The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 27 and 28

Greetings from California.

Yep. I’m currently sitting on my mom’s couch in California. I’ve been here for a few days. I was too embarrassed to admit it sooner. I got bent over a table by the UK visa process, and the only way to get the visa was to return to my country of birth and go through the application process….again.

The process should be well in hand now, but I cannot help but keep thinking that something else is going to go wrong, and my life is going to be further delayed by my bad luck. I’ve been working while I am here, but I feel like I am still in limbo, and I feel like there is a huge disconnect between me and my job right now.

Because of that, feelings of gratitude are hard to come by at this moment. I feel like I say that each time I write one of these posts. Week 27 is all about my favorite spot in the city. Right now, my favorite place is the pool at my parent’s house. I’ve been hiding out there during the day trying to get some sun and fresh air.

2014-08-22 22.33.53If I get to the pool at just the right time of the day then it is quiet and empty. I can get some good reading in, or swim a few laps and remind myself how badly out of shape I have gotten since I gave up my days as a swimmer. Even when I get to the pool at the wrong time and it is full of screaming kids, obnoxious teenagers, or other quite people, I still like to be there. We have lived here for a long long time. I have some great memories of this pool. We used to have all our friends over at the end of the year for swim parties, and when we still had our cat, Socks, he dug a hole under the fence and used to come into the pool area with us and sit under my mom’s lounge chair while we swam. After awhile, everyone who used the pool knew who he was.

At home, my favorite place is Victoria Street. It is a little street that connects Grassmarket, a ritzy tourist area with the Royal Mile. It was one of the first streets I was ever on in Scotland, and offered my connection to the city. It has great painted storefronts, and I bought a dress on there that remains one of my favorites. There is even a small pub called the Bow Bar that boasts over 100 different types of Scotch.


I am looking forward to getting back to Scotland and finally settling down in my new place, so I can pick a new favorite spot in the city. I’m excited to wander around and see what I can find living near the shore. All I need now is for the British government to recognize that I am no threat to their country, and I can get on with my new life.

This little detour will not dampen my spirits anymore than it already has.

The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 6

The city that I live in.

La Habra, California is a city with more Pitbulls than people and a liquor store on every corner. When I came back almost two years ago, it was the first time I had lived here in almost ten years. The city covers 3.376 square miles and has a little over 60,000 people. It is in the Northwestern corner of Orange County, which means I can pretend I’m Orange County cool without being Orange County ditsy.

It is hard for me to be grateful about the city that I live in since I have been trying to get out of it since I was 18 years old. Don’t get me wrong, there are way worse places to live, and La Habra did provide me with an education that was good enough to get me to a good college. The city provided me with my first job shelving books, but most of the people who live here grew up here, they work here, and they will die here….and they are perfectly okay with that.

I feel like a caged bird here. I am a flamingo in a flock of pigeons here.

While that seems to go against showing my gratitude for the city, I am in fact grateful. If it was not for the caged feeling that this city gives me, I would never have gone away to college, never moved to San Diego, and never ended up in Scotland.

Everything for me always comes back to Scotland. Scotland is the one place that I could see myself living for more than 3 years, and the one place that I really felt at home. I might never have gotten to Scotland had it not been for La Habra. My wanderlust has taken me far outside of the city limits, and has exposed me to so many great places and so many great people. I am grateful for La Habra for showing me the type of life I want to lead, and the type of place I want to live, and for being full of students that I can help with grammar and writing until I can get back there .