Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Post-California Thoughts

Dear Cali,

I kind of miss you.  Bizarre right?

Because things didn't quite work out the way I expected them to, at least not immediately, I've talked myself into thinking that I made a good decision about leaving.  Often times, I wonder what would have happened if I stayed a little longer, put up a tougher fight until the storm subsided. Careful not to compare my life to others, witnessing other people's success stories of turning dreams into reality, who started exactly where I did, makes me regret leaving even more.  That's the scary part about decision making sometimes; you don't always realize what you're walking away from or if a motion is worth giving up or keep going. In the moment, of course, moving back seemed like a great idea.

My family was supportive either way, however, peering out the retrospective windows of my comfort zone right now, I don't feel proud nor resilient. Honestly, it doesn't feel like I gave the minimum amount of effort required to pass the test to be able to say I actually did it. I keep thinking I allowed the city to eat me alive - the way people warned me it would - and I caved in too quickly. Although I'm aware that things typically happen for a reason, the only thing I seemed to have gained from coming home to refocus is how to do it better next time around, not so much rationalizing staying here long term.

On top of that, I've never stopped thinking about a particular stranger I met and it breaks my heart every time she pops up in my brain. I know it's impossible to save people from themselves, but...compassion, I suppose. I can't be oblivious to what I experienced, but I also cannot deny the fact that deep down inside, I wish things worked out better for me there, when I was so absolutely sure that they would. 

Perhaps, I'll wait until I finish school and establish myself before considering Cali again. I don't really know what's next, may not know tomorrow or a month or even a year from now. Trying not to think so far ahead. Eventually, I'll know, but in the meantime, I'm simply expressing what was on my mind and put my thoughts out in the open. Maybe whoever reads this is able to offer perspective or insight for me to chew on. 



  1. Maybe I'm a little behind on some parts so forgive me ahead of time but here are some things I can suggest from experience about being from CAli and living in Southern California for some time...

    Knowing people ahead of time helps. Start making connections now and build genuine relationships that way when time comes it could possibly lead to roommate living and leads on great job opps.
    Roommating is the biggest plus.
    Attending School in California is the safest route to go (financially)
    Working two jobs or one job and having side hustles always come in handy.

    The choices we make are the ones we have 100% control over. I understand emotions play apart but once the choice is made, own it. I don't want you to beat yourself up for doing what you felt was right at the time.

  2. I read all of the posts in order...I don't have any great wisdom or perspective, but I just wanted to remind you how brave you are and how courageous--even if it didn't work out in that moment, you still LITERALLY moved across the country all alone to follow your dream. That's an experience a lot of people will never have and it's super inspiring. Don't look back and say 'what if', look forward and say--what's next? To paraphrase Maya Angelou; Now that you know better, you can do better. Shift your perspective--your move to Cali was a 'win'--you proved to yourself that it is something you are capable of doing. If you are capable of that, what else are you capable of? so many more amazing things, right? onward and upward!

    1. Thank you for your kind words and a great perspective! You're right, I did do it, and maybe that is enough. Thanks!

  3. Nvm on linking me. Just read all posts. You write so poetically! Your very first one mirrored my thoughts exactly -- absorbing all of Cali's peaceful vibrations upon arrival. I applaud you for the risk that you did take and knowing when enough was enough. I most definitely would have turned right back around as well.

    If California hasn't left your heart, I'd definitely suggest coming back after you finish school. You're going to know much better. Just build a basic plan of what steps you need to take next time -- will you be able to stay with someone at first? If not, save save save enough for a few months' rent (with a roommate) & living expenses to hold you over in case it takes up to two months to find something. I agree with Daja -- you could definitely wok a part time/side hustle immediately until a legitimate well-paid career is landed. If you get your car shipped out, drive Uber/Lyft! People out here love driving as a side gig -- setting their own schedules, good part time pay.

    I love it out here, but it's still hard. The traffic, search for a job I know a deserve, high cost of living -- stressful. If and when you're ready to face it all again, you'll be more aware and prepared for the bad interspersed in all the good. I'm sure I'll be here (and, crossing fingers, w/ more of my shit together), so don't ever hesitate to hit me up if you need anything!

    xo, Kristen

    1. Thank you for all your encouragement! Hasn't left my heart one bit and you said the same thing my mom said; that if I do decide to go back, next time I'll know better, and have a better plan of action to execute before hand.

      You ladies are so lovely. Thank you all for the advice and kind words!

  4. Girl, I've had this convo with you before and it kind of breaks my heart to read your regret and to hear how sad you are over your decision. Again I feel it is important to not focus so much on the end result of you coming back home and instead focus on the beginning and middle where you had a dream, nothing stopped you, you went there, and you fought - YES YOU FOUGHT - and no one can take that away from you except for you. I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit. Sometimes it's even more important to know when to walk away from something than to stay and try to work through it. You know exactly what you need to do in order to get back there the right way, so focus your energy there. I know it's difficult but you can do it. Hell, you did it before. You can do it again :)


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