This week marks one year since we moved to San Diego, which means I’m edging on two years since I moved to California (Remember that little stint up in Paso Robles? A distant memory for me, too.). In some ways, it seems like I have always been here, and in others, it feels like I just arrived and everything is still fresh and new.
While there are definitely areas of my life that I’m still looking to fill (a few more friends, a partner, a place of my own), when I think about what I have done so far in this past year in my new city, I have to say, I’m pretty darn fortunate – and when it comes down to it, I’m also pretty happy. Having a pity party about not having it all right now can only last so long, and I once again give credit to my parents for helping me to see the light – and for reminding me that for the most part, the only obstacle in my way is myself. To have the flexibility and the freedom that I do, to really try to be true to myself and focus on my writing…well, not everyone has that option. As people say, things don’t happen for you, you have to make them happen for yourself.
But back to what I have done, thanks to this journey I’ve been on. One of the things I love most about living in San Diego is the priority on a balanced lifestyle. While it looks like all people do out here is surf and hike and bike and play with their dogs, I know that there are a lot of hard-working folks out here. But they really walk the talk when it comes to that “work hard, play hard” mantra. People do their jobs, but they also make time for themselves, and for friends and family. It’s just as important to make sure that you get a trail run or kayaking trip in on the weekend as it is to finish that project at the office.
As I continue to find the operational mode that works best for me (while I’m working from home), I’ve been able to have a lot more time for other things that I shied away from committing to when living on the East Coast. I avoided signing up for volunteering, I didn’t join any running or tennis groups, and I didn’t take up any new hobbies. Sure, I went to sporting events, and happy hours, and visited museums, and hung out with friends. But there were so many things I didn’t do that are now feeding my soul, and that I feel are helping me to continue on a road of self-discovery.
- I’ve run several races with my mom, and supported her as she became a runner in her own right. Bonus: some new PRs for me along the way.
- Volunteering at the library has introduced to me to some lovely people, and expanded my literary horizons even further.
- Tutoring middle school and high school students in English has taught me patience, creativity, and a lot about my own learning style.
- Helping my parents with various home and garden projects has made me realize how much I love working with my hands, and the sense of productivity it brings. Which brings me to…
- Teaching myself to knit after first buying a set of needles and yarn several years ago brings me joy from crafting things that others appreciate, and the act of knitting is a calming and fun experience.
- Participating in activities like trail running, kayaking, SUPing, and getting back to tennis means I can enjoy San Diego’s beautiful outdoors and maintain fitness.
- Meeting new friends of all ages and backgrounds through my various activities means common threads and a diverse set of relationships –> quality over quantity.
- Speaking of quality: continued focused time with my family has made us closer than ever, as we all support each other in this phase of life.
Here’s to another great year ahead here at home.