The Right Decision.

I could blame it on the alcohol.  

I could blame it on the smoke that has clouded the Californian skies for the past few days now as the state burns itself north to south. 

I could blame it on having four hours of sleep and spending the entire day packing up this chapter of my life.  

I could also blame it on the gallons of tears that managed to pour out of my eyes despite being severely dehydrated.  

Or it could be a combo of all four.   

Regardless, my subsequent tired eyes can only be blamed on one factor: yesterday was a rough day.  

It has been exactly 241 days since I moved from small town Soldotna to the big commuter city of Walnut Creek. And on the 242nd day, I moved out. 

It feels like I just got here, but at the same time, it feels like I’ve been here a lifetime already.  

Making the decision to move was easy. Since moving to California to “pursue my dreams”, I have been on a rocky rollercoaster.  

Imagine flying down the 101 in a bus and trying to commute into the right lane going into San Francisco while you’re in the far left.  

That has been similar to my experience.  

Ever since I moved here, from the day my car was broken into to the day I sat across from a boy who told me I wasn’t important enough to break up with, I’ve been riding that struggle bus on the 101 freeway.  

In an effort to search for myself and in an attempt to pursue what brought me out here in the first place (my magazine), I instead found myself on an entirely different path.  

Life kinda does that to you.  

I had grand plans when I moved down here. I would get a good job in the creative industry, commute to downtown San Francisco, seduce the man I had been flirting with for two years, make friends and meet G-Eazy or Klay Thompson whilst at a bar, get that one connection and get my magazine rolling, and feel like I belonged. 

Instead, I landed a job at a coffee shop, worked part time at my favorite vintage store, cried myself into a tizzy whenever I commuted to the city on BART, went through multiple men that sunk me further into the idea that I should trust my lonely, ran into Warriors coach Steve Kerr at SFO, and made myself some pretty memorable friends.  

Not what I was imagining, but exactly what I needed.  

You see, I used to feel embarrassed whenever I had to explain to people why I was moving.

The responses like: helping my family open a business, pursuing my magazine, going back to the place that makes me the most happy, being reunited with my cat, all sounded like silly excuses in my head. Though I knew it was the right decision for me, I also felt like I was giving up on myself, being a coward for returning home, and that I was calling it quits because it was hard and not what I thought it would be.  

You know what though? It remains the right decision.  

Walnut Creek had no hold on me. Though I made good friends and was comfortable in my routine, I also had nothing holding me there. No attachment to the area, no significant other, no life changing job, and I wasted a lot of money and a lot of tears on how I felt each and every night I cried myself to sleep.  

Alaska was the opportunity I ignored when I lived there. Instead of seeing all it could offer me, I looked elsewhere for inspiration and subsequently realized my error.

But I had to leave Alaska to figure that out. The thing about life is that you experience things to better fine tune what works for you and what doesn’t. Living in a place like Walnut Creek made me realize I didn’t want to live in a place like Walnut Creek and because I had no ties, it opened my eyes to looking back to the home that shaped me: Alaska.  

The hardest part for me yesterday was looking at my empty room. Through the window, I looked at the big tree outside I had stared at when I first moved in and was sleeping on the floor and remembered the feeling of curious optimism I had 241 days ago. I had so many things I wanted to accomplish and I felt like I left too soon to experience some of them.  

But then I remembered all the things I did accomplish, learn, and experience during my chapter here. The friends I made, the adventures I had, the drinks I consumed over laughter, the many days I cried, but also the many days I was high on life and it changed how I left when I shut the door to my room. 

I’ll always remember my chapter here, no matter how brief it may have been. 

I made the correct decision, figuratively and literally when I finally made it to the right lane headed not to San Francisco, but to home.



Having a Ball.

Last Monday, my roommate and I were ooing and aaing over the holiday assortment of treats that now grace the display case of Starbucks.

We settled on pumpkin spice lattes and a snowman cookie and then sat down to enjoy them.

It was your regular Monday: Siobhan had just gotten off of work and I had the day off. We were treating ourselves to an afternoon pick me up before our inevitable retire at home and all of a sudden, Siobhan received a text from her fiancee.

Her fiancee Nick, who works at a marketing firm that has NBC Bay Area as a client, had a few extra tickets to the Warriors game that tonight and as Nick also works at Oracle Arena, he had the tickets to spare.

Two tickets to spare to his fiancee and one very animated and fervent basketball fan who just so happened to have the day off from work.

What followed next was a blur. We raced home, threw on some Warriors swag (hard not to own any when you live in the Bay Area of the back to back champions), hopped in the car and drove to meet Nick in Lafayette.

As he works as an employee of Oracle, we scored free parking and despite having to wait a few hours until we were let into the arena, Siobhan and I passed the time excitedly talking about our luck at finding ourselves at Oracle Arena on a Monday night, about to watch a Golden State Warriors basketball game.

We were quite a sight to behold, Siobhan and I. I stood some 6ft6”, and my (shorter) roommate was hobbling next to me on crutches. But we waltzed around like queens, had our happy hour cocktail and then took our seats with hot dogs and fries in hand.

Turns out, our seats were in section 107, which had us down in the lower section near court side behind the basket. It was the closest I had ever been to the court and so I was an excited schoolgirl, drooling over these NBA All-Stars that were so close, beyond happy that my Monday night ended on a note like this.

They played the Memphis Grizzlies and won (naturally).

And it was just such an unexpected evening. There I was, a week away from moving back home, and I stumbled across this lucky opportunity to watch my favorite sport in person, up close and personal.

We had a ball (so to speak), and I’m forever reminded how splendid life really is.