I talk a lot of trash about San Diego, especially when I’m out on the road. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the crowds and the traffic. It didn’t used to have this big city feel. It used to have a local feel. I mean, It’s always been a tourist destination, but they always left. Eventually they stopped leaving. But today I’m just happy to be back home in San Diego sitting in a local restaurant–Swami’s North Park–eating a hearty breakfast and sipping on a cold brew. It’s a nice reprieve.

There will be no climbing today–no grand adventures or big objectives, but instead I will indulge in the mundane routines that have chiseled out my character over the past eight years. I grew into myself in this city. I have walked thousands of miles through these streets and it always brings me solace. I’ll add another twenty miles today.

For a long time I felt like my arms swung funny when I walked. Like they were out of sync with the rest of my body and I was out of sync with the rest of the world. When I walked it felt like I was in manual mode rather than automatic, as though it were a forced task, and I always felt like my nose stuck out in a strange and unacceptable way.

I walked until I started to feel normal. I walked until I could accept myself. I walked and I battled, and eventually I conquered my insecurities. All of this transpired on these busy city streets. It is remarkable how much I have transformed, and what an influence this town has had on my becoming. I have walked in and out of chapters, and from complicated frames to simple ones.

It’s good to be home. Sometimes I get so high on my adventures that I lose sight of myself and forget my foundations–my roots–and what I’ve gone through to get here.

Today the clouds are covering the city in such a perfect way, and I can smell the late spring storm on the horizon. I’m excited to endeavor on another long walk alone, and I really hope that, in my T-shirt and shorts, I get caught in the rain miles away from my car.

I need these days. Days when time and responsibilities can wait and I get to share a quiet moment with myself to gather the focus and strength I need for the coming storm.

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