you probably don't even know it, or really wish you didn't , but honestly I wish I could list you all and just tell each of you the important things you taught me. Some might have more than others, but each is so important. I wish I could give each of you a huge hug and just say thank you. Without you, I would not be who I am today, and I wouldn't like who I am today. So here I go, off into the unknown, ready and excited, and filled with so much joy. So goodbye for now and see you all on the other side. :-)