I am officially a resident of Fresno, CA, and coming back to the West Coast has been quite surreal. Sometimes I feel like I am just on vacation. That could be due to the amazing weather, living in an apartment and not having to worry about fixing my own sink or mowing my lawn, and not having a definite routine or schedule. At first, this was wonderful. All of a sudden, Mgo and I were busy going out to dinner with friends, making random froyo stops, going to Farmer’s Markets and buying cheap, fresh produce from local farms, driving around and taking pictures of the orchards and the cows, going swimming at the pool in our apartment complex, getting jamba juice every day for lunch, and spending our afternoons unpacking boxes and decorating our new place. It was a glorious three weeks.
Then, before we knew it, it was July 1st, and Mgo began working. All of a sudden, I’d wake up and the coffee was not ready, the blinds in the den were still shut, and I was alone. It had been months since Mgo worked away from home. Since January, to be exact. Talk about a wake up call. Life has been long morning coffee sessions on the couch, afternoons at the beach, reading until we were hungry for dinner, and four hours of movie watching after dinner. Knowing that Mgo is hard at work in his new office makes me realize that I need to slowly pull out of this phase in our lives. I’m not going to lie. It was quite wonderful. I enjoyed it very much. However, it’s time to start a new phase.
I just received my Master’s in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing. Yes. It’s a mouthful. For now, I’m done with school. So I guess the most sensible thing to do is to put what I’ve been studying for the past seven years to work. Some people call it income. I am now in the process of sending my Curriculum Vitae and my resume to different job postings. Ultimately, I want to teach Composition and Literature courses at community colleges, but until an opportunity opens up, I am stuck. At first, stuck sucked. But I’ve slowly realized that stuck is great.
Here are some things I’ve learned about Fresno. Anyone who does not live in Fresno hates Fresno. Interesting, no? When I told my friends in Los Angeles that we’d be moving here, their reactions were less than enthusiastic. There was a lot of “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry,” and “Um, what’s in Fresno?” For one thing, Fresno is much more developed than what people outside of Fresno think. But it is very quiet here. As you drive through Fresno, in the midst of residential and commercial areas, you suddenly come upon an orchard, a vineyard, or a large group of cows, horses, or sheep. I even saw a donkey once. Then there are vast flatlands that go as far as the Sierra Mountains. Space. There’s lots of it here.
There is a whole lot of nothing in Fresno. And by nothing, I mean large commercialized areas and a real city. But I’ve realized that I am very comfortable with that. As a writer, I feel as though the vastness, the openness is MY space. There’s just more room here to think. It’s like I can finally stretch out my legs, and get comfortable with my creativity. Like I can run with it as far as I please, without running into a distraction. I am brimming with experience. With things my writing soul wants to purge so that my mind doesn’t explode.
And looking around, I think there’s plenty of room for that most needed creative output. Here’s to having a routine again. A new phase. Strictly literary.