Home pt. 1- California

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I have two homes.

The first is California, more specifically Berkeley. It’s where I grew up, and my heart will forever belong to my city by the bay. Fog rolls in every day from the Pacific, and San Francisco is always cold and rarely sunny. The people are loud, opinionated, sometimes quick to fight.

Berkeley

I must have gone to fifteen protests growing up, and they were usually joyous affairs, with people yelling at the top of their lungs, loud, passionate. The police lounging on the outskirts smiling.

gathering police

The police wasn’t always smiling though. There are problems in the East Bay. Murder, robbery, gang violence (especially in Oakland- which is exactly two blocks from the house I grew up in). California is diverse, and that sometimes creates problems.

But God, it’s so alive there. You get an education walking out on the street. My ex once visited, and within the week he’d been harassed, mugged, swindled of a hundred bucks. He was a walking target with no street smarts. You grow up fast where I come from, learn to avoid danger and trust your instincts. Learn to get along with everyone, to accept differences because they’re in your face, day in and day out.

High school in Berkeley

High school in Berkeley

High School in Berkeley

High School in Berkeley

 

My family and childhood friends are in California, and each time I leave it breaks my heart anew.

My sisters and I at home in Berkeley with our pup Athena.

My sisters and I at home in Berkeley with our pup Athena.

bay area

I’m lucky to have two homes. It’s the only way to live, leaving pieces of your heart in every town you visit, every country you see. Even when you have to leave you know you can always return. I always go back to California. And with that…

 

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