Two years ago, I returned to my hometown, which I had left when I was sixteen.
After almost three and a half years of being away and living in different places, I was finally ready to be back – back to centimeters and Celsius, to narrow roads and bicycles, and to its warm, moist, salty air.
In my town, as soon as April ends, the air gets warmer and warmer, and more and more tourists pack into the trains. May is a magical month - the beginning of my favorite season. Plants become greener, the day gets longer and the nice warm, salty breeze gently runs through the town. At the same time, May always seems to remind me of the time when I would dream of leaving.
Growing up, I often viewed my surroundings as if covered by a sad, dull fog. The reasons were pretty stupid — little things like taking the same route day after day because it was the only way to get to school, being forced to hang out with friends that I didn’t even like, hearing the weather man report about the annual rainy season… I was uncomfortable from being comfortable, and it was making me blind to the good parts of the environment that I was in. I needed to leave. I was desperate.
When I left home, I basically did everything to let go of who I was - to become the person I wanted to become. My attempt was kind of pointless because I found out that at the end of the day, I am who I always have been.
At the age of 13 to about 16, I was extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. The thing is, I didn’t know how to control my emotions. It was like I had lost the remote to my brain. I looked and looked and looked for the missing remote, but I couldn’t find it for a long time. The truth was, I didn’t lose it. I just never had it before because I didn’t need one.
At the time, I didn’t know what I was even looking for. I didn’t know what was making me so anxious, scared, angry, sad and lost.
However, what I really didn’t know was that everyone else around me was going through the same phase.
We were all lost.
We were all uncomfortable in our own skin.
Yet, we were lucky. We might have been lost and uncomfortable, but we were protected. We were protected by caring and loving adults, the pure white walls, tall palm trees and a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.
Still, the inside was a mess. A big fat mess. A big, fat beautiful mess.