The Scamp at 300

Congratulations! You are reading my 300th post. I think that it is very fitting that number 300 comes on my last night as a resident of the United States. This is the day I thought would never come. This is the day I have been trying to get to for two long years. This is the day that makes the emotionally abusive relationship worth it, the bullying, abuse, and eventual expulsion form CSUF worth it, and all of the therapy very very worth it. In the year and some change that it took me to get from 200 to 300, I learned so much about not only myself, but the world around me.

I learned that I no longer fit in in California. That was a hard lesson for me to learn. I spent almost a year trying really really hard to like it here and be happy, when it just isn’t who I am anymore. I have had some times here, and will carry some great memories with me, but this is no longer home. It took me almost another year to come to terms with it, and realize that it is okay that I no longer fit here. I always say that I am a Flamingo in a flock of pigeons. I use to say it to make people laugh, but I always saw it as a bad thing. I thought I should want to be a pigeon. I should want to be just like everyone else.

That is the dumbest thing I have ever admitted to the public (there have been a lot of things I have done, said, or thought that are really dumb, but a girl has to have some secrets). It has taken me a long time, but I am learning to embrace my inner flamingo. When I am in Scotland I can be a flamingo, and since I don’t know of another bird that can do yoga, I am going to rock the shit out of being a flamingo. That includes wearing colorful yoga pants, finishing my sleeve of colorful tattoos, and rocking flowers in my hair.

I learned that sometimes life sucks. I know that I will never see justice for what happened to me at CSUF, but that is how the real world works. Sometimes bad things happen to (mostly) good people. I will have to pay back the $30,000 in loans, and I will have nothing to show for it. My mom told me that everyone has bought a lemon, or invested in something that has failed, and that CSUF is my lemon. Pretty much everyone knows what happened to me now, and it still makes me mad, but I have to trust that there is a lesson in that experience that I will be able to use one day. I’m not 100% certain what that lesson is yet, but I have faith that it will become clear someday. I learned a lot about how to play the political game, how to stand up for myself and what I believe in, and that if you do not stick to your values then they are just hobbies.

I learned the power of therapy. I’m pretty sure therapy saved my life. Had I not had that available to me for the last year, I do not know if I would have survived the CSUF experience. Thursday mornings were my coping. I spent a lot of time trying to work through what was happening to me, and work out ways to cope with how I was feeling. My depression would have gotten a lot worse, had I not made the decision to get some real help. That program broke me. I spent much of this last year crying and hiding under my covers hoping that the storm would crash. My therapist helped me get out of bed, helped me not become an actual racist, and helped me realize that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my character. I used to think that therapy was something that I needed to hide, like it was a dirty little secret, but I have to say, I feel like a much stronger person than I was two years ago, and I think a part of that is because therapy kept me out of the dark and twisty.

I learned that I am willing to fight for the friendships and connections that matter. I’ve kept in touch with most of the people I was in Scotland with, and I am now seeing the long list of people here that are worth the effort to keep in contact with. I also feel like I am about to meet a whole bunch of new people, and those are the people that I will keep around for a long long time. I’m always worried about making friends because I am not really good at being social, but I am no longer worried about that. I know that I will become that obnoxious person who introduces myself to people, and before I know it, I will have sweet-talked my way into a lord’s heart and will get the castle wedding and the title that everyone here wants me to have (ok, I will get a puppy, talk to him, and pretend that is being social).

Most importantly, I learned that sometimes you need a fresh start to really become who you are supposed to be. Scotland is my fresh start. I never would have made it there if I had not gone through all the shit of the last two years. Scotland is my chance to really grow and become the person that I want to be (and the scenery, history, and people don’t hurt either). In three short years I will be Dr. Scamp, and in five short years I will be a permanent resident of the UK.

Most people say that it is bad luck to say “goodbye”, and that you should say “see you later.” They say that “goodbye” is permanent. Well, today, I would like to say goodbye to my life here, and to the person that I was. Tomorrow I start fresh being the badass flamingo that I am.

“I was trying to feel some kind of good-bye. I mean I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don’t care if it’s a sad good-bye or a bad good-bye, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t you feel even worse.”
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Adventure here I come.

The Scamp and Her First Friend

In the next round of goodbyes, I was able to do a little day drinking with the very first friend I ever made. We met in kindergarten, and went all the way through high school together. Over the years we have had more of a casual contact with each other (thanks adulthood), but when David cheated on me, she was one of the first people to email my mom for my address, and she sent me all kinds of goodies and a really really great card. When I came back, she invited me out with her friends a few times, and although we hadn’t seen each other in a year, she made it a point to see me before I left again. We spent a good three and half hours catching up, and we didn’t have to try and force conversation about people we used to know. We still have quite a bit in common (she liked skydiving too!), and it was a really nice way to spend my last Monday in California. She again reminded me that I spend way too much time worrying about the people that aren’t there for me, and not enough time appreciating the people that are.

I forgot how much I enjoyed hanging out with her until we got together, and then I kicked myself for not being better at getting drinks or dinner, ore staying in contact more.

You can bet I will be better about it now. She’s one of the good ones, and we have 23 years of friendship and counting. I’ve already told her to come visit, and promised to flood her husband with pictures of Scotland so he will see the magic.

And, because I know she is a reader of this, and she will laugh at this as much as I did, here is a throwback circa the 90s when we were Girl Scouts….enjoy

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The Scamp and a Bon Voyage

Yesterday I made the second round of goodbyes. I invited friends and family to come hang out with me at a little brewery by my parent’s house. I honestly thought no one would show up. I’m not sure why, but I have a strong desire to be missed by the people here, and I had a feeling my piss poor attitude for the last two years put a damper on people who would be sad to see me go.

Boy was I wrong. 30 people came to see me off, and those that couldn’t make it called, texted, or made some time to see me in the next four days. I am truly humbled by all the love that I got. I keep telling everyone to come and visit, and I sincerely mean it. I hope they all get a chance at some point to come see me in natural habitat, super happy and thriving. In the meantime, I have all of their addresses, so I can send snarky postcards, hot kilted men with beards, shortbread cookies, and fine wool accessories. There is still time to get on the list, so anyone who wants on it, shoot me a message, and consider it done.

Here are a few snaps from the day. Please ignore my horribly sunburned neck. In an attempt to be the most tan person in Scotland, I got a little crispy.

My "little" cousin. He loves me....sometimes

My “little” cousin. He loves me….sometimes

This is my favorite picture of the day. My meow let me help build a tower.

This is my favorite picture of the day. My meow let me help build a tower.

Meow!

Meow!

I've known the Zavala family for a long time. I was honored that they came to see me off.

I’ve known the Zavala family for a long time. I was honored that they came to see me off.

My cousin Katy made the best card ever for me, and we even got Beans to smile

My cousin Katy made the best card ever for me, and we even got Beans to smile

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Sassy best friend

Sassy best friend

All my college buddies

All my college buddies

Poor Joe.  He has known us since we were 5

Poor Joe. He has known us since we were 5

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Even one of my favorite people from the CSUF program came. I may have squealed in delight when she walked up

Even one of my favorite people from the CSUF program came. I may have squealed in delight when she walked up