Suburban life

Here’s a short, quick update on what I’ve been up to in the past week.

I moved out of Berkeley. The physical process of moving is not fun, though I was lucky enough to have my wonderful family and wonderful boyfriend bear most of the physical brunt of it. (My wrists would die if I tried to move all my stuff alone, anyway.) Emotionally and intellectually, moving was hard, too. Berkeley is the place in which I first really came into myself as a person, a resident of the universe and a citizen of a very peculiar society (no, America, not Berkeley!), and I truly think of it as my alma mater. I agree with Jennifer that it is incredibly hard to look at Berkeley now and feel like I’m now a visitor, an impostor, not a resident. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from the past few years, it is that change is good, even vital, and I’m coming to embrace it.

Being home, though, provokes ambivalence. It’s great but it’s not, and I sense there will continue to be frustrations, perhaps some that I will never be rid of. But I am pretty sure the worst of it will iron itself out in the upcoming months. After all, I’ve only been home now for four full days, and my sense of serenity only increases with each new day. Still, it’s a big adjustment. So is work. I’m working full time at the startup of a former employer of my dad’s. It’s a small company and everyone is friendly, though I definitely feel like an outsider. But it’s not bad by any means. I had less than a weekend to recuperate from moving before I started work, but I must have gained something from all the change and tumult of my past year, because I have experienced no stress, anxiety or extreme fatigue since I started two days ago. And yes, this is a break from the past. It’s funny, because it’s like being in a foreign country: a workplace, a startup, in the company of engineers, at a place that makes therapeutic medical devices. I’m surrounded by unfamiliar language and territory. And yet I feel pretty much at home in what I do, and a lot of my tasks demonstrate a striking continuity with what I’ve done in college: I spend most of my time proofreading, or conducting literature searches in online databases, sorting through articles, printing them out, reading them, etc. The basics of writing and of research legwork hold me in good stead, even if I have to deal with words like uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (also known as UPPP)! As Sheila, one of my coworkers, said: even if I have little or no idea what I’m reading, grammar is still grammar. And thank goodness.

That’s it, in a nutshell. There’s a lot more I could say–about how little personal time full-time work leaves you, about how my relationship to food and eating changes when I’m getting less exercise, about what a beautiful work David Mas Masumoto’s Epitaph for a Peach is–but I really don’t have so much time. At the moment I’m going to go pour myself another cup of Far Leaves‘s Chai for Life with milk and sugar, and start unpacking yet another one of my boxes.

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at]