I didn’t expect to ever say the words California is starting to feel like home. But it does.
I like our little house. I have traded the occasional ant infestation and the even rarer roach sighting for the occasional spider (even in my car, WTF is with that). The walls are thin, causing much drama between Elanor and Rhiannon when one or both of them is trying to play music–I definitely miss the concrete walls of our home at the Aston.
I still miss Singapore’s weather. Our part of Northern California (or NorCal as it’s generally called) has very odd weather. You need a jacket first thing in the morning, but can wear shorts by lunch, but need that jacket or sweater again once the sun goes down. I miss the easy predictability of weather in Singapore–it will be super hot so wear shorts and a tank top with flip flops, and bring an umbrella just in case (when) it rains.
I miss that both our condos had pools. Granted, most pools here are heated or only open during the summer months of May-September/October (roughly). Our local Y (think community center with a gym, pool, basketball court, classes, and childcare) has an indoor pool that we occasionally go to, but it requires more effort than just going outside does.
I miss my friends. But I chat with them all the time on WhatsApp.
But apart from those things, we’re settling in, finally. Everyone is making friends. I even joined my school’s PTA (parent teacher association) Board for the next school year (the school year here is late August to early June). I have moms I can call and who can call me if someone is going to be late for pickup or to schedule playdates.
I love my car. Rather than pick the cheapest model we could rent, as in Singapore, I have leased a minivan that I picked out. It has features like Android Auto, which uses my phone to show Google Maps on the screen, and bluetooth. I can play my music, podcasts, audiobooks, or listen to satellite radio. My seats can be heated. I can flip down the third row to accomodate larger purchases like IKEA furniture rather than hire a service to bring it.
I’m getting to know my way around. I can find the school, the Little Gym, Target, two grocery stores, my physical therapist, and other locations without GPS. Landmarks are becoming familiar to me.
This is all part of the adjustment process, and I went through it in Singapore as well.
But I think one of the biggest things that affected how I feel about California is that we went to Singapore (a post for another day) in December and I was struck by how much it didn’t feel like home. I have had the same disjointed feelings in Boston, where the landmarks have changed and I no longer can easily navigate my way around. Which left me with the question of where is home?
California is starting to feel like home. I’m not there 100% yet, and I may never be there 100%. But I’m more than 50% of the way. And that’s good enough for now.