My parents and I left California on Thursday, 8/11 and arrived in New Jersey on Sunday, 8/14. Here are some pictures of the trip:
We would stop for gas every so often, and if my dad got tired, I would switch with him. We stayed in hotels somedays and for other days, we slept in the car. My dad drove for most of the trip. My mom and I spent the trip sleeping, eating snacks, or passing snacks up to my dad while she went on and on about Buddhism, family drama, or my filial duties. The trip felt like a comfortable journey with no end goals, going on forever with just my parents and I in the car, passing an infinite amount of states until somehow, someday we would reach our destination. And it came to an abrupt stopped the moment we passed the sign saying “Welcome to New Jersey.”
I spent the next few days rethinking my relationships with my parents, my mom mostly. Sometimes we don’t see things eye-to-eye, and she can be too much sometimes, but she loves me. My dad too. And I love them, and I realized I’m allowed to love them and still be annoyed at them. So as my mom rattled on about who-knows-what-this-time and I felt myself getting annoyed and tuning out, I felt unbearably sad in that moment at the thought of them boarding the plane and flying across the country back home. They left Tuesday, early in the morning, and I cried when I came back to the new apartment, unpacked, and found the leftover bags of chips from the car that my dad had left for me to snack on, the same ones he left early on Thursday morning to get because he knew I liked them.
Here’s to growing up and appreciating amazing parents who love me enough to drive me across the country for grad school.