I have always lived within 20 minutes of an ocean. In high school, that 20 minute drive was taken frequently on summer weekdays in my dad’s hand-me-down 1990 Explorer, windows down and pop music blaring. The best part was driving home, tan and sandy in my bathing suit and bare feet. In college, I got even more spoiled. Weekends were spent at Eastbeach with friends, and I happily enrolled in sailing and beach volleyball for my required P.E. classes. Yes, it was a tough life. By senior year, I positioned myself in a tiny two-story yellow beach house in Summerland with my six closest girlfriends. When I opened my eyes every morning on the top bunk, I saw ocean. It continued this way for another year when I rented another house on the hill overlooking the harbor and downtown.
And then we left. And nothing can compare.
Sacramento is not near an ocean. Now I live 1.5 hours from ocean. I suppose if you live in Kansas then you wouldn’t think 1.5 hours is much but for me its torture. Winter in Sacramento was bearable. It rained a lot and it got really, really, really cold. But even if I had been in Santa Barbara it would have been cold. Truthfully, I didn’t think about the beach too much. Only a teensy bit.
Then we made the mistake of visiting Santa Barbara last weekend and I think I threw up my heart into the Pacific Ocean and left it there. It’s still drowning in sea water while I’m back at work in Sacramento. I know I’m being a tad bit dramatic but I won’t stop. We’re getting close to 100 degree plus days and I’m not sure what a girl is supposed to do in that temperature without an ocean.
But, more than Santa Barbara’s beautiful mountains that fall right into the sea, and the volleyball courts that still host our same group of friends, I miss Westmont. I miss chapel, I miss learning, I miss frozen yogurt everyday for lunch and sitting on the big rock outside the library looking at the stars. Westmont is where I came to know myself deeper, made my best friends, fell in love. Westmont hosts a lot of memories that I’m only beginning to make in Sacramento.
So, as I make new memories here in my new life, with new amazing friends in a warm cozy apartment, in my big girl job and my second blissful year of marriage, I will be thankful. And I will try to miss the ocean only a little bit.