Life after Berkeley

I can finally say it: I’m a UC Berkeley graduate.

The problem is that once I say it, I am removed from it. I drove back to Los Angeles today with my family. I left Berkeley. I went to Cafe Trieste for the last time and had a vanilla latte for the last time. I said goodbye to Luis for the last time. I’ve been saying goodbye for a week.

I finally weighed myself an hour ago, after I returned to Los Angeles. I weigh 160lbs, on a 6’4″ frame. That means I lost about 25lbs between March and now. I weigh only ten more pounds than I did when I came to Berkeley. Now I can actually see how much weight I gained during that first year. The difference in my face is completely noticeable. I was always disgusted by the people I had known in high school who had gotten really fat in the last six years. Their faces changed, they looked old. People told me I looked better with more body fat. Maybe so, but I always had an aversion to weighing 180lbs. That’s a lot. I’d like to get back up to 170 with more muscle mass, because I’m really scrawny now. Actually, I look like I have great abs.

I have to say this: I’ve never listened to NPR and I have no desire to do so at the moment.

I live in a desert. When I got out of the car at a rest stop halfway to Los Angeles, in the central valley, the temperature was around 80. That’s almost the highest temperature we’ve had in Berkeley this year, but sadly, in LA, that’s a low temp. Tomorrow’s high will be 73, but I’m expecting highs in the 90s starting in June.

I think I’m going to try writing a piece a week until I go to Hollins, or until I have to work, or until my bike ride to San Francisco and my 220 mile hike from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney interrupt this. A friend of mine who has his MFA from SAIC told me to have a plan at Hollins, and my plan is to write a memoir, and possibly a novel at the same time. He said before that I should write 25 pieces in 25 weeks, and then spend the next 25 weeks revising those pieces. It sounds like a good plan, and I’m starting now.

Going to see some old friends in the area during the next few weeks. I may be going back to visit San Francisco in July. Jenny is coming back from England on June 28th, the day before my birthday. Xandus is coming back from Iowa on June 7th. It is going to be a spectacular summer.

My first piece is tentatively titled “Berkeley To The End Of The Line.”

One thought on “Life after Berkeley

  1. Congratulations! I have a disproportionate number of friends from Cal – definitely preferrable over Stanford! πŸ˜›

    Thanks for the follow and lenghty comment – trust a fellow writer to actually spend time on a comment! πŸ™‚

    My gawd, under 25, life had so much hope then! lol

    My post before the one you commented on goes into a little bit of how I ended up in journalism, but the actual story is just one tagline: I wanted to get the hell out of L.A. and back to NY; I saw a facebook ad for j-school in NYC – a program that only takes 3 semesters – applied and got a scholarship and my dad approves. I’ll have to post about that at some point, I’m sure.

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