The other night, I was kidnapped.
I got a text announcing the imminent arrival of my friend Marissa and was told to be ready to go out in fifteen minutes.
The only hint as to where we were going? A nod to the attire.
That to me was a shiny Milly dress, strappy gold heels, hoops, and to top off the “relaxed vibe”, a denim jacket.
Ready. To. Rumble.
Without any idea as to where my kidnapper was taking me, I kicked it in the front seat of her new Subaru and we found ourselves on the 80 and headed across the Bay Bridge and into the city of San Francisco.
Still curious as to where we were going, I excitedly looked out the window as we made our way up and down the steep streets until she told me to be on the lookout for parking.
It took some time (as her car as not as agile and accommodating in size as my Fiat), but we eventually scored, then we walked a ways to the final destination.
To a Kava Lounge.
A…. Kava Lounge?
If you’re like me and have no idea what the heck kava is, let me give you a brief overview.
Kava is a crop that comes from the Pacific Islands. It’s an earthy, not very tasty, beverage that has zero alcohol content and is consumed in smaller doses.
So if it doesn’t taste very good, then why do we drink it?
Kava is drunk for the purpose of its sedating effects. Unlike alcohol and drugs, this natural consumption often leaves the drinker feeling a euphoric, peaceful, calm, and relaxed sensation.
In Marissa and I’s case, it was accompanied by an intense talkative period in which we discussed the history of the hippie movement, an unsuccessful attempt at talking bad about work (kava produces this inner barrier in which it becomes difficult to talk negative, at least for me), then a sleepy period in which we read each other’s tarot cards on the couch with our shoes off.
All of this on a casual weeknight.
Feeling inspired, we spent the next day romping around the Bay visiting the Marine Mammal Center up in Sausalito, hunting for the most aesthetically pleasing coffee shop (in this case, Fox + Kit in San Rafael), sightseeing like tourists at the Golden Gate Bridge, hunting all over Berkeley for two particular books, and finally having dinner at a cosy restaurant in Oakland.
Apparently, this is a casual way to spend a day for Marissa, who’s unafraid in driving nowhere in search of something. A little timid myself to be the instigator of exploring (especially in going by myself), I was glad for the companionship and willingness to explore.
From all of this: the kava, the tarot cards, and the abundant exploring of new places, I remembered the importance of immersing oneself in a new home. Be it the culture, in the city, in the coffee shops and the local hangouts, or with the people, it’s all a part of fitting in to your new home.
As daring as I think I am, I often become encumbered by the shyness of stepping out of my comfort zone and leaving the house in search of something new, especially when there’s California freeway driving involved and the potential of having to find parking.
But I’ve already made the biggest step out of my comfort zone and that was moving here in the first place! So what more do I have to be afraid of?
Stories, adventures, experiences, and becoming a person with an open mind all come from stepping out of one’s comfort zone. Having Marissa as a friend who safely introduces me to new things and new places is a blessing that I am most grateful for.
Having “firsts” (safely, always) are exciting prospects and I can never achieve those if I choose to stay in all the time.
Maybe it’s the kava talking, maybe it’s the tarot cards, or maybe it’s just me, but someone out there is encouraging me to get out and see the world.
One could even say they’re “rooting” for me.
The Kava Lounge
Fox + Kit