I once lived in Ocean Beach way back in 2003, and not once did I ever make it to this jewel of a place, strewn with tide pools, sea life, and secret caves. I had a group of friends from my ship that lived in the same area, and hanging out with them- if I wasn't hanging out by myself, which I like to do fairly often, if you didn't already notice- pretty much took up most of my free time. Every once in a while I would associate with my neighbors. I don't remember their faces or names, but I do remember that they came from all sorts of backgrounds, and I'm pretty sure I often caught the scent of pot drifting from some of their windows. My studio apartment was probably no more than 300 square feet: I had a small kitchen with an eat-in area, a small living room, a bedroom that fit a full sized bed with room to walk around all sides, a closet, and a tiny bathroom. It was tiny house living at it's finest, and I lived a few blocks from the beach. I was living the dream.
My last memory here was going on a bar crawl with my good friend Brian. I remember starting at the Sunshine Bar and then finishing off at some place that sold these giant delicious burritos. I remember how carefree and free-spirited I was. I didn't have any real ties or responsibilities other than a car payment- oh and student debt with no degree yet to show for it. But that was pretty much about it.
Then here I am again more than a decade later with much more to show for myself. I even have a husband. He's kind of neat and I like him. I like him enough to wake up next to him almost every waking day that I am lucky enough to be home and listen to his hilarious jokes. I also like myself enough to not weigh myself down with any of the trivial b.s. that I put up with at that time and age because I was too naive to know any better. The weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders over these years has been tremendous. And now all I do is dream of adventure and make sure that I live that dream as many days as I can. After all, I don't know when I will breathe my last breath, and I'm pretty sure that we thought the world would end in 2000.
Obviously, it didn't: the world is more alive and beautiful than ever.