There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.
– Edward Abbey
Some words are more true than others. These words have been sticking with me lately, probably because this is the month that I bid farewell to the Golden State. (That, and “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” It’s a big state, okay?) It’s been just a year, but what a year it’s been.
To explain myself, if you’re reading and wondering: in October of 2014, I drove across the country, leaving Northern Virginia behind to live in Southern California. It was exhilarating, as such journeys are, the drive especially. Along with my driving companion (hi Mom), I saw those Great Ol’ Plains, the beauty of Wyoming, the unconcerned mountains of Utah. And then the gorgeous cliffs at Laguna Beach.
It was the ocean and the idea of opportunity that drew me here, mostly, after a few months spent living in Hale’iwa, Hawaii, and a few more questioning how to go forward in a writer’s life. What are you when you’re not exactly a journalist, or “real” blogger, or novelist (yet)? Why was California the answer? I’m not so sure I know anymore, but I tried, and learned quite a lot for it.
So after 12 months, five (!) jobs, awesome new friends, and too many Korean fusion tacos to quantify, I am throwing in the Bear Flag towel and returning to the Commonwealth of Virginia to live in its capital, aka Outside magazine’s favorite city in 2012, aka Richmond.
Starting over (and over and over) is something I’ve done a lot of over the past few years, and maybe it’s something we’ve all got to do to keep learning and growing. Maybe that’s something we should tell ourselves regularly. After all, even if we are always the same people at heart, we are always changing.
What I will miss: the gorgeous waves and the cold Pacific. the dusty mountains. good vibes and better friends. the laid-back way people say hello. the loose approach to life. the deep cultural diversity. Los Angeles. Encinitas. Santa Barbara. and, yes, the weather.
What I won’t: traffic, traffic, and traffic. plus the egregious lack of turn signal use. high taxes and other nanny-state tendencies. the highest cost of living in America. the safest city in America. and maybe, just maybe, the amount the weather gets talked about. (but everyone does that everywhere, i think. maybe scratch that last one…)
So to finish this explanation, what is this blog? It’s a chance to start over (again), and to turn my and others’ explorations into stories. Maybe about rock climbing, or the James River. Maybe about languages and cultures. Maybe about food, too. (Definitely about food.) And family, and friends, and perhaps you, too? If you’re coming along, anyway, and I hope you are.