Oh how my heart bursts when I think about this beautiful, vibrant city. I spent the summer of 2017 studying abroad in Barcelona, living out the dual tourist-student vibe so many study abroad students can probably relate to. By day, I was stuck in a very dull colored classroom, learning about the fabric of urban development and the ethics of educational technology. By afternoon, I was studying in coffeeshop... after coffeeshop... after coffeeshop... By night, I was taking my own self out for a walk, editing photos from the weekend's explorations, and learning to cook for one using nothing but goat cheese, chorizo, and lots of brown rice. I shared a kitchenette and really long desk with the best roommate (shoutout) and learned a LOT about God. All in all, I know that summer will hold near to my heart for the rest of my life. In the moment, I remember it was hard.
Nobody really emphasizes how homebodies might miss home while they're living across an ocean. I felt an immense sense of loneliness, having left everyone I loved thousands of miles away while I explored a country and culture I knew very little about. I'd been to Barcelona one other time with my family years ago, studied Spanish in high school, and was raised to appreciate Hispanic culture. But to live "on my own" and figure life out with nothing more than tips from past students and a slew of stranger-friends was an adventure that (eventually) changed me for the better. But it took a while. It took many, many lessons.
Everything in my life is about to change. Absolutely everything. All the comforts and communities I’ve leaned into for season upon season are either changing drastically or shifting away from my life altogether. So, when the opportunity presented itself to say a big, fearful YES at joining @co_gatech’s Summer Mission Project, God led me toward it with one initial mission: refresh my understanding of Him as firm, steadfast, and never EVER changing.
I haven’t written much lately. And I could never pinpoint the exact reason as to why I haven’t felt “convicted” to spill out words and words and words on my journal or on my phone. But what I do know is that this season has held so much calm in its arms I haven’t known what to do with my thoughts and spirit when there’s no pulling or driving force fueling me along. I accepted an incredible job. I graduated college. I celebrated beautiful friendships. I’m in love with so many people and places. And this afternoon, I felt a proverbial “the end” etching on a closing book as I drove through rural Georgia, heading home to prepare for a new life.
I can’t believe typing this is real life… I’M MOVING TO SAN FRANCISCO!!!!
To anyone who knows me in even the slightest, you’ll know that living in California has been a dream of mine for quite possibly my entire life. With family rooted all over the state, I’ve visited this city every single summer, and finding a way to not only choose a path here after college, but also find the right option for me, seemed impossible.
I’ve been told to my face that my business is soft.
Been laughed at for trying to understand code.
Been challenged by recruiters for claiming I’m ‘creative’.
Stigmatized for my Hispanic heritage, avoided for being in a sorority, and disregarded like a “sweetie” for not knowing what to charge.
And each time it stings. Each time I feel tears wallow up in my throat because God made me sensitive to mean things being said. Even asking a teacher for back-up when my family was made fun of only earned me a chuckle saying “get used to it, you’re a girl.”
Hi, I'm Chlo.
I've been writing and reading and all the storytelling things since I learned as a kid that if you fold and staple construction paper together, it sort of looks like a real book. I have always craved soul serving stories- ones that melt like butter in your mind as you hear your heart explained out loud.
This here is my home away from home. When I'm not exploring neighborhood coffeehouses, driving down the Pacific Coast (again), or loving on all my people - I'm probably here, with you. Come on in! Scroll around. I hope you feel less alone.