Today Was a Good Day

| Mar 20, 2017

It was a good day today. Today being St Patrick’s Day, I wore the traditional green as us Irish lasses do. I had to work today from 3:30 to midnight, doing my usual tasks in the market section of my big box store. It was a relatively quiet Friday night. I felt good. I felt…almost normal. Almost no anxiety welled up on me today. Perhaps the luck O’ the Irish helped me this fine day. Or maybe the vice is finally loosening and I am slowly freeing myself from its grip. I did change some things recently, but I don’t want to jinx it. Let’s just say that I am cautiously optimistic.

California’s beauty, which I try to experience whenever possible, is very healing to me. The weather is turning sunny and warmer. It was a very wet, cool winter. The skies opened up and rivers of moisture blew in from the Pacific and all but ended the five-year drought. Yes, it was gloomy for long stretches, but everything turned a vibrant green. The undulating hills, usually golden brown, transformed into emerald mounds and the brown mountains were painted with deep greens, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

I made a trip to the coast this week. It was an amazing experience. I have only seen the coast in the summer when it’s more prone to be overcast or foggy. It’s strange how in the summer, parts of the coast, like Big Sur, can be an overcast, brisk, windy 60 degrees, but just 15 to 20 miles inland, it can be sunny and in the 90’s or more. It’s such a mysterious, magical and dynamic land. If it weren’t for the millions of people…sigh. I guess the secret is out and everyone wants to live in this incredible land. It is very dreamlike. I feel that I am on an epic vacation. It’s been rough going for the last year, but I still managed to appreciate the beautiful things here. It saves me.

The Pacific Coast Highway-Rt.1, is an extraordinary combination of engineering and beauty that puts the driver on a breathtaking adventure of twists and turns that make you anticipate what glorious sight will unveil itself around the next bend. This time would be much more spectacular for me. I watched the weather and hoped that I would read “clear and sunny” for the coastal towns and cities. In keeping with the dynamic nature of California, the presence of clear blue skies and sun turns the coast from a cool, grey, mystical place, into a place of jaw-dropping, spectacular beauty. I took some of the best photos of my life this week at the coast. They almost took themselves. It is nearly indescribable how the colors look to the naked eye. The warm sun and the crisp, fresh air smells of the ocean and flowers.

I am truly lucky to live here. In contrast, I heard about snowstorm Stella hammering the East coast with its wicked, icy blast of cold. I thought twice about going back East as I was standing amongst such dynamic beauty with lush, green mountains that rise straight up out of the sea and flora blanketing the sea-sculpted rocks as far as the eye could see. One would have to have their head examined to leave such beauty, right?

(Click on the thumbnail to see a large version of the photo. Use the navigation symbols >> to see all of Amanda’s pictures. Click the last photo to return to this page.)

As I have said, and maybe you have read here, it has not always been the easiest place to live. People, unfortunately as mankind tends to do, ruin it. Yes, people built Rt. 1 and yes they built the remarkable city of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, but they also have overrun the Bay Area and have jacked up rents to unimaginable levels. I was just looking at rents online. $1300 for a room in Palo Alto, $1100 for a room in Oakland, $1500 for a room with a view of a cement block wall outside its only window. These are ROOMS, as in, you have to pay $1500 to share a place with others. I pay $550 for my room to live around 50 miles from the coast in an area where I am a minority and the neighborhoods are not so great.

When I start to feel better, I start getting the itch to get better. I really want to have my own place. I really don’t prefer living with other people. I like my privacy. I want to be able to come home and use my own kitchen, watch TV in the living area, walk around in my undies and relax. I would like to park my car in my own spot. I would really love that. Hell, I would love to have my own house again. I don’t care how small it is. Maybe I could buy an old muscle car and learn how to restore it and get it running. That would be so cool.

I would need to make more money to get these things. I have my new car and I love her. Scarlett’s her name, speed is her game. She is fun to drive and good to look at. She’s a 2016 Ford Focus. I treasure her because I bought her, ME and just ME. I had no help or input from anyone else. This was all my choice. I want the same for my living arrangements. I would also like to get out of the “ghetto” and go live in a place that I choose, one that is more to my liking and one I can feel safer and more comfortable in.

I like the Diablo Valley, where I work. It’s my speed. I’d love to live closer to work. I am getting to know the coastal towns too. I have more exploring to do. I want to go north to Marin and Santa Rosa to see if I would like it there. I just really want to graduate from living in someone else’s home to a place of my own choosing, much like I did with Scarlett. Only trouble, Scarlett is $300 per month, a new place is probably going to start at $1100 to $1200. They want your credit to be good and for your monthly income to be 2.5 times to 3 times the monthly rent or they don’t consider you. We shall see. First, I have to get better and have more good days.

Today was a good day. I hope tomorrow is a good day too…and the next, and the next. The better I feel, the stronger I feel and the more determined. I have spent so much time being weakened. I have not been beaten though. Right now, I am tired. I should be, it’s 4:12 am. Goodbye St. Patty’s Day 2017. It was a good day in a good week. I will close my eyes now and dream of the beauty of the coast and those gorgeous sapphire-blue waters of the great Pacific Ocean.

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Category: Body & Soul

Amanda F. Steele

About Amanda F. Steele: I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 4 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved here to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. The adventure continues...

Comments (1)

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  1. Lydia L says:

    Have “spring fever” here, as well. At least the allergies!

    Love your great Pacific coast scenic photos.