peace + quiet. hello old friend.

It's been a very long time since I've had some time to just graze away beneath my sheets. The past two years have been filled with so many busy moments, terminals and gates, take offs and shaky landings, rushed goodbyes, papers after papers and endless team meetings with people I tend to despise. I know as an adult I'm supposed to be able to get along with just about everyone having honed on my social skills over the years, and I do. But that doesn't mean I have to like everyone. I learned at an early stage that I struggle between misanthropy and gregariousness. You just have to embrace the person that you are and stop guilting yourself into having to like something or to be a certain way. You are you. Before this turns into a Dr. Seuss imitation, let's move on shall we...

So I slept in until 11 today, missing all my gym classes. Then I did something luxurious that I have not done in a long time: I added new music to my collection. The last time I did this was at the beginning of this year in January. In between I resorted to generic pop hits from Taylor Swift and One Direction (please don't judge me).

During my break, my goal is to binge on Korean dramas (Healer & Pinocchio) and lose weight with sleep and good intentions (it is possible). In exactly six days, I move across the country to beautiful San Francisco. This will be the fifth move in my short lifetime. The first on the west coast, and the third location in the United States. And it certainly won't be the last move I make.

Thinking back on all the places that I have lived, I realized that I was so in lust with each and every enigmatic location that each one ended up breaking my heart in the process. I've fallen out of love with New York and Shanghai. I've fallen out of love with Vietnam. I know the fault lies with me and my expectations as does my inevitable disillusionment with each city. The charms still exist in each one, but it was my fault for going in thinking each one will love me back, for idealizing.

San Francisco was a different story. I never loved it. I was never interested in it. I didn't want to love California because everyone loved California. I went for a wedding and we took a wrong turn and ended up on the Bay Bridge. I caught a glimpse of Coit Tower to my left as I sat high above the waters. Something tugged at me. I felt a lump in my throat and my heart sank. Our car could have dropped into the waters and I would have never taken my eyes off that majestic sight. That was all it took.

A few years later here we are in the summer interims living in view of Coit Tower, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, and walking distance from Lombard Street. Too much good luck. Too much of a beautiful thing. And it was all ours. Sometimes you luck out enough to realize that you may never have it this good again for as long as you live. So I took it all in while I could. I strolled languidly to yoga two blocks away on Hyde. I bought fresh tomatoes from the bodega down the street, and we held hands as we dined in our neighborhood sushi spot. On weekends we enjoyed music at outdoor festivals. We drank until everything blurred. We drunkenly fought on New Years over the steep steps outside our place. Idyllic. Unintentional.

When I would return to the east coast, California stayed on my skin. As the tan faded, friends kept calling. Reminding me I had a place out west.

And that was how I came to love California.

Merry Christmas Eve. May you fall in love with something new this year.