Wednesday, April 22, 2015

the kids were young and pretty


brunch at Blackwood // San Francisco, CA | brunch at Baker Street Bistro // San Francisco, CA |
brunch La Note // Berkeley, CA | waffles at Plentea // San Francisco, CA
I have a bit of a brunch problem. 

I'm actually quite proud of the number of times last month I managed to drag my friends and my boyfriend out their of beds at the crack of dawn (okay, more like 9AM, but we're sleep-deprived college students so 9 is basically the same thing as the crack of dawn) to come eat weekend brunch with me all across the Bay Area. I like to think of it as an education in culture; after all, I did eat everything from authentic dim sum in Chinatown in Oakland, trendy Thai/American fusion food in the Marina district in SF, and on the mornings when we really didn't want to leave Berkeley, Provençal breakfast at my favorite French restaurant downtown. 

I've gotten into this bad habit of getting breakfast on the run to class during the weekday now because I don't have the time (or effort) to spare to even make toast these days. In hindsight, it's actually amazing to me that I used to get up before 8 every morning last semester and had time to review Greek verb paradigms, make myself tea and something to eat, and still manage to get to work on time by 9. Even though I've long given up on forcing myself to productively study before work/class, I still need to have some sort of semblance of a meal (even if it's just a latte and cranberry scone from Caffe Strada, aka what I got this morning on my way to class) to convince myself that I still have my life in order even when April is the cruelest month and I'm so close to the end of another semester.

Whenever I think back to how productive and efficient I was last semester I realize overworking myself was my way to cope with how useless I felt. I wrote a lot more, I studied a lot more, I worked a lot more, but I did all that because I needed to fill some empty void left by the loneliness that set by the end of summer and didn't go away until almost the end of fall semester. I am genuinely, stupidly happy almost all the time now, and with that happiness comes a greater sense of responsibility to take care of myself, even if that means that I can’t keep up last semester’s habits (getting up at 4am to drill Greek, taking on too many extracurricular jobs/positions/projects to ensure I could fall asleep exhausted both mentally and physically, trying to eat only one non-breakfast meal a day to save money...the list goes on).



Golden Gate Bridge | Palace of Fine Arts | Legion of Honor
One incredibly overwrought line that's always lingered in the back of my mind is what Sam says in The Perks of Being A Wallflower: "we accept the love we think we deserve." I only mention this in practically everything I ever write but the discourse of my life since quitting debate has been about trying to figure out how to deserve love again. I've had my life handed to me on a silver platter for as long as I can remember, and it culminated in studying abroad in London last summer: what did I ever do to deserve those precious six weeks? I was haunted by how much of a fairytale my life had been across the pond with those elderberry iced tea and art museum afternoons and midnight photoshoots at Buckingham Palace on hot summer nights in mid-July. The guilt was too much: I couldn't accept it because I didn't earn it, so I worked and faked it until I eventually did make it to happiness again after all. 

It's easier talking about the emptiness I felt last fall because it feels like so long ago now. There's something to be said about how pretty you can make sadness and nostalgia sound: I have the words to remember how bad those days were when I wished I knew how to be vulnerable so that the choking feeling of sobs lodged behind the base of my throat didn't linger for weeks on end; I remember how much I wanted to cry (but couldn’t) that one afternoon when I went to the supermarket by myself to buy coffee creamer, or how much I still wanted to cry when I finally got home and brewed my first pot, practically inhaling all four cups in immediate succession of the vanilla-sweetened medium roast. 

"All [of] your writing is so sad," I was told a few weeks ago but I think that's because I haven't figured out how to write about happiness in a way that feels genuine quite yet. This post is a month late not necessarily because I didn't have the time to write (although that too) but also because my words don't do justice to all those moments I haven't been able to stop smiling for the last few months. I laughed more than I ever remembered this spring break as I wandered the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley. Take me back to the afternoons spent walking through Presidio and across the Golden Gate Bridge; take me back to hiding in dark movie theaters from the still heat and falling asleep on a bench in the porcelain exhibit at Legion of Honor; take me back to ice cream sundaes at Fentons Creamery and fish and chips at the marina when we missed the bus stop for souffle pancakes at Bette's Oceanside Diner. 



We ♥ Fentons Creamery
As my fourth semester of college is coming to an end I can't help but want to make the most out of my remaining two years in California before I go off into some great unknown. I made up my mind before I even moved here that I probably wouldn't stay here for long after graduation because I'm young and restless and have too much wanderlust to be satisfied with settling into the comfortable contentment of familiarity just yet. 

Then again, who knows where I'll be in two years from now? I started this blog a little over two years ago when I still hadn't committed to a university yet, but I'm so grateful for the opportunities and adventures I've had since then. 

xoxo, vivian

1 comment:

  1. "I made up my mind before I even moved here that I probably wouldn't stay here for long after graduation because I'm young and restless and have too much wanderlust to be satisfied with settling into the comfortable contentment of familiarity just yet. "
    "There's something to be said about how pretty you can make sadness and nostalgia sound."
    I had to write both of these down! They're such beautiful quotes that are so true. I don't want to settle in life.. I want to travel the world & experience life.
    Looking back at happier times.. thinking of those nostalgic moments...they all sound so pretty-the best way to put it!
    roseylittleme.blogspot.com

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