When, in my vaguest dreams, I pictured myself and who I'll become, I think that this is what I dreamed about - me exploring a city, sitting at corner cafes, taking random pictures, browsing little shops and bookstores, watching independent films, listening to literary readings, writing outdoors, walking around with no plan whatsoever, and a world of endless possibilities stretched out before me. For the first time in a long time, I know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.
It wasn't a smooth transition, nor is it easy living here. In fact, there were times when I felt like pulling my hair out and crying in frustration, times when I even wondered why I moved to this city in the first place. I was completely broke on my first month here, my car was towed away because of a parking violation, the apartment's bathroom floor was flooded due to leaky pipes, my computer crashed and I lost a lot of precious data, I didn't know anyone to ask for help - to name just a few. There's also the weather, which at its best can be described as moody and at its worse, 'schizophrenic' (as one writer puts it). You can wake up to a warm and sunny morning and you drive across the city to say, the Richmond District, and you'll be absolutely freezing. I am such a weather wuss and I get cold very easily so it took me a while to adjust to the unpredictable weather here. And let's not forget the challenge of finding street parking, or the fact that half of my paycheck probably goes to the ridiculous amount that I pay for a parking space and those (in)famous parking tickets - I already had three since I got here!
But even the most difficult times is still a blessing, for I always end up learning a little more about myself - the stronger, more independent side of me. Six months ago, who would've thought that I'll be driving all the way to Sonoma County by myself? I've also learned to accept help from new acquaintances and to let go of whatever preconceptions that I had of people or groups of people. Most of all, I've learned to trust in God more, because I believe that He brought me here and that if everything else fails, I know that He will never let go of me. For all this, I am thankful.
In the spirit of this Thanksgiving holiday, I just want to say that I wouldn't have survived my first months here without these people: Kuya Bill, my bestest best friend and cousin in one ~ thank you for everything. Moira, Gracia, Neeha, Mayee, Ate Faye, Tia, Dae, Lori, Jane, Grace, Vanessa, Irish, Farrah, Bobby, Carl ~ many thanks for tolerating my endless chatter and neurotic episodes (haha). Jethro, Marjo, Poipoi, Ate Jude, Ate Tina, Lola Tasing, Tiya Mameng, Tiya Masing, Jean, Jewel ~ thanks for your undying love and support. Leah, Iray, Machai, Bachang, Christela, Rachanz, Samia, Monica, Chanda, Leanne, Ruby, Audrey, Melissa, Elaine, Carrie, Jayna, Rennie, Janice, Frank and Ele ~ thank you for keeping in touch. Ma and Pa ~ much love.
And to all that I forgot to call, e-mail, text, etc. - thanks for understanding.