Big Life Decision…

Things I Know I Love:

  • Being outside. All the time.
  • Being active. If it’s with friends, that’s a huge bonus.
  • Being involved in incredible organizations that work with youth in need.
  • Being in nature. Especially out of sight of civilization.
  • Being able to find healthy food close-by in grocery stores and restaurants.
  • Being surrounded by a network of friends that love and support me.
  • Being present in the lives of those same friends and supporting them.
  • Being in a place that makes my heart happy.

In case you haven’t already guessed it… this post is my official announcement that I will be moving back to California!!

I will be the first to admit that the last four months have been a chaotic whirlwind. I moved out of my house in Encinitas, drive the Cali coast with my mom, went to Mexico, crashed at one of my best friends’ houses in Cardiff, drove to Colorado for Thanksgiving at my brother’s house, drove on to VA and stayed at my mom’s house, spent two weeks in Argentina (had an absolute blast, but got robbed), crashed at another best friends’ house in south central VA, flew to San Diego for New Years, moved into an apartment in Wake Forest, went on an incredible ski trip to Montana… Did I leave anything out, lol?

In the midst of all that, I spent a lot… A LOT… of time thinking about my life and where I am and where I want to go. And most importantly, what makes me happy. I left California thinking I had used up my time there.  That I needed to get back to “real life”. I was frustrated about the lack of a full-time job (even though I hadn’t done that much looking). I had been telling myself since I made the choice to move there in 2012, that if I couldn’t find the perfect job that I could always move and try somewhere else. The problem with that thinking was that I got sucked into tunnel vision a little bit. I knew I was frustrated with my housing arrangement (our third roommate left a bit to be desired). I knew I wanted a full-time job. I knew I needed a change. And I knew our lease was ending. I could feel things changing so I just took the opportunity to leave.

Since college, I have thought about living in the Raleigh-Durham triangle area, so I figured why not? It was closer to my family, closer to my East Coast friends, not too big of a city, in the south where country music thrives, and has a lot of opportunities in the education field. Sounded great! And in fact, there is little wrong with this area. I’ve already made friends, gotten involved in an amazing church, had interviews and potential job offers, found a place to live… Except it doesn’t make my heart swell every time I think about it. It doesn’t put a smile on my face anytime someone mentions it or the thought of it crosses my mind. It’s simply not San Diego.

The first specific sign of a problem with my decision to move was the fact that I turned the car around that night in November when I tried to leave. Then I continued to think about the people I was missing throughout December… so I went back for New Years’ Eve. But I could tell that it was more than just the people… that it was the place and the community and the life I had there. I worked hard to establish myself in San Diego, in non-profits, at church, with friends. For the first time, I felt like I was setting up my adult life. Even though it didn’t include the house and the career job and the stability of my life in Ashburn… it included things I really felt passionate about. And that was so much more important.

I guess the bottom line is that I can’t neglect the things I’m passionate about. I need to put myself back in the place that makes me happy. And I might as well do it now versus later, right? It’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s crazy, it’s a bit chaotic… but it’s right. I can just feel it. I’m still working out the details about exactly when I’m moving, and how, and when… but I’m going! I’ve put in my 30-notice at my current place and I’m working on finalizing the rest. I should say that I am sad to move away from my East Coast family and friends again. But I have to trust them when they say that they just want me to be happy, because that’s what I want too! I also feel really, really good about actively choosing a place because I know what it entails and I WANT to be there, instead of just leaving a place because I know it isn’t right and I want to try something else new. I will never regret moving to North Carolina because it opened my eyes to where I really need to be… But California, I choose you and I can’t wait to see you again!!


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan Oliver
    Feb 15, 2015 @ 18:21:52

    Things I Know I Love = a daughter who is passionate about the earth & nature, helping others reach their potentials, surrounding herself with positive people who share her enthusiasm, & being willing to take risks to make changes in this world. I am so proud of you! Once again, you have used your head, but followed your heart. Both are important, but the second matters so much more. I could tell how hard it was for you to leave SoCal, & that said a lot about how it had affected you. The people, the place, the priorities all suit you. A happy child (no matter how old) makes a happy parent. Dad & I continue to support & encourage you to follow your instincts & make your dreams become a reality. Hugs & a big smile from Mom



  2. ashley
    Feb 15, 2015 @ 18:42:01

    I don’t want you to leave!!!! However I am really happy for you and in the short time we have known each other I have seen what a great person you are and I admire you for chasing your dream. I know California is so much cooler than boring knightdale well wake forest for you but you made an impact in the time you were here! I’ll miss you!!



  3. meggan
    Feb 15, 2015 @ 18:52:30

    heads Carolina, tails California… somewhere warmer… down by the ocean…
    So proud of you and think that being where your heart makes you happy is inspiring, brave, and awesome.



  4. TJ
    Feb 15, 2015 @ 19:14:32

    ” I also feel really, really good about actively choosing a place because I know what it entails and I WANT to be there, instead of just leaving a place because I know it isn’t right and I want to try something else new. ”

    This right here is what I envy so much when I read about your adventures. It’s also exactly why I haven’t left California even though I’ve been talking about it off and on since the middle of college. I’m happy you found your appy place and I hope I find mine. 😉

    BTW, your charitable efforts surpassed every other social sports league I’ve played in (which is a lot). In fact, only one other even had any charitable efforts to begin with. That’s so awesome.

    Kudos to you Karen.



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