It’s been over a year since I left my lovely little island to move to the Bay area (I still miss it every day!). I get restless very easily, and I love to travel and explore so when I found out we were moving, I was sad, but also very excited. California? Sure, that sounds like a good place to hang out for a bit.
I don’t know if I really realized I was LEAVING Hawaii and not coming back. As we slowly got settled here, and that realization started to dawn on me, I was definitely sad, maybe even depressed.
I couldn’t work yet because I didn’t have my work visa, I didn’t have any family or friends, no classes, no home, nothing. It was very hard for me to meet people, or to warm up to the people I did meet, because stripped of the things that I used to identify myself (country, home, school, friends, family, work) I did not feel like myself, and I didn’t want the people I met to know me the way I was then, but the way I was before.
I remember thinking a lot of the time, “I bet you would really like me, if we ever met.” This went on for a lot longer than it should have, even once I started working, and doing things for myself, getting out and exploring, I still felt like a friendless little orphan a lot of the time.
Then one day, I found The Boots.
Now a pair of boots, while I’m sure they can be stylish, comfy, even sensible if you get the kind that have steel toes, or keep your feet dry, but they don’t have actual magical powers. These ones didn’t either, but they did have something else. They were chunky black motorcycle boots, boots that I’d wanted for years, probably since the first time I saw Daria on MTV but I never bought them for myself because I didn’t think I was someone who could pull them off.
I’d even told my quite a bit more stylish younger sister how much I wanted these boots, and she made fun of them, and I promptly realized she was right, and put them out of my head. This has always been a recurring theme in my life, in all areas, but most easily noticeable when it comes to fashion.
I’ve always loved fashion, and held a deep admiration for people who were able to wear anything they wanted and look stylish and effortless, but I have never personally felt that I was able to wear a lot of things, really for no other reason than I told myself I couldn’t.
Fast forward to about a month after I had had my dreams of ever being Gemma Teller crushed mercilessly, and I was at the mall, in the Macy’s shoe department, when I saw the same boots I had fallen in love with online. They were black, Steve Madden and completely gorgeous. They were also on sale. And they had one pair left in my size. Now I wouldn’t say I am the most spiritual or intuitive person in the world, but I can take a hint.
I bought them immediately, put them on as soon as I got home, and proceeded to fall in love, while pointedly ignoring the obvious looks of disdain being directed at my feet by That One Guy (also known as my lovely husband Derek). I thought I would feel weird wearing them out of the house, or have trouble finding any of my clothing that would go with it, but they seemed to fit right in with me and my life, my new best friends I could wear on my feet.
What I realized then, was that whenever I am feeling orphaned or friendless (which I am not, I have the greatest friends in the world, they just happen to be scattered all over North America), I should try to appreciate the amazing opportunity I have to experiment with style, with hobbies, with eating, with fitness, with the people and things I spend time on.
I have a completely clean slate to do anything I want to do. And while it sucks sometimes to be so far away from the people and things you love, I can take comfort in the fact that whether I leave the house in black motorcycle boots, a see-through white blouse, or ass-less chaps, nobody can judge me because nobody knows who I am.
Following this epiphany, I’ve really started to get into this really neat place where I’ve started living, and trying to make the most of my time here. I bought black leather leggings, and I love them every time I wear them. I bought a cheetah print cardigan, a peblum shirt, a leather skirt, a mini sweater dress, a mini cheetah print sweaterdress, blood red lipstick.
I ran my first half marathon without my mom (she usually does the pacing, I thought I was going to die), I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, I started blogging.I’ve taken an interest in eating healthier (except for chocolate, there will always be room for chocolate) and started experimenting with quinoa, kale and coconut oil.
We took a road trip down the coast and stopped at every beach along the way to Carmel. I signed up for a writing class. We went to a free concert in Golden Gate Park, and watched the Giants with the NL championship surround by San Franciscans at a Haight Street bar.
I guess the point is, there is so much in life to do and so much to explore, it’s better to focus on the things we can do, rather than the things we don’t have. And if you’re not sure who you are, or what you really want, there is no time like the present to find out.