Heart in a million places

Just to clarify, the headline has nothing to do with being heartbroken. I haven’t experienced that since 2007 (although in college, I would have said each academic year brought a new heartbreak *headdesk*). I haven’t gotten legitimately upset over failed romance in almost a year. I am, however, being pulled in several directions.

For months, I’ve said I’d like to reside in New York City by late 2012/early 2013. Though that desire still stands, I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that my longing for the west coast has become unbearable. As much as I love the pace, work ethic, and energy of the east, I’m not sure I can survive long-term without the warmth, character, culture, food and attitude of the Golden State. When living in California, I smiled at passersby, made conversation with strangers, rarely needed to bundle up, had bonfires with friends, went on beach trips with Crystal, swam in the icy ocean, walked my dog daily, and regularly consumed authentic Mexican food. You might say these are luxuries I can do without, but little things make for a rich, fulfilling life.

Seabright Beach, Memorial Day 2008

I started writing this post yesterday after getting off the phone with Nikki, who is en route to Santa Barbara for her new gig. She opted to move back to the west coast because she wasn’t crazy about D.C. and would like to establish a solid career for herself before returning to the east. During our phone conversation, I said I’d like to eventually end up in California, where I’d undoubtedly be happiest. At any given time, we could die, and do I want to spend my final moments in an emotionally stifling city?

Last night, I gave the prospect of moving to San Francisco some thought. I wouldn’t leave D.C. for at least another year, but August  2012 could be the proper time for me to return to my home state. I’d be closer to my mother, brother, two nephews, the beach, the redwoods, Nikita and her son, my Arizona friends, and Nikki. I wouldn’t have to prepare for blizzards or stare into a sunlamp to prevent Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I could eat a quality burrito anytime. I could sit outside and absorb dry heat year-round. I could see my nephews and niece more than twice a year. I could even move my childhood dog Roxy into my own place.

I kept all of these concerns and ideas in mind this afternoon, when I attended the funeral of a 22-year-old man. When young people pass away, you’re forced to consider what’s most important to you and how you’re spending your time. If you died tomorrow, would you be pleased with the way you led your life?

The more I thought it over, I realized it’s better for me to stay on the east coast until I get more experience in journalism. Though I miss my quality of life in northern California, writing is my top priority, and I’d experience true heartbreak to sacrifice opportunities for easy living right now. Perhaps I’ll relocate back to northern California someday, but I need to make a name for myself in news, opinion, and book writing first. Rather than move to the bay area, I’ll visit from time to time. As much as I miss the character of the west, I have the best chance of getting ahead in my career out here, so I’ll deal with snow, weirdos, ski jackets, mittens, and D- Mexican food for the next couple of years. Perhaps I’ll even eventually like the lifestyle out here. When I moved to Arizona for college in 2007, I disliked the cacti, lack of plants, blistering heat, poor irrigation system, and general desert look. Now, I’d return to the 110 degree weather in seconds. I may be solar-powered, but will need to run off inspiration and writing accomplishments from now on.

Until I get Internet at my new apartment, blog updates will be few and far between. I’m going to get back to my weird Google search term posts when I have a moment, so get ready to crack up again.


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