At first, moving to California felt like the ground had been ripped out from beneath me. There isn’t a word I could choose to describe what it felt like waking up the morning of August 5th, 2017. Most of the 5 hour drive from Phoenix to San Diego was spent biting my nails and anxiously trying to figure out which song I should play, but nothing could ease the anticipation of entering a city I’ve never been to before knowing there was no turning back. This was it. I had committed before even seeing the place. I barely even knew where it was on the map. When I arrived, though, it was beautiful. Just like I’d imagined.
I remember sitting in my car for the first few days crying, wondering if I should pay another $25 for parking or drive around aimlessly. The answer was almost always found in feeding myself. Actually, that’s how I started to make progress. After the crying, I took myself out to lunch. I sat down on a stool near the window and applied to jobs for hours. Eventually I heard back, and that’s how I made it to where I am now. A routine, as much as I hate the word.
I spent the next few weeks buying furniture, finding affordable parking, fixing my car, taking the train, hiking, reading books, and making friends. I went to my first Padres game and swam in the freezing Pacific ocean. I got drunk at the bars downtown and walked home to my apartment. I even got a tattoo and stripped off my bathing suit at the nude beach. I did these things, and San Diego started to feel like the right choice.
I realized that this is what you try to do. When you feel lost, you ground yourself. When you feel unsure, you find a reason. You can even make one up. I spent so many of my first few weeks wondering what I was doing and why I was here. I brought myself here, so why am I upset? I made this choice, so why am I questioning it? The thing is, things are never exactly as we imagine them. I didn’t expect an easy, peaceful move across the country to a place I’d never even visited before. I didn’t expect things to magically “work out” in the way everyone imagines it’ll be. But I did, however, expect to feel at home right away. And looking back at my life I understand why I had that expectation. It’s what I’ve been looking for all my life. I think it’s why I came here. And so what if that doesn’t make sense to anyone else?
Now, I find myself in a cycle of progress. Some days are great. Some days I wake up before sunrise, make myself coffee, do a quick yoga flow, listen to music, drive myself to work, eat, run, and go to bed content and fulfilled. Other days I wake up exhausted, drained, depressed and questioning things I never thought I’d question. It’s a process, but it’s one that I’m proud of. I’m sick of thinking, “someday I’ll get there” because someday is now. Don’t look forward to what is ahead. This moment is what the “looking forward” previously was. I will embrace every part of it.