So I never really know what to call the day I left Vermont and never looked back. Lately I feel like this event in my life should have a name and the other night, as I stood naked in the surf of the Pacific Ocean with my best friend, it really hit me. I left Vermont. Even writing it, I have to read it over and over again because sometimes it doesn’t seem real. I’ve learned a LOT. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was moving thousands of miles away from everyone I ever knew, my entire support system.
Recently this Anniversary passed, which is interesting because it’s about a month away from the Anniversary of when I left New Orleans to move to California. As this came to pass my best friend in the world came to visit me and it’s safe to say we got into some trouble while she was here. We swam with sharks, skinny dipped at America’s number one beach (and thankfully didn’t get caught) and we went to LA where we made better friends with the maintenance guys who worked at the hotel then we did the locals. That was all in TWO WEEKS, forget the two years that I have been absent from my home state. So here are five things I’ve learned since leaving Vermont and five things I miss about living in Vermont:
5 things I have Learned:
1. Owning It. Dumping shit on your friends and leaving them is not only INSANELY not cool but the months of regret and gut churning guilt every time you think about isn’t worth it. Same goes for not paying people back in a timely manor.
2. If you are having financial problems TALK to your institution about it, they are usually pretty good at working with you, after all they really just want their money back.
3. Don’t let stereotypes effect you – Now this one was tricky because stereotypes are everywhere and there are people who live up to their standards but there are some really incredible people that you would have never given the time of day to if you judged them so quickly. We learn this as children, but forget it as adults.
4. Don’t lose your inner child, and honor her regularly. Seriously. You work your ASS off, go blow some bubbles, hula hoop, swim, run, SOMETHING. Get a Refrigerator Box and make a space ship. Please for the love of Cthulhu build yourself a pillow fort, I don’t give a crap if you’re 60 you BEST be breaking out those couch cushions.
5. You don’t have to choose between friends when they are fighting. Their drama is their drama, you don’t have to get involved. For that matter, just apply it to everything. If it doesn’t involve me I don’t have to get involved, even if they try to involve me I don’t have to get involved. My life is much simpler now.
5 things I Miss:
1. Easy to find and more affordable local produce. I miss having my maple syrup from right down the road and trying to find Cabot: Cheddar Shake here is a NIGHTMARE (if you send me some I will love you forever.) I knew where the apples were grown and I have probably watched the kids of where the honey comes from. It’s a small state, it’s kind of hard not to have those connections.
2. Seasons, I know when you live with them they are really hard to deal with but I miss the seasons so much it hurts sometimes. I love the fall leaves, especially now that we are going into September I know they will be changing soon. It’s not fall if you can’t hear the crack of leaves under your sneakers or the smell of the crisp autumn air.
3. Having my family close by.
4. Maple Creamies, or Soft-Serve for you non-Vermonters, from Bragg Farm in Vermont. Seriously, they make the BEST Maple Soft-Serve in Vermont. Put some chocolate sprinkles on it and BAM. Magic.
5. My Vermont* friends. Now I know this is totally biased and I miss all of my friends in all of the places I’ve been and am going to go to but there is a special kind of kinship that ignites when two Vermonter’s cross paths. It may be the cold winters that bond us together or our pretty mutual love of good beer but we are pretty damn unique.
I think it’s safe to say it’s been a pretty successful past two years and I am looking forward to learning more as I travel even further from home in the upcoming years.