What It Feels Like To Miss California
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What It Feels Like To Miss California

Even when I don’t miss California, I still do.

What It Feels Like To Miss California
Shannon Steffen

Even when I don’t miss California, I still do. When you have known and experienced what it is like to live in the Golden State, it doesn’t seem right to not be there for an extended amount of time. I tell myself that I want to travel and experience living in other places of the country post-college graduation, but here I am, over two years into college, day-dreaming about the San Francisco Bay Area on a regular basis.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being at school up in Washington. I have found a home in Pullman and met people I will know forever. But when I am here and I wake up to pouring rain out my window, I find myself thinking about how beautiful the city fog is. I can picture myself driving across the Bay Bridge and exiting the East Bay sun to the cool, breezy fog of San Francisco. I dream about the comfort of laying on a blanket in the sand of Half Moon Bay and covered by a coat of fog that seems to be there more days than it isn’t. I can feel the wind running its long fingers through my hair as Dad and I ride the ferry across the choppy water of the bay that has turned gray from the clouds overhead.

Being away from California, I get a surge of energy and my heart gets warm every time I see someone on campus or around town wearing a Warriors jersey or a Giants hat. I can instantly know what it feels like to watch those games back home surrounded by a group of friends I have known my entire life. I can hear my friend talk about how perfect Ayesha Curry is while the other recounts the time we got lost on our way to the Oakland Coliseum for an A’s game. I can see us dancing on the jumbotron after we begged and pleaded to get our fives seconds of fame while the tourists laughed at our behavior from behind us.

As I listen to a country music playlist while writing this, I know the exact feeling of summer days driving around our familiar town with my friends grabbing frozen yogurt before a night of hot tubbing under the stars. Listening to country music, I think of how much I love when my dad turns on the speakers throughout the house and we go about our days with the sunlight pouring in and Johnny Cash singing in the background. Later that night, we would be out by a homemade bonfire and we would have to turn the speakers down a little to not disturb the neighbors.

When we have three-day weekends for holidays like Labor Day, it's hard knowing there will be a barbecue in our backyard that I won't make it to. I can picture all the family that is in town and the close friends that we consider family at this point coming with appetizers and smiles. I can see my mom pulling out the table cloths and setting up the outdoor patios for a night of candle-lit dinners and laughs. I can hear the cheering going on inside the house while all the men watch the most recent boxing match, that ultimately will end up in a couple boxing matches of their own.

Missing California is missing the freedom of being able to drive in whatever direction and end up somewhere beautiful. It is missing the smell of the Tahoe mountains as much as you miss the smell of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. It is missing the sunny days floating around in the pool and the warm nights on lacrosse fields cheering on your younger sibling. It is missing sleeping with the windows open and getting fresh flowers at the local farmer's market.

While I am always thinking about my home in California and all the people there when I am not, I find comfort in knowing they are sleeping under the roof I have always felt safe, in the town I have always loved, and the state that will always be my favorite.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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