Girls Write Out
Friday, May 28, 2010

Loving the Familiar...

There are few things I love as much as where I live. I feel excited to be in the Bay Area. I grew up here, left for three awful years and came back. I'm not big on change actually. Luckily, for me and my growth pattern, the Bay Area has changed around me, so I didn't need to go anywhere.

When I first got married, I lived in East Palo Alto, which at the time was the murder capital of the country. Fun! But it was a great place to live! It was a black community, right on the Baylands, so you could run, bike, be in the wild in two minutes. Granted, you had to get through the crack-infested blocks to get there, but it was right in your backyard. Honestly, even with the gunshots at night, I felt very safe there. You learn the lay of the land, you stay away from gang areas, you're good. Unless your time is up, then you're just done. We moved to have kids though. Schools are terrible there.

Then, I moved to white man's world (Mountain View) and it was about as yuppy as you could get -- as was my neighborhood. I didn't fare as well there. I did not make a good Desperate Housewife.

Then, I moved to Saratoga, which is mostly Chinese. Okay, I LOVE that culture. The Chinese are like Italians. They fight loudly and publicly and they tell it like it is. So if your hair's a mess? They ask why. I love that. I did well there.

Now, I'm in Cupertino and a mostly Indian culture. This has taken me awhile to adjust to. Most of them are Vegetarians and truthfully, I see no point in avoiding a steak. The sidewalks are PACKED here. I mean, like Manhattan-packed and you have to ride your bike and use the bike lane if you want to move along. The other issue is my name recall is not great, and when you start putting 11 letter names I've never heard in front of me, we're going to have issues.

I love the Indian culture though. They have a party for everything! They dance. There's always music playing. The whole neighborhood smells like a fabulous Indian restaurant and their hospitality! Oh my. You cannot knock on a door at any time of day and not be invited in for tea/coffee. I need more of those skills. Which may be why God has me here.

Of all these different chapters in my life, this one feels like the point where I've had the fewest options, but I'm enjoying it. Life's a learning curve. Have there been chapters in your life you wanted to avoid? But ultimately, thrived?
posted at 11:26 AM  
  Comments (9)
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At 12:43 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

This chapter would be nice to delete. I'd not mind skipping through our recent stressors. But then, you have to take the bad with the good.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Yes, and really, the bad are what gives us growth. But going through that growth process is usually not fun. LOL But you forget that you'll be able to help the next person through this trial. : ) (So that we may comfort others, right?)

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

For the first 5 years, I hated living in Turkey. Mostly it was because I was pursuing happiness rather than being content with where God had me. When I switched my focus and started thanking God for everything--and working at contentment--my attitude changed. Dramatically. Sure, living overseas has its terrible days. Lots of them. But I LOVE living in Istanbul. This is one, very exciting city that never stops.

Living cross-culturally (whether in a different country or in a neighborhood that is dominantly another culture) is not always easy. It's definitely rewarding and a great opportunity for growth in all areas of life, though. All one's inadequacies are painfully obvious, you know?! I am pleased for you to be living in an Indian community and being stretched re: hospitality, etc. How cool is that?!?!? Yay! And Chinese previously. :) Wonder where God will take you next?

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yes, we are here to comfort others who are having the experiences we've had, but I'm to the point where I really don't want to learn any more for awhile. LOL There are plenty to comfort right now.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Cheryl, how I know that feeling. Pam, I can't imagine how weird it would be to be immersed in another culture completely, with language and everything. I've heard you're in a great city, but I don't discount how difficult it would be.

I think once I got the kitchen fixed here, I was okay. But it was sure difficult living in a house I hated in a place I felt so foreign. At least in the other places, I moved there because I wanted to. : )

At 1:27 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

I met and married my husband while living in Honolulu...was there off and on (he was in the Navy back then) for a total of 10 years. I LOVED it!! I immersed myself in the Hawaiian/oriental culture and most people thought I was born there. (I wish!!)

Over the years we have lived in many places, most recently the Indianapolis area. From day one I have more than disliked Indiana and yet, nearly 11 years later, we are still here. Although I am not fond of this place by any stretch of the imagination, I see God's hand in my life, changing me, directing me, and making me into the person I am now. So I am thriving even if I don't want to be. I am working hard at being thankful for every situation I'm in and looking for the God-part in it. It's hard but worth it...I think.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Sun said...

I'm down South. My family lives up in the North, too far to visit very often. It's hard and gets very lonely sometimes. Even though I love living down here, and I can see the purpose of me being here, I still long to live near my family. A telephone is my only daily connection.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Life Adapted said...

To answer your question, surviving is thriving. What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. I have lived in the same house for 23+ years. First it was just me and my husband, then we added a cat, then 2 cats, then a child, another cat, another child, another cat, another child, a few puppies, a Pop-Pop, a few wondering souls and very soon a foster child, a new cat and a new puppy. My dwelling place doesn't change but the circumstances always do. I figure, it's all just material for a blog ;)
Be blessed.

At 12:01 PM, OpenID said...

Ah, I have family in Cupertino and I like it. It has a nice "family vibe".

I can honestly say that my life has made so many twists and turns that believe I should probably feel constantly dizzy.

Some were good, some bad, some horrible. Looking back, I wouldn't change any of them. Experiences that are extremely different that take me out of my comfort zone are where the juice of life is. I may not always like it, but my life is always juicy!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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