These past three and a half months flew by. I can't believe how little I blogged while so many exciting things happened in my life. I got engaged and wedding planning took up most of my time. Then the best thing happened when Lance and I got married. Then shortly after (i.e. five days later), I moved to Birmingham. Now here I am, happy as a clam! I want to share all these wonderful moments on my blog, but it'll have to be out of order. I want to share my transition to Birmingham first because it's been weighing heavily on my heart these past few months.
When I moved to Birmingham, I knew needed to adjust to a new culture, but I wasn’t too worried. I knew my diverse group of friends, including some very awesome southerners, and traveling would help me settle in. Not to mention that I had Lance; he is a great sort of interpreter of southern culture. While I occasionally slip up and refer to California as home, I do whole-heartedly feel at home here.
So when people can’t believe I’m already acclimated it makes me laugh. In many aspects of life, Alabama is vastly different from California. I'm not blind to that. Sometimes I really feel the depth of racial ignorance in people here. Sometimes I wish Asian foods weren’t so expensive. Sometimes I wish I could be surrounded by hipster people. Sometimes I get excited when I see minorities. Those are all to be expected. But what I’m saying is that I’m not falling apart. I’m not shell-shocked. I’m not overwhelmed. This wasn't a culture-shock. For some reason I noticed people can't accept that I'm settled in and love my life here. They'll add in "well, you'll see" or "not yet", as if they're waiting for me to fall apart because of some secret awfulness in Birmingham that I haven't discovered yet. But I'd like to tell them I know what I lost when I left California, but I also know what I gained by living here.
When you switch your focus from what’s missing to what’s present, it really can tip the scale to how you adjust to any given situation. And that’s what my mindset is here. Instead of wallowing in these changes and the differences between California and Alabama, I embrace it. I miss my family, but I relish in seeing pictures of them and talking to them on the phone. I miss the ocean, but I love all the hiking out here. There’s so much about Birmingham that I already love. I love how there’s trees everywhere. I’m starting to find my own little tribe of likeminded friends. And I’m even finding coffee shops that I absolutely love. And really, when you’ve been to places like Haiti or China, you realize that California and Alabama aren’t that different.
So to end my little PSA…. I love Birmingham and am very happy to be living life here with Lance. Life is great.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. December 30, 2014 | Fuji x100s