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After almost 4 and 1/2 years of either living out my crazy wild life in San Diego “studying” in college or traveling abroad in Europe as an au pair in Italy I am finally back living at home. Home is my teeny tiny half a peanut sized town on the Central Coast. Home is where I moved when I was four years old and subsequently finished high school. Home is where we have no brand stores except the “Shell” gas station.  Home is where I shop for groceries at a place called “The Cookie Crock.” Like seriously?! What does that even mean???

Home for me is not being able to go anywhere in our 2 mile stretch of “downtown” without seeing a least 3 people I know. Home is where I almost won Homecoming Queen but instead lost and received the obligatory award of Homecoming Princess. (I’m never going to let that one go. Still bitter.) Home is where if I went to go buy condoms or cigarettes or hemorrhoid cream (not that I would EVER by ANY of those items) at the local pharmacy rumors would spread like wildfire because the pharmacist or the cashier knows me that well. Home is seeing my old high school teachers at church or walking their dogs at the park and stopping to have a 30 minute conversation about the last 4 years of my life. Home is going to the gym that has 4 treadmills and only old people who refuse to do any exercise except the hand bike. What muscle does that even benefit? Home is seeing a high school flame who is literally still doing the same exact thing they were doing with their life 4 and 1/2 years ago…absolutely nothing.

But here’s the thing. 

Home is where I can come to sleep in my own bed until it’s 3 in the afternoon or at least until my Mom says I’ve been sleeping enough and forces me down to the couch. Home is where my cat Charlie is even though he refuses to snuggle with me. I think he is confused with my intermittent visits home and is playing hard to get. I’ll try upping his tuna juice intake and see what happens. Home is where the Pacific Ocean greets me not only with its magnificent waves but with its playful gusts of salty mist that it throws on my freckled nose as I walk along the coast on a foggy day. Home is my Mom cooking her famous garlic bread for any and all of my friends that I have over. Home is sneaking into the hot tubs at the local hotels along the ocean and talking for hours with old friends.  Home is Olallieberry pie which everyone needs to try once in their lifetime. Home is being able to get the best of both the forest and the sea.  Home is not feeling like I have to be doing something, impressing someone, or changing something. Home is me time. Home is family. Home is where I think about the past and dream about the future. Home is where I still have all my high school pictures tacked on my bulletin board and get a flash back every time I glance up at them. Home is where thousands of tourists come to visit and stay because my home is one of the most desired and beautiful places…and am blessed enough to live here.

I used to take this place for granted when I was growing up. Complaining that there was nothing to do and whining about how the nearest movie theatre was 35 minutes away. But the thing is…back then I was blind. Back then I didn’t see the entertainment staring me right in the face. I didn’t realize the beauty of the place I live in and the energy that can come from solitude. Now with my wisdom increasingly growing I’m aware more than ever… Home really is where the heart is.

Go find home & appreciate all the good in it.


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