Today my mom and I drove my sister up to Sacramento to move her into her new apartment. She is starting her junior year of college and, since I am now a college graduate, I was able to come help out with her big move-in. At first I was excited to get out of the desert, come up north, and throw myself into being busy helping out with the move. I ultimately hoped that my coming up north would take my mind off of recent, unhappy, events. The move-in began with a drive; a very long drive from South to North. I have made the drive from Southern California to Northern California and back so many times that it became so routine and normal; today, however, was completely different. As I left Palm Springs I remembered how happy this drive used to make me. I would either be going up to Berkeley, my home, my college, my practical obsession (I mean I did get a script CAL tattoo...), or I would be driving from Berkeley to come back to everything I love down south; my family, my home, Jordan, his family, and his home. I never minded the 6+ hours trapped in a vehicle. I never minded the looming I-5 freeway because I knew that what was waiting at the end of the road would make the journey well worth it. But today was different. Today the I-5, my bridge between my home up north and down south, felt so empty. A road I have spent so much time on, connected with such excitement and happiness, now just brought painful memories of happier times. As I passed the I-580 interchange my heart sank. Today my old classmates, friends, and sisters were busying themselves with pre-recruitment, shopping for classes, buying very overpriced books, and getting ready to start another amazing fall semester at UC Berkeley. As I passed over the 580w to remain on the I-5 I couldn't help but remember all of those exciting semester beginnings I had experienced, and how that time in my life had just come to a close. I miss it so much, and while I am excited to move on in my quest for adulthood, a part of me wishes that the carefree times of my undergraduate career could have gone on a little longer. I have no doubt that I will be back in Berkeley many times throughout this semester (the first few home games for sure), but I would be foolish to think that it will be similar to the experiences I had when I was a student. My relationship with Berkeley will undoubtedly be different, and preparing for that is astoundingly difficult. Once I had finished thinking about Berkeley, I began to think about my return trip home, which will undoubtedly be harder than the trip up. The past few days have been better for me which is why I was so surprised at how quickly those feelings of hurt and loneliness crept up. Most of my trips from North down South were for the sole purpose of seeing Jordan and his family. I would constantly, and happily, make that 6 hour drive. Now, not only has my going up north changed dramatically, but so too have my travels back down south. Though I will always be excited about going home, home feels so much smaller. I feel like I have lost a home (both in Berkeley and with Jordan), and part of a family, and that, I think, is infinitely harder than merely breaking relationship habits. But changes happen, life goes on, and so, for now, I will have to look at things differently. I have never liked changes, especially when they hurt or are hard; in that sense I am just like my father, but I am teaching myself to embrace those changes, and trying to smile every step of the way.
Wish me luck on the drive down... it won't be an easy one
Until next time,