Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Last month I went home to San Diego for the first time in over a year. While it was because of unforeseen circumstances that pulled be back to sunny Southern California, I had been hitting that mark where after being abroad for long enough you do start to miss your family and friends.

I love Japan, and I loved Thailand just as much, if not maybe more, but after returning home I realized that nothing can ever replace what San Diego means to me.

It's not just a city, it's home.

I've been avoiding writing about it because I haven't known how to put words to the way I'm feeling. I long for the place where I know everything and everyone and I have managed to somehow build friendships with the most amazing people in that city. My heart pulls for the city where my family lives and the street names are familiar and where my room feels like, well, mine.

But at the same time I push away from a return date, because I can't seem to quiet the voice that tells me I don't fit there anymore. That even if I returned and everyone was there and everything was the same, the matter of the fact is that I am not. I don't have a place at home, and none of my dreams or goals begin in that city.  As badly as I want to go back, in a matter of months, maybe even weeks, I would be plotting my next destination.

Laying in bed at night figuring out how to save enough for just one more plane ticket out.

Proud Owner

Monday morning my three year old student rushed into the classroom waving what appeared to be the gift of a lifetime. It was a pair of underwear, with the bum covered in pictures of the most recent popular super heroes in Japan.

The pair of undies were still held together by the original packaging, which he had chosen to leave in place. He was so happy to own them, he wasn't ready to actually wear them. First, he had to bring them to school and show all his friends. Which he did. All day long.

To say that the underwear were shoved in my face at least ten times while the student shouted, "Allie Sensei, Mi Te!" (Miss. Allie, look!), would be a huge understatement. Each time he waved them in front of me I reacted with the enthusiasm I imagined he was hoping for, but he kept coming back. Either he was making sure I hadn't forgotten his newest wardrobe addition, or he was hoping to make me jealous. 

Throughout the day he ran from classroom to classroom showing off his favorite new possession. He wanted to make sure everyone knew how special they were to him. I didn't stop him or ask him to put them away, because I figured at his age things like new undies really are special, and being able to show them to your friends and tell the story of how they came into your life is actually kind of a big deal.

While it was hilarious to say the least, it also left me leaving work with a huge smile on my face. It's days like those where I realize how simple and happy life can be. 

Sometimes all it takes is a new pair of actions figure underwear to truly make your day.