I’m going going, back back, to Cali Cali
Actually, I’m already here and it’s oddly nostalgic. I spent four years living in Northern California, and most of the time I was miserable.
See, I moved to California shortly after graduating from college. I could lie and say it was my dream to head west and discover metaphorical gold, but the truth is I wanted to live The OC and Laguna Beach life.
As embarrassed as I am to admit this, I wanted to be friends with Seth Cohen and date LC (stop pretending like you don’t know who I’m talking about). Everyone on the east coast thinks about moving west, and vice-versa. The only difference between everyone and me is that I actually did it.
I checked out LA, but ultimately decided upon San Francisco. Somehow, in my rush to leave the east coast, I forgot to do my homework on the west coast. And it turns out that its not all bonfires, beautiful people and butterflies. Especially not the Bay Area (no offense).
San Francisco is cold, cloudy and it rains almost everyday. On top of the odd weather, the people are…different and I knew not a single soul. My startup job was not as I imagined, and I made my “home” in an apartment with cockroaches.
For the first two years, I struggled. Silence can be so loud, especially when left alone in a new city. All I had were my thoughts, and it was a scary place. I kept questioning…
• Who chooses to move away from family, friends and everything familiar?
• Will I be out of sight and, consequently, out of mind?
• Why sacrifice today for an unpromised tomorrow?
• What if I don’t make it or, worse, it turns out not to be worth it?
Change is never easy. It’s uncommon and unfamiliar because it’s uncomfortable. No one would choose to remove themselves from the room, unless it got results.
I stepped out and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
California taught me patience. It gave me time, and I invested it. Without fancy titles, store bought treasures and other trappings that define us, who are you? I learned my answer when California confided in me.
Please believe I’m on the first flight out of SFO back to JFK on Friday morning, but I called California home once upon a time and that will never change.