Monday, August 19, 2013

Today is the first day in a long time that it's felt like Fall in California. It's still hot -- even a little bit humid from the monsoons -- but the wind and clouds are reminding me of all the things that make me feel happy, home, and safe.

I got my old job back. Part-time. Very part-time. I started this morning. I woke up at 6, showered, left just as the sun was rising and it was still cool enough to roll my windows down. That's when I noticed the breeze and the cotton candy clouds. There's something about the beginning of a new school year that feels so awkward, exciting, and chaotic. I don't miss school, but I miss that controlled feeling.

The kids I used to watch go to two different schools now -- one being junior high. My junior high. He was wearing his gray hoodie and his skinny Levi's with headphones resting on his neck. His baby teeth are long gone now, replaced by slightly skewed adult teeth. His voice was squeaky, sweet, and happy. As soon as he got out of my car, the youngest girl climbed into the front seat. I told him I'd see him tomorrow, and we drove off. I was hit with a sudden whiplash of nostalgia when I flashed on all of the transformation I went through on those school grounds. Not just physically. Those were the concrete slabs where I truly left childhood behind and began that arduous trip of -- honestly? -- trying to get back there again. I always felt good in my own skin. Until junior high. When I felt like I had to be something else. Which continued on well into college. Where I eventually found that person I used to be. And wished I could have stayed a kid.

The leaves are still green, but the wind is here to remind me that things are changing again. I feel good with my old job. Everything is familiar and warm. I feel better. I know it's a temporary reprieve, but I'll take it.