Santa Cruz ...Paradise

I am in Santa Cruz, CA for a family reunion this weekend and I am totally in love with this town. The weather is perfect (even a little bit cold) the beach is beautiful and so crazy green. It is definitely totally the opposite from Phoenix! Here everything is covered with green life, some of the sidewalks even have moss!! It is so refreshing! Not only is Santa Cruz great, but so is my family : ) I am meeting my dad's side of the family for the first time and everyone is so kind and loving. I was super nervous to meet everyone but as soon as I saw the first face I knew there was only love.
 I have never EVER felt so accepted and openly cared for in my life. It was so intense to look into strangers eyes and feel so connected, I saw small pieces of myself in everyone. Not to mention for the first time I saw family that looked just like me... I never really thought that mattered, but the effect of seeing the physical similarities has been surprising. Since being on this trip I have come to the realization that the idea I have had forever of being the magical original person in my family has been lost. As being the first grandchild I always have received so much love and attention from everyone in my family, I always felt special. My creative talents always felt unique. I mentally set myself apart from everyone. In my mind as a child I saw myself as a gem encrusted mermaid sparkling like crazy! LOL typical me :) But I know now I am one of many amazing people in the world, I am this perfect mix of my dad's family and my mom's family. It just blows my MIND!!!!!!!!!! I never, for one moment, could have thought I would feel this way.
I have walked around most of my life with a hole inside my heart, never really understanding why it was there or how to fill it. After being surrounded by such beautiful people the hole is nearly gone, it is so amazing how whole I feel. I have met so many great people and hope that I will become life long friends with all of them. And as a not-so-secret secret I hope that this event will someday bring me closer to meeting my dad, brother and step mom. I am dying to get to know them, listen to them talk and laugh, watch them cook and smile. I really look forward to those future moments.
One last note, thank god for the ocean, with all these intense experiences happening the sea has calmed me. It has soothed my soul, helping me to treasure every single moment of this trip. The universe never ceases to amaze me... I am in paradise.