Saturday, March 15, 2014

But hey, lets start from the beginning....

Mid-March of 2013 I finished my last class of at UCR. I spent the next few months working odd jobs like being a baby photographer or tutoring kids while I waited for the ceremony to roll around.

Somewhere along the way one of my oldest friends and I planned a trip to the Grand Canyon. It's funny, the plan was to do it on a whim. Planning to do something on a whim sounds kind of funny, doesn't it? Anyway, one of our other friends kind of laughed in our faces and wanted to one-up us; he said instead we should all go to Yosemite for a hiking trip and if we had time on the way back go to the Grand Canyon.

We're all a pretty laid-back, adventurous sort so we didn't really care. We were in good company and knew it was going to be one hell of a time.

Little did I know how much good would come out of it...

We spent two nights camped out with beautiful sequoias and ponderosa pines surrounding us. The weather was absolutely perfect, it being a beautifully sunny yet crisp few days and all. We spent our days exploring the Yosemite Valley wilderness that was available to us, we were in complete awe for the duration of our stay.

For the first two days there were arguments among us about doing The Mist Trail which goes all the way to the top of Half Dome, which is the standard for what most people imagine when they think of Yosemite. The argument was, well, the hike was 14 miles round trip. Besides the friend suggesting this hike, we weren't really much hikers and the idea of doing 14 miles seemed mind-boggingly impossible. Luckily, there was this older couple sharing a space with us that told us it wasn't as bad as we were making it out to be and just do it. So we did it. Well, a portion of it...

We did about 9 miles round trip, it is known to be a steep hike and going up and up and up is exhausting when you're going for 4.5 miles. It was exhausting but man oh man, was it fulfilling. It took us a few hours, maybe half the day. We were goofing off, taking our time, appreciating the natural beauty around us and cooling our feet on the cold granite alongside the river.

On the way back down we were so exhausted and starving that we decided to treat ourselves with pizza and beer. Well earned, amirite? We ended up at the Curry Village Pizzeria, had our pizza and some Blue Moons when we started chatting with the bartender, Genny. I made some comment to Genny about how awesome it must be to live in the park and work there when she tells me, "It's only $16 a week for housing, you should try it!"

Do you see where I'm going with this? Once the idea was planted, I was kind of determined. I had just graduated, gotten out of a bad relationship, working crappy dead-end jobs... this was going to be my saving grace, but I wasn't going to tell anyone. There was just no way that I was going to hype up getting a job in Yosemite just to end up not getting it, I had to save face.

So I did. I spent a month going through phone interviews and waiting to hear back. Then one day I did the final interview with my soon-to-be manager. I spoke with Leila about my hiking trip and graduation and just about how much I wanted to be there. "You know, a lot of people come out here to drink and end up calling off when they're hungover..." she tried to dissuade me while I replied with a hearty laugh as I explained, "I just finished with college, I'm not going out there for the drink." Ha! I don't want to say that was a bold-faced lie, I meant it with every inch of my entire being. I just didn't realize it at the time that these people would show me a thing or two about how to drink properly.

But I digress. Leila and I completed the final interview with her saying that she had to do three more interviews and she'd call me back but that I was definitely a forerunner. I hung up excited and told my mom because moms don't count when you're keeping things from your close friends. Not an hour later I receive the call offering me the position and as we worked out the details of when I was expected to arrive the anticipation grew so to the point that when I hung up I screamed and jumped for joy and hugged my tiny little mother so very tightly and she laughed with me in excitement as she saw her youngest daughter with tears in her eyes and oh so very happy.

I'm not going to lie, leaving home was hard and heartbreaking. The last two weeks spent with my best friends was nothing short of sweet, with all of us laughing and joking; refusing to acknowledge that I was leaving until the day itself came in which we all crumpled into a heap of tears and hugging arms only to emerge not a minute later into abrupt, hysterical laughter.

I walked into my house with my tear-stained cheeks to which my mom, still so happy for me, just saw me and smiled her motherly smile knowing full well how hard leaving home for me would be.

I didn't know it just yet but I think in my gut I knew that once I left, I wouldn't be coming back home. At least not permanently and not for a long while.


Eatlovemerry said...

I love your photos! :)

Ed VALArEZO said...

Keeeeeeep wriiiting!!!

Ed VALArEZO said...

Keeeeeeep wriiiting!!!

Marxela said...

Thanks Ed! I will, I will. :)


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