Urban Adventures

April explores the city.

Home, growing pains, and positivity. October 13, 2010

Filed under: Thoughts — April @ 8:26 pm

After being away from Santa Barbara for the longest period in my life, I at last returned for the four-day weekend, which I made a five-day weekend. I love Santa Barbara and now that I’m not there I love it even more. The open spaces, the sunshine and year-round sandal wearing, the red tile roofs. It’s home.
I had some good family time, barbecue included. I ate at Pepe’s, the best Mexican restaurant in the world, two times. And my sister Ashley was in town for the weekend. I also had some good friends and boyfriend times. I had a girls’ night out, I played ladder ball, I went to the zoo and fed Sulima the giraffe, and I ate Yogurtland.
As I visited Westmont for the long weekend, I felt like, well, a visitor. The campus that’s been my home for two years now was different — new buildings, new people, and (cliché alert!) new April. Everyone kept asking about how great Urban is. The implied and expected answer is of course “Ya it’s AWESOME and I LOVE it and it’s the BEST THING EVER!”
But it’s not. This semester is hard. Put positively, it’s a “growing experience.” But there is such a thing as growing pains and boy do I have them. First of all I don’t like change. I am a creature of habit and I like my routine. So throw me in a new city with new people and I will maybe freak out a little bit. Also I don’t really like big cities that much anyway.
While I was feeling especially grumpy I made a list of all the things that I don’t like about this place — bear with me because it’s hard to keep a positive attitude when all I want to do is be in Santa Barbara. It’s cold all the time and the fog is atrocious. The city is all hills so I basically have to do a strenuous workout if I want to walk. But If I want to take Muni it takes for-freaking-ever to go anywhere. There are a lot of strangers. And creepers. Cat calls are so disrespectful and offensive; I can’t stand them. Seriously what do these men think will come of whistling at me? It’s not flattering at all and I hate it. There are a bunch of hippies who need to stop smoking, wash their hair and do something with their lives. I don’t like cooking and the kitchen is always dirty. The coffee shops have nasty chai. I can’t wear sandals or sundresses or tank tops, which make up my entire wardrobe. Someone in the house has taken it upon him/herself to become Dobby the House Elf, complete with an email address and Facebook page. I live with 27 people and am kind of stuck with them because I don’t know anyone else in this city. It’s not home.
As much as I wanted to dwell on all the badness and sadness, I realized last night that I’ve still got nine weeks here. That’s a long time to be sad. So I also have a list of good things about the city. I’m making new friends. Community dinners mean one less meal I have to make. There are dogs everywhere in this city. My room has a balcony (fire escape…). My room has its own bathroom. I’m getting real-life job experience and skills. The houses are so colorful. I have an endless supply of fruit snacks. I get a weekly stipend. Every week we have a Glee Club. This city has great ice cream and great restaurants. North Beach is delightful. Golden Gate Park is like a forest. I love the clients at work. I get fun things for free, like jeans and concerts. Winter coats are cute and I like to wear scarves. The house is a mansion.
So I’ve resolved to be proactively positive. Being grumpy is draining. Today I kept a list (this is the last list) of all the happy things that happened. It was a beautiful sunshine day. I was ready for work early. I didn’t have to wait for my bus transfer like I usually do. A client emailed me just because. Another client shared with me a song she wrote about dancing. I got to leave work early. I was able to mooch for dinner. Glee Club is tonight.
It was a good day. I live here. It’s time to start making the most of it.

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2 Responses to “Home, growing pains, and positivity.”

  1. Justine Trejj Says:

    Hey Big Apes. It J-Beezie and Trejj (Alexa) here. We just read your post together and we think it is wonderfuuulllllllllllllllllllllllllll (those last “L”s go up in pitch as you read). Let’s hang out more.

    Love,

    J and T

  2. Matthew Says:

    I read all of your blog posts, I think you are so creative. Do you have a boyfriend? Could you send me a picture? I’ve already seen all the ones on your facebook.


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