What if…

 

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”

-Erin Hanson

This move has been a strange one. Technically, I’ve moved back to the country that I grew up in, back to the country where I don’t have to worry too much about making weird comments in the native language and back to a lifestyle that feels familiar–each can of soup and bottle of salad dressing brings back memories of a time long past.

But then, I’m on the complete opposite side of the country from my hometown and I still gape in awe every time I see the ocean beyond the road.

The lush Connecticut forests of my childhood are replaced with incredibly tall palm trees. High-rise apartment buildings that surrounded my place in Nagoya are replaced by a particularly beautiful lemon tree in my backyard.

California

And this change.

It’s exciting. It’s good.

It’s full of positive energy and watercolor sunsets. I am slowly falling for this place.

But I’m also slightly scared. Nervous. Unsure of what to expect in a new city that requires me to drive everywhere. I love road trips but I am usually in charge of music and mind numbing chatter that sometimes leads to epiphanies and at others leads to a fight that has either my husband or I wanting to open the car door and dive out while the car is still cruising down the highway.

I haven’t been behind the wheel in an embarrassing number of years. Hopefully though, I’ll learn quickly so that I don’t become a hermit who lives in a gorgeous setting.

Oh, and yes. There’s the whole matter of me, being me.

I am kinda socially awkward and get extremely tongue-tied when I meet people for the first time. I am that girl who sits and stares from the back of the classroom on the first day of school. And all of this newness is sort of warping me back to those days. It’s like I hit the reset button on my life and I’m starting over with a clean slate.

Which is sort of cool. But equally scary.

Then again, I keep telling myself, “What have I got to lose?”

Nothing, really.

So I’m stepping forward (with a shaky foot and sweaty palm, mind you) to make the most of this fabulous place.

So what if I fall?

Who knows?

I may fly.

What if you fly?

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9 Comments

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  1. So true right? I find it funny we are both setting out on new adventures in life right now. I’m going the other direction, but still all the same. I do worry about failing and wasting away all that money in school recently but at the same time I’m ready to take that first step. See what life has to offer outside of the comfort of where I am at now.

    Is it going to take me forever to make new friends? You better believe it, I’m awkward and a home body. Although I’ve been actively talk to two other photographers with kids around T’s age so hopefully it all works out and we live each other in person.

    What if you fly Miwa!!

    • Yes, I agree! It’s funny how we’re on such similar paths :)

      I’m really hoping to make the most of my time here. I don’t want to look back and think, “Why didn’t I push myself just a little bit harder?” It’s so much easier to be inside my own shell but like you, I want to “see what life has to offer outside of the comfort of where I am at now.”

      Ganbarou!

  2. Well, depending on where you live and where you have to go, you can actually get around pretty well with public transportation and also a bicycle. We’ve been a 1 car family for 2 years and it’s worked out real well, although I don’t have a toddler any more so . . . But I found that driving less really reduced my stress levels, or at least strategically planning time wise when to run certain errands. I am happy your family is reunited and I do hope you enjoy the beauty and diversity here in LA . . . and the good eats!!!!

    • We’re in the PV area so it’s a bit hard to move around without a car… Although riding around on a bike would be great, it’s just not practical with my toddler :/ I think I’ll have to stick with strategically planning when I go out, so I avoid traffic as much as possible!

  3. Hmm, you’re making me miss living in CA. Luckily the Bay Area had pretty good public transport, but I think life would have been a bit easier with a car. Our new English hometown has pretty crappy public transport, yet still we do not feel compelled to buy a car, and we both like driving and have driver’s licenses between us from 5 different countries ;).

    • Wow, you guys have licenses from five different countries?! That is impressive!!

      I’m just glad that my daughter isn’t in school yet so there’s no rush for me to get better at driving. But I think once I get used to it, I think I’ll end up enjoying it! Plus, there’s so much to do around here–I don’t want to look back and think I wasted so much time holed up in my house ;)

      • Driving in the States is pretty easy anyways. The driving exam is a piece of cake, it shouldn’t really be called an exam, it doesn’t compare at all with driving exams in other countries, it was much too easy and much too short. All cars have automatic transmissions, the roads are wide and parking spaces are huge. So yeah, get back on that driving horse!! Besides LA is a true car-city, you’ll love it.

  4. I know what you’re going through, and I really hope it doesn’t take you too long to find where you fit, find some friends you feel comfortable with, and gain more confidence about getting from place to place. I had the opposite problem on moving to London – I was absolutely terrified of getting lost on public transportation! And while I wouldn’t call myself socially awkward, I do struggle with talking to people for the first or second (sometimes even third) times. Instead of being too quiet, I’m normally too chatty. Trying to fill the empty silences with something, anything. It’s embarrassing, and I wish I could quit. After awhile, though, if I haven’t scared these new friends off, I learn to chill out a little. :)

    • Thanks, Sarah!
      I guess everyone goes through this awkward first stage, huh? How long did it take you to get used to life in London? I’m slowly starting to reach out to some people and so far, it hasn’t been as scary as I anticipated. Maybe I’m not as awkward as I was in high school? haha.

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