What I Learned From My California Vacation

Sometimes vacations can be a lot of fun. Sometimes, they feel way too short. But for my California vacation, it seemed like I learned a lot about myself, things I never realized before. It wasn’t some big spiritual epiphany like in Eat, Pray, Love, but a lot of little things.

The first thing I learned is that although I liked getting dressed up for my cousin’s big 18th birthday party, I felt like I was wearing a costume. I hated having fake nails and while the dress I wore was beautiful, it was not easy to dance in. Also, I’m pretty sure my big toe is still hurting from wearing platform sandals all night. Sometimes, you have to play around with the idea of being something you’re not in order to figure out what kind of person you are.

The second thing I learned was that the best times I had during the vacation were whenever I was having a low-key element of fun. Singing karaoke, line dancing, or just having dinner with friends, I loved it all. But the most fun I had was whenever I went off on my own to have adventures. I learned that when it comes to being alone, there are good times and bad times, but sometimes, you can be your own best friend.

The third thing I learned was that I had a lot of emotional healing to do. The one thing I was afraid of when I went back to Los Angeles was running into people I didn’t want to see. Thankfully, I didn’t. But I don’t want the people who’ve hurt me in the past to have this power over me anymore. In the past few weeks, I found ways to forgive them. The pain won’t go away overnight, but I’m getting there and getting better.

The last thing I learned while I was in California was that I found that I can really write. The trip ended at the same time that the Writer’s Digest Poem A Day Challenge ended, so I spent my last day of vacation reflecting on the fact that I wrote 30+ poems in a single month. I also left California with an idea for a new character and a better plot outline for my novel. Although I’m nowhere close to publishing anything, I feel like I’m a better writer now than when I lived in California all those years ago.

So now I’m spending my time perfecting my writing. What’s next for me? You’ll find out this summer.

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