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⚑ Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz

When my OC lease was up, I grabbed a yoga mat and a pair of climbing shoes, loaded the rest of my things into a storage unit, and left my car at the long-term parking lot at SFO. I roamed between New York City, California and Pacific North West for over a year, with a few stops in Miami and Oahu. I experimented with co-living and briefly joined the Roam International team. In late 2019 I moved back to the ocean, unpacking my storage unit into a house in Santa Cruz.

That was the time of intense dreaming and writing, and I expected Santa Cruz to become my new home and the destination. I concluded one draft of this page with an upbeat closing paragraph with the words “the journey ends.” But it didn’t feel like an ending, and the words seemed undercooked and premature to me even after I tried to re-sentence them. Leaving this autobiographic essay unfinished and unpublished for another 2.5 years, I thought that perhaps the journey never ends, or maybe I haven’t reached the destination yet.

Shelter in place

I met March 2020 and the subsequent events of the global pandemic in Santa Cruz. My inner world rumbled, even though I thought that nothing could ever interfere with my practices and daily routines. My writing projects moved on hold. I dropped my fundraising activity for the air-quality non-profit I signed with only two months earlier. Now, there must be millions of personal stories about joining the “new normal” out there. And this wouldn’t become another one. With all the solitude I propelled through and the endless pondering with “the age of ambiguity.” I may have been prepared for covid more than many. After weeks of “sheltering in place,” I witnessed that the pandemic had brought many normies to my playground of esoterism. Still, it wasn’t helping me with visibility and didn’t improve my chances of prospering in the marketplace.

There were fewer reasons for me to pay for a fancy CA zip code on the lockdown. And when many of my American buddies chose to move to Milwaukee-s and Montanna-s, I didn’t have any family or friends to shelter with. I had a disturbing dream one night, and I wrote it down. I kept returning to the written, contemplating the insights and wondering what it meant to me. The idea seeded my mind and sprouted fast. That I am in the wrong place and that there should be a better one. End of Summer 2020, I left the U.S. and never came back. I now tell stories that California and New York City are the countries and that the USA is just an economy, a business model. And I humble myself that I will be writing stories instead of telling them one day.

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linked mentions for "Santa Cruz":
  1. journey

    overly personal autobio piece of six thousand words and no picture, this introspective project took years to complete, yet like a mythical journey, it's unfinished

  2. Chao Mama

    I flew to Moscow and thought it would just be a couple of months to renew my passport and get a couple of visas. I spent almost a year there,

  3. The Orange County

    My rational life came to a complete stop that summer. To the degree that I ended up moving to the most absurd place in California, maybe in the