A phone conversation I had last month:
Me: “I’m going to move to San Diego.”
Mom: “Have you ever been there?”
Me: “No, but I’m going to move there.”
This is how I operate. I get a gut feeling about something and often make decisions before thinking things though. Some people think I’m crazy, but listening to my gut has served me well.
I have decided that I’m ready to move cross country, again. I have been living in New York City for the past five years, and I’ve been ready to move back west for the past three years (maybe more). Certain things were holding me here, but I’ve worked hard to remove those blocks.
After much urging from my family I decided I would do the responsible thing (with a giggle and an eye roll) and visit before I started making preparations to move. I just got back from a five day visit to San Diego. The trip confirmed all my suspicions – I loved it.
A friend from Portland, we’ll call her Kathy, met me there. We explored, played, relaxed, walked, and had so much fun! Then on Tuesday Kathy few out and I wasn’t scheduled to fly out until Wednesday afternoon. I drove her to the airport in our rental car, and as I gave her a big hug and jumped back into the car an “oh shit” feeling came over me. What do I do now? Where do I go? The thing is I don’t know a soul in San Diego. No one. Loneliness.
I drove back to our Airbnb, took a much needed shower, walked to a coffee shop and began jornaling about what I was feeling.
Like I said, I’ve done this before. I have moved to cities where I knew absolutely no one: College Station, TX; Nashville, TN; Portland, OR to name a few. But this time feels different. I am so excited to move, but the task of becoming part of a community, making friends, etc. just seems so daunting. Maybe because I’m older. Maybe because I remember how lonely those first few months in Oregon were the last time I moved to a city where I knew no one. The thought of not having a social network, no friends, is kind of overwhelming to me.
There was another thought nagging at me: I am 31 and able to up and move. There is nothing tying me down. Nothing at all. Honestly, that made me a bit sad. I have friends, wonderful friends, but they live in different states. I have family, wonderfully close family, but they live in different states (and some are in different countries). I have friends in NYC as well, but no one that I’m too broken up about leaving. I might stay in touch with some of them, but the truth is most of those relationships will probably fall away. And that’s okay.
But this move is different. Every time I’ve moved in the past I’ve known it was temporary, a stop on the way to somewhere else. I think for the first time in my life I am really craving lasting community. I want to become a part of a place, and build a life somewhere. I’ve never had this feeling in the past. Never. Is San Diego that place?
I guess I’ll find out.
P.s. If anyone reading this happens to live in San Diego, please let me know!