I am coming up upon my two year anniversary in Ohio. As always the time has flown and yet it seems like its been decades.
What a couple of year’s it has been. Full of trials, tribulations, craziness, and chaos. It’s also been full of laughter, friends, love, and spending copious amounts of glorious time with my nephews making memories that last a lifetime.
I do not regret my time here. I have met amazing people that will be in my life, in some capacity, forever. I have also come face to face with a few of my worst nightmares, things I never thought I could survive, and I did.
When I moved here, I didn’t really understand why. I knew I wanted to be closer to my nephews. I also knew deep in my gut this was the right decision. And it was. God had things to show me about my family and myself. I didn’t pass all the tests that he had for me, I found new spots in my heart that needed to be softened and molded. In the end, though, I know better who I am and what I’m not.
I also got the chance to help support my Aunt through breast cancer. I got the opportunity to help my brother finish college, finally. I got to watch my nephews as my sister-in-law went back to work. I got to spend time with my grandmother. I got to do many things I couldn’t from CA.
When God gave me the verse two years ago that he wanted to give me immeasurably more than all I could ask for, I thought it would look really different. I was imagining the man of my dreams, a great job, you know the usual wishes. Instead he brought truth and light to the darkest places of our family. He came to bring healing and redemption, if we wanted it. These past two years have been ones of incredible growth in every capacity. I am free from many things that tethered me to my past.
God freed me to move forward. In his infinite wisdom he gave me what I needed, not what I asked for. Just as I knew when it was time to come here I have accepted that its time to leave. I need to move on with my life and it is not here in Ohio.
For now my plan is to move back to CA. I don’t expect things to be the same, but I am going back to the family I chose for myself. The friends that have been so incredibly supportive. I’m going back to the pace of life where I can thrive. The vitamin D I need to live.
I feel good about the decision. I feel good about making a decision. I’m going to move forward with this, staying open to new possibilities and new places.
I think the decision to leave is the most important one.
One of the unexpected joys of being here in Ohio has been my re-acquaintance with baking and my introduction to chocolate and candy making. I love it. It brings me much joy. I love discovering new flavors. I enjoy learning new techniques. I am digging the beauty and science behind these delicious treats.
Who knew when my dad bought a chocolate factory that I would find a piece of me I forgot about and a new way to express my creativity.
In efforts to explore this new found passion I, of course, want to go to culinary school, become a pastry chef and comeback to start a new career. That’s how my brain works, be trained, become an expert, then attempt it. It’s all part of my firstborn, control freak nature.
However, I’m kind of already in the deep-end learning how to swim. Yet, I still want to take more classes to learn about the science of chocolatiering and candy-making. So much to know about chemistry, additives, flavors, preservatives, tempering, stages of boiling, oh my. But just the thought of it makes me little kid happy.
On the other hand, I am not happy in Ohio. I don’t fit in here. I miss my friends. I miss my small group. I miss my church. I miss the ocean. I miss the weather. I miss the life I used to live. I miss the independence. I miss …. the list is endless.
So how do I balance the two? I want to go back to CA. When I’m there I’m healthier in many ways – emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically. But that’s because I had a life, a job, friends, and therapy. LOL. Yet the one downside is, I don’t want to go back to an office. I don’t want a 9-5 job. I don’t want to go back to paper-pushing middle management.
UGH. So that is my dilemma. In Ohio I have the opportunity to pursue a new passion and still have a place to live. My nephews are also here. But in California I have a life. Difficult decisions.
I’m kind of on a time line with this because there are two classes I would like to take that start on Tuesday. Yea, you know. Nothing like the last minute.
Granted I know I could take the class later if I wanted to, but still. I want to make a decision in the next five minutes. I feel like I’ve been standing still for two years. Not really. But it feels like it.
Something to think about.
Well I have now officially been in Ohio for a year. Hmmmm….
It was a non-event. Or as my dad said to me when I reminded him, “so.”
So what? I don’t know.
I thought I’d have more answers by now. I thought I’d have more direction, but i don’t. Same questions. New state. Colder weather. Maybe these are just the questions that will plague me for the rest of my life. I will always wonder what I want to be when I grow up. I’ll always be restless. I will always be vaguely bored. LOL. Who knows.
The year itself has been good. I’ve been back to California four times. I’ve stayed in touch with all of my favorite people. I’ve met amazing new people. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with my nephews and my parents and I haven’t killed each other. All good things.
So for now I am still working with my dad and just plugging along.
On Sunday, after church, a group of my parent’s friends suggested Don Pablos for lunch. I am usually a Mexican food snob and refuse to eat at such places, but this time I had no choice. Oh my, it was baaaaddddd. The only thing Latin element in this restaurant was us.
I realize that not everyone is Mexican. Few have even been to Mexico, beyond Tijuana or Cabo. There are those that don’t even know a Mexican or anyone that has been to Mexico. In California this is not necessarily true, but on my recent trip to Ohio this was the case. I realized education on what constitutes real Mexican food is needed. I feel it my civic duty to help.
I’m going to give you few guidelines to help you identify quality in a few staples of Mexican food – chips and salsa, rice and refried beans. If a restaurant can get these basic elements right, chances are the entrees aren’t going to be too bad.
I am in serious culture shock here in Ohio. The roads are weird, most of them are like dual lane roads. Where are the big, wide, quadralane streets? There are few left turn lanes, that I’ve seen. In LA this is certain death. In Ohio its quite manageable. You can actually turn left before the light turns yellow.
No one is in a hurry to get any where, drivers are pretty courteous and it really only takes a minute to get anywhere. To go 10 miles it takes 10 min, 15 at the most. You don’t need to factor time lost in traffic when you calculate when you need to leave to get somewhere. (shock) There is one highway that takes you around town. (what?) Maybe since there is no traffic people have less road rage, so they’re nicer. Who knew driving could be relaxing?