all the chances we’re gonna get happen here and now

Life’s a blur speeding past the window
We’d love to stop but who has the time
So much to do – we’re so far behind
And we stay that way no matter how fast we go
I wonder what’s the point at which we break
When will we realize just what’s at stake
We dance at weddings and we cry at wakes
And then we rush to make the next appointment

-Life and Death, Carolyn Arends

When I was just out of college, I lived in this kind of scary part of Costa Mesa in Orange Country, California. (One night, I was driving home late from the gym and while stopped at a light, four guys got out of the car next to me and started surrounding my car. I punched the gas right through the red light.) I made $23,900 a year at my corporate job in Irvine. I had two roommates, both of whom were crazy. I had just broken up with my boyfriend, who I had been living with in yet another scary part of Costa Mesa. I had cause for a lot of early twenties angst, but one moment every morning made me so happy my heart felt like it might burst.

On my drive to work, I would crest a hill and the Pacific ocean would appear out of nowhere, startling blue and stretch to the edge of the world. It didn’t matter what I was worried about facing at work that day or how angry I was at my roommates or how anxious I was about being able to pay all of my bills. Just seeing the water gave me a moment of peace. I took the long way around just so I could see it.

When I made the (foolish) decision to leave California (foolish, but had I not gone down that path then, I wouldn’t be here now, so I can’t regret it), I knew that moment of seeing the water come in view was what I would miss the most.

I love lots of things about where I live now, but my favorite time is early morning. There’s something about the light and the water and the sky and every morning before I leave for my office, I stand in my living room and just take it all in. And as I drive, I follow the water and no matter how stressed I am about all the work I have to do or whether I’m going to make it to the airport on time or why I’m not the kind of person who thinks to send out Christmas cards with heartfelt holiday sentiments, I have a moment of peace.

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