This is about something very personal to me as it has been weighing on my mind and technically in my heart for nearly two decades.
I'm sure this feeling is more common for people than one would think, but I've lived in New York state my whole life and I've never felt like I truly belong out here.
I didn't even realize this until I was 8 years old, the first time that I ever traveled to California. Or, more specifically, Los Angeles.
Several relatives of mine live there, and I have gone to visit a few times since then. Each time, waiting at the airport to come back, I have felt a deep depression come over me.
It has never been the usual "vacation is over, time to go home and back to reality," feeling, as I have felt that plenty of times when going on normal vacations here on the East Coast. Instead, I felt... empty.
It felt more like I was leaving my home, for good, to go elsewhere.
Don't get me wrong, I love my family that's here to death, but even being among them, I feel like I just don't exactly fit in.
I had always been different, considering I didn't do things "properly" and get a job after community college, I had even been unemployed for a couple of years, all while my sister and my cousins got their careers started in their early 20s.
I'm still not even on my feet, and they all (almost) are.
And then there are my friends.
I hate to say it, but I've mostly lost touch with all of them. Many are engaged or married and have kids, so they now have their married friends to hang with.
While it does hurt me, a part of me thinks it's just as well, because then there are fewer things that would keep me here in New York.
I don't necessarily believe in the whole "everything happens for a reason," but I do believe that circumstances like that can motivate us to make a huge leap.
I have gone out to California several times, and I always get this feeling overcoming me that I should be living out there. I've never really been truly happy here, even while I was at school.
I'm itching to take the plunge and move now that I am graduated, but I'm also realistic enough to know how risky that is if I don't even have a job interview or anything set up to make the transition easier.
But then again, you only live once, right?
What is it that The Beach Boys sing? "California callin', I'll be there right away."
I hear the call, and I hope to answer.