I moved to Florida from California last August. I had never even stepped foot in the state, but I packed up my entire life and moved here all the same. Adjusting to a brand new life in a strange new state is way harder than I had ever imagined.
When I’m asked the question ‘where do you live?’ It’s hard for me to say Florida. Not because I forget I’m no longer in Cali, it’s because I still refuse to call it home. Everything is so different here, It almost feels as if I’m in another country altogether.
The people are different, the weather is horrid, and even the food makes me question what planet I landed on. I’m still not 100% sure what grits are. I find myself missing home more often than not, I am gaining a new perspective but in doing so I feel like I’m losing my grip on what I know.
Florida makes me feel so alone, lost, and confused. I want my In and Out burger and to see a Los Angeles Kings game. I want to go hiking again (I’m still not over the fact that Florida has no mountains, I really should have done my research before moving here). I want my comfortable seventy degree weather, but unfortunately Florida has none of these things.
When Florida is just too much Florida for me to handle, I always end up at the beach. It’s the one place where I don’t feel so lost. Yes, even the beaches aren’t the same. The sand is finer and white. The ocean water is not the same numbing cold as it was back home, even the seagulls look different.
But the one thing that will always remain the same, is the crash of the waves. That sound grounds me. It pulls me towards clarity. I can breathe a little easier when the air is filled with salt. The beach calms me and takes me home. It also reminds me that if I can accept the changes of the beach; the sand, the water, the birds.. I can accept the differences that Florida has to offer me.
When I stand with my toes in the sand, eyes closed, just listening to the waves.. I realize that I have to stop fighting Florida. Will Florida ever be home? Probably not. But I can make the most of my time spent here. I can tour the old cities, go to Disney World, and maybe even try gator tail.
California will always be my heart and soul. My childhood is there along with my fondest memories. But If I stop fighting Florida I think we can become friends, maybe even friends with benefits. I can make new memories here, I can grow wiser and older here, and home will always be just a plane ticket away. Now quick before I change my mind, someone grab me the grits.