My Piece of Mind

March 1, 2009
By stephanie hambright BRONZE, Vacaville, California
stephanie hambright BRONZE, Vacaville, California
2 articles 4 photos 0 comments

It's hard to get away from all the chaos in my world. Parents fight, boys are jerks, and school deprives me of my life, so it's nice when I can get alone time. When people find a place where they can get away, it becomes sacred to them; that's what Montara is for me. Montara is an actual place; however it's also a state of mind. If I'm not there in person, I'm there in my head. It's my getaway. A place where I don't have to think about things I don't want to. I don't have to answer to anyone, I can just be.
The first time I went there was in eighth grade. My best friend's name was Zach P and he was the son of divorced parents. I figured because of that Zach would be more stressed out or have more problems than other kids, but this wasn't the case. I never quite knew why, but I figured it had something to do with Montara. That's the town where his dad lived and it was all he ever talked about. 'Sun, sand, and surf.' he always said, and I made him promise to take me there. When that day came, we drove eighty miles down to the coast, an hour and a half of sitting in the car listening to my iPod and the crunch of Dorito chips being devoured. Bridges and seagulls went by in a blur as we drove past San Francisco. The highway seemed like it would go on forever, but then it disappeared behind us as we headed towards the mountains.
The first sight of coastline was the greatest. In between branches you see flashes of white-capped waves and beige speckled beaches covered with driftwood. It's beautiful, miles of sea surrounded by an ocean of leaves. The town is made up of narrow streets and houses blended into the trees around them. The roads don't cut through the trees; they go around them. The pavement moves with the land along the coast and winding over hills. When I'm there everything is like magic, and all my apprehensions float away in the mist and fog. Montara smells like saltwater, sand, and authentic Mexican food from the tiny restaurant there. Sea salt brings out the flavor of everything, and one whiff of El Grand Amigo is like taking a bite of enchilada for the first time. Across from El Grand is an aged convenience store where I buy Arizona iced teas; the raspberry flavor is my favorite. The closer I get to the ocean, the more I can smell. The moss growing on the rocks and the fresh sand coming and going with the tide; I know it's there before I even see it. On the beach I can see surfers in the distance as they fight and fall through the water, playing tag with the waves. The sky changes shades, from teal to sapphire and colors in between, but it's always blue. It's almost as if it stays that way so no natter what's going on in my life, I have something constant to come back to. I can say what's on my mind and the ocean replies against the shore, like a whisper to comfort. The waves scream and laugh with me when I need them to. Arms of sand pull me in and soak up all my cares. Each grain rolls against my skin, memorizing me.
Zach took me there to see the other side of his world; I found my own instead. I go to Montara every chance I get, but when I can't it becomes a state of mind. I see it in my head and it never changes on me. It's there when I need something to confess, talk or even cry to. People don't always tell me what I want to hear, and they often unintentionally hurt me. Montara doesn't do that. It never judges me, lies to me, or betrays me. It won't ask me questions I don't want to answer or pester me on things I don't want to talk about. In Montara I can be myself without ever being alone.

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