An Ode to CA

What a contradiction – to love being a homebody just as much as loving exploring.

If there’s one thing this temporary move to Europe has taught me, it’s that I love having my own space. One that I’ve customized to my liking, that I’ve made comfortable for me, that embodies everything I find cozy, fun, inspiring, and loving in a home. I love having slow mornings with all of my concoctions of teas and coffees to choose from. I love fueling my body with homemade meals and dancing while I experiment in the kitchen making the Michelin star meals I deserve. I love walking around my neighborhood and making friends with people in the community – sharing books in the little free libraries. I love coming home after a long day and melting in my sanctuary of a bedroom. I love lighting all my candles and having spa night dance parties (maybe with a lil wine) and spending my evening relaxing, stretching, listening to whatever music I want, or cuddling in bed with all of my pillows and stuffed animals – watching or reading something that grasps my attention.

I love having a home.
I love the routine it offers, I love the space it holds.
I love the freedom of expression it allows.
I miss having a home.

On the contrary, I LOVE new places. I love new experiences. I love seeing places and scenery my eyeballs have never seen before. I love tasting flavors I’ve never encountered and opening my pallet to all of the deliciousness of the world. I enjoy taking in different smells of foods and desserts different locations have to offer (I could go without the variety of sewage smells though). I thoroughly cannot imagine life without exploring different parks and seeing all of the nature wonders the world has to offer, and I don’t know if the desire to explore will ever fade.

Sometimes I struggle because as adventurous and extroverted as I may be – I am also very much so a soul that loves to hibernate and stay in my own world from time to time. And I get really exhausted when I don’t give myself that time to recharge – which is something I’ve noticed heavily and have prioritized while on this Europe exploration of mine.

Is this when I accept that exploring is the inner child in me and it’s okay to keep that alive with maintaining a balance of being a homebody? And that it’s okay to not do it all? Yes, indeed it is.

I’ve had to take a step back and be realistic with myself. I’ve said “no” to multiple trips. I’ve said “no” to multiple people wanting to visit – because if I am a “yes” woman, then I’m never going to feel fully satisfied in my life without the balance of catering to my introverted-self needs.

When traveling all around and collecting moments of quality appreciation, I’ve realized this is exactly why I love living in California so much – it allows me to have both. The potato of having my home, my heart. Being able to escape into my own home whenever my little heart desires. And then bacon bits and toppings of the potato? The nature to immerse myself in? Being able to run away to the water, mountains, or beautiful parks when I’m needing some extra grounding? That’s the landscape my soul requires in life.

California allows all exploration needed within one general region, and for that I’m thankful I’ve built a life there. I’m thankful I’ve continued to explore multiple areas in the world that contribute to the validation of my preferences, my yearnings, and my requirements.

I’m thankful for my life journey thus far, as it’s only giving me more insight to what truly matters in my life.
I’m thankful for gaining new experiences and learning what only adds more quality to my life.
I’m thankful to know California checks all of those boxes for me, and is close to my people.
Not to mention it’s unconditional soul rejuvenating sunsets, oh my gosh do I miss the sunsets.

Was I searching for validation in my love for California? No.
Subconsciously? Maybe?

Either way, I miss California – not America.
California, if you’re reading – thank you for everything you’ve granted me.

Bless up, thanks for reading.
xx, Mal

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