Santa Barbara, CA


June 14, 2019

Driving North along the Pacific Highway I feel defeated and upset. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I could do what I’ve done, I’ve seen precious places I always thought I would never see, and most of all I added an amazing experience and stories I can tell to whomever wants me to tell them. I keep on feeling nothing whenever someone gets surprised and asks: you did this alone? You’re such a brave woman. I am not. It’s just who I am. Courage has nothing to do with what I’ve done and what I’m doing. I believe that, when you have nothing left to lose, whatever you do is just fine. You couldn’t have done otherwise, so what’s the big deal? But then this is just because in this very moment this is how I feel. An hour from now I may be staring at myself at a restroom’s mirror in a remote gas station in Southern California, thinking: you did it. You road tripped with poor Sienna falling into pieces but you did it, and now you’re back.

I am back. Back to square one, and I can automatically feel the weight of the world dragging me down again. What’s the next step now? Where did my freedom go? I need to sit and listen to what the ocean has to say. Before reaching Los Angeles, I stop at Dana Point and let the waves calm me down for a couple of minutes on a gloomy morning. I let my mind go and I can hear the ocean speak. He said “just be patient you’ll make it through. It has all be given to you because you can handle it, you only have to hang in there and wait.” I told him I am tired of waiting. I told him I can’t take it anymore and I told him I want to go home. He said “this is home now, you’ll see”. I wasn’t talking about home in Italy. He wasn’t talking about home in California. We understood each other so perfectly. And I kept going.

I wasn’t ready to drive through my beloved city. I took an alternate route and went all the way North to Calabasas where a friend lives with her family. I’ll stay with them for just a few days before seeing LeoBear again. I’ll take care of the pup for a little while again, and hopefully my mind will go back to be working properly. I need that consistency I tried to build up during the Spring and during my boxing challenge, and now I kind of miss it.

On Sunday we drive up to Santa Barbara. Of course I take the chance to visit some more of this beautiful California, and I can’t miss the opportunity to see my Pacific whenever I can. Santa Barbara is a small town compared to what I was expecting. A typical beach town with the pier, but if you look around, what you can see is more than pretty. Mountains surround you from the South, East and North, while your West wing opens up to the ocean. And it’s magical. The only flaw is seeing those offshore oil drilling platforms in the distance, but there’s nothing I can really do about it so I’ll pretend I didn’t see, and enjoy the rest.

I’m afraid of what is expecting me in a month or so. I know I am cherishing my aloneness more than anything, despite those few moments I wish I could share with someone else. Traveling alone has solidified even more my independence and my “relative” freedom, so anything that crosses my boundaries makes me feel uncomfortable, as if I’m trapped in a cage. All I can do is just wait. Always. Wait. Patiently. Until I’m free and alone again. But until then, how do I cope with the “in between”?