Since moving back to my hometown of Portland as a transfer student from UC San Diego, I’ve repeatedly asked myself where I was/am happier. Happiness cannot be measured quantifiably, but I try anyway. Usually it turns into a series of points and categories.
The city? I have a different answer depending on the weather, and on where I’m asking myself this question. I’m not thrilled about rain, but I like having a holiday season that actually feels like a holiday season. Plus, nothing beats the realization that I could spend my lunch break at Powell’s – the bookseller haven. I’ve switched out palm trees and an ocean view for high(er) levels of caffeine and a compulsive book buying problem.
The school? To be honest, I’ve cursed both schools’ names, and for pretty much the same reasons: I just do not want to do school sometimes.
Then come the harder questions.
The people? I spent so much of my time at UCSD missing my friends back home, and now I do the same thing about my southern California friends.
My job? The only question that gives UCSD a resounding POINT in its column. My job at the UCSD Bookstore came into my life at a most crucial time and I miss it like crazy. Technically I do the same thing at my new job, but it’s awkward because I don’t have the same base of support at my new job that I did at UCSD.
Yes I miss UCSD, and no PSU isn’t solving all my problems – which, of course, I believed it would at my height of homesickness. But I understand that different things don’t mean bad things, and simply replacing old things with comparable things does not mean it’s as good or better. But that’s okay. Some days it truly, in my bones, bothers me that I’m not 100 percent thrilled with the way my life is going, but if I was ecstatic all the time would it not get boring? On the flip side, when the bad days do come, is my discontent only amplified by the fact that a “normal” day is only a lesser level of discontent?
I guess my only options to solve this “problem” are a) smile and fake it, or b) get over it.