I remember that first drive from my home in Salt Lake City, Utah to California. we drove to Newport Beach, where my dad’s friend owned a hotel. it was a long drive, and my brother, sister and I constantly switched between sitting and snacking in the middle seats and sleeping in the back. my parents were still married then, still happy together, and I don’t remember crossing the border from Utah to Nevada, to California. it all just happened, and we spent a week on the beach. my mother taught me to build a drip castle, and I was so excited. my dad taught me not to be afraid of the dark spots in the ocean – they’re not sharks, you see, it’s just reef.
we took several trips out to California, the rest without my mom. sometimes we drove, but as the years went on we started to fly. and then we stopped going all together. it wasn’t until I was eighteen years old that I crossed that border again. and this time, it wasn’t the same.
I drove away from my life with my mom and sister, thirteen hours of open road ahead of us in a car packed to the brim with books, clothes, random decorations I couldn’t leave behind and my bike. I’ve always wished I was as dedicated a biker as my mom. there was one time in sixth grade I road the marathon course with her – and I was so proud of myself. mostly because I felt like I was just being like her. but that’s beside the point.
the border between Utah and Nevada, Nevada and California, it felt different this time. it wasn’t just a sign we passed that I barely opened my eyes enough to pay attention to. it was a step into a new life, a new me. with each mile we drove, I felt farther from pain, and closer to peace. and the best part was having my mom and sister by my side. by the time we reached San Diego, I had cried out all I could, and laughed out all I needed, and I finally felt that there was a difference in my life.
borders aren’t meant to hold you back. they’re meant to be crossed, to be pushed and to be explored. I wouldn’t be where I am today without crossing that border. I wouldn’t be who I am today without pushing my own. I wouldn’t know what I want to do today without exploring the many borders around me. if you take one thing from this post, take this: don’t let a border hold you back. explore, live, create. and don’t forget to love every minute of it.