Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What I Will Miss From Our California Life

On my commute home yesterday (let’s just go ahead and say that is the number one thing that I will NOT miss) I started thinking about the things that I will miss when I leave Southern California. Today is the official 'oh crap, we move in a month' marker and I'm so full of conflicting emotions. Did you hear that, folks? One month! One month to pack up our lives, one month to find a new home, one month to close this chapter.

There is no doubt that I am so excited to get back to Texas and lay down some roots, but this is our home too. We have our first home together here, know our favorite restaurants and favorite happy hours, memorized the shortcuts to avoid the eternal traffic, and know the exact moment we have to leave to get to work on time. These things, silly as they may be, are our current life. After being here for 5 years, there are things that I am so used to and will have to take some serious re-adjusting to (when nomming on BBQ and sweating like a… person that is hot).

Here is a quick list of what I THINK I will miss:
  • Andrew and I becoming our own little family out here in Southern California. We may have learned a lot in the 11 years before we were married, but getting to spend our time as newlyweds just the two of us was so much fun. California is where we became an adult couple, we've had our hard times, we've had our make ups, we've had hilarious times dancing in the grocery store, and even better times laughing about it after- all those happened here. These memories I want to hold close.
  • Beautiful surroundings. We can get from the beach to the mountains in a few hours and there is never a shortage of outdoorsy things to be done. We really have made hiking, beach-ing, exploring part of our schedules here.
  • Outdoor exercise. Nothing soothed my mind like taking a run after work on the beach or heading to yoga on the (NOT IN THE- terrifying) bluff. These treats are programmed into my work week to give me something to look forward to and the ocean views make everything seem so much more manageable.
  • The diversity and vibrancy of the arts community. It really has been a pleasure attending and participating in the incredible arts and cultural programs that are available here. Whether its spending the morning at the Hmong New Year Festival, attending the Cambodian New Years Parade, or seeing the world class performances here in Long Beach, I have LOVED soaking up the diversity here.
  • Late nights drinking wine with girlfriends. Most notably may be the time where I used vino to convince some favorites to run half marathons… and then they beat me.
  • A job that continue to challenges me, humbles me (about once a week), and offers me an opportunity to grow. Especially now in the throes of job hunting... I realize how much I will miss what I do.
  • The places that we are lucky enough to live near enough to visit. Like our couples' trip to Napa (and Manny saying I LIIIIIIIIIIIIKE), best friend weekends in San Francisco, family trips to Yosemite, and half marathons to Catalina Island (ouch). These places are going to be a whole heck of a lot farther now for a weekend getaway.
  • Book Club. Those girls, man. I will miss our wine and cheese nights intense literary discussions.
  • Farmers Markets.
  • Living someplace that friends like to vacation… so many guests!
  • Studio apartments… it is so nice seeing everything you own in the same room and a lot more difficult to lose something. Andrew no doubt full heartedly disagrees with this one.
  • Raymond the Butcher at our local grocery store. Legit the most friendly butcher ever.
  • Fresh produce off the trees- oranges, avocados, lemons… so good
  • Old Town Orange. The cute shops, historic plaza, adorable people- what is not to like.

And mostly… the biggest one-
The incredible group of people that became our friends and family out here. For someone that was 100% positive they were going to hightail it back to the Lone Star State as soon as possible, I’ve been here (and enjoyed it) way longer than expected. I know I couldn't have survived grad school without some of the most incredible women I’ve ever met handing me a highlighter in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. Co-workers who would indulge me with Panda Express on Fridays and swore that we deserved the greasy calories. The women who I met through Andrew's school, but became like family as they were a singular source of sanity through the bar. Being there for the life moments of my best group of gals- whether weddings or breakups or drag queen brunches- these moments are what really color California for me.

That is what I will miss. Onward, but those are the things that weigh a little heavy as we pack up our little California life.


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