Twenty days ago I took my son by the hand and waved goodbye to his dad for ten days. The trip came with a 50/50 mixture of pure excitement and pure terror. My excitement grew out of the fact that I knew I'd be seeing friends who I've been dying to see, touch, hug, and squeeze for the past six months. But fear whispered politely in my ear, "You can't fly/live/manage on your own with this biting bundle of energy in tow. You'll never survive. Muahahaha."
We boarded our plane and set off for the Golden Coast. The first day of traveling resulted in 90 minutes of a happy chatty baby, 150 minutes of a sleeping baby, 10 minutes of a restless crabby baby, 4 eardrum splitting screams, one delayed flight, and a very nice retired couple from South Dakota.
From the first moment we arrived at LAX we were surrounded by love. There were old roommates to have coffee with, best friends to have sleepovers with, cousins to play with, relatives to have turkey with, and coasts to gaze at. But best of all, there was a fairy tale perfect (YELLOW!) forest wedding to attend. It was freezing cold and it rained the last hour, but no one even cared because they were having too much fun. Everyone just packed onto the covered dance floor and got cozy with one another. In a perfect world all weddings would have that much joy overflowing from them.
Both times I've visited California since we moved away I can't help myself from constantly wondering how our life would look right now if we had stayed. This trip surprised me by how much I was glad that we were no longer living there. Maybe I'm getting old, or maybe my mommy brain is in overdrive, but for the first time ever I was annoyed by the crowds, the traffic, and the grime. I couldn't seem to escape the feeling of "oh-my-gosh-there-are-way-too-many-people-crammed-into-this-space." My beloved dream state no longer seems to fit this season of my life, but I'm not convinced that our current residence does either. Both locations are too extreme. One offers heaps of friends and all of life's conveniences. The other offers clean air and room to grow right along side a stabbing feeling that we are missing something. I wonder if this feeling will ever go away. At some point in our future will we relocate to a spot that feels perfect for us? For the first time in my life I have no long-term goals. So much about our future feels so wishey-washey right now.
One of the highlights of our trip was a Sunday drive through the Malibu canyons the day after the wedding. Lex napped for the entire drive and I had my Christmas music station tuned it. It was definitely the craziest and curviest road I've ever been on, and one of the most beautiful too. It was a much-needed mental break in the schedule of visits, VISITS, and MORE VISITS. After a night of watching a beautiful couple pledge their love for one another I got to spend the morning with a couple who is still enjoying the cute lovey-dovey stage.
On a related side note: Five days ago I graduated college (!!!!!!). And now I'm really left with the internal struggle of the century. So what now? I don't want to sound full of myself but I think I may have peaked. All I've ever wanted to do was get married (check), have a baby (check), finish school (check), teach dance (check), and live happily ever after (NO check). After eight continuous years of college I finally managed to get enough classes of one category scraped together to form a bachelors degree. Too bad I can't mold all of my extra classes into a lump that is equivalent to a masters....