So it has been 8 1/2 months since I moved out to California. How time flies. I have had quite the adventure so far- really have gotten to know the state- up and down the coast. I have gone camping, worked on a farm, crossed many things off my bucket list, started a garden, gotten a California license and license plate on Jerry, my Jeep, made new friends, had 3 jobs, lived 5 places (at least), and gained so much perspective on life. In short, I can safely say I am happy that I braved the move to this new state.
This blog began about a year and a half ago, when I decided that I wanted to start documenting my life a bit. I didn’t care how many readers I had, if any, and I didn’t expect this blog to become….well, anything. It has really transformed since my first post in December of 2009, and it has taken many directions in the meanwhile. I like that through it all- through the focus on food- on friends- on photography- on solely recipes- on daily recaps- that it has maintained its focus on balance in life. Because- really- I think that is what I strive for every day. It is what keeps me happy and moving forward.
There is not enough that can be said about having balance in life. I know I don’t talk about this so much- even though it is the “tagline” of this blog- so I will speak of it now. I think that we all go through cycles in our life- where sometimes we want to be social, going out to bars, eating at restaurants, spending money, taking risks— but we all need to retreat back to our little individual cocoons too at times— and spend a few days or nights just alone- reading, writing, reflecting. We go from very happy to a bit sad- sometimes we think that nothing is going right, and that it can’t possibly improve anytime soon. And sometimes we are just on top of the world, high on life, going from task to task lightly and easily, enjoying every minute. We form routines, then break from them. We rebel against ourselves. Then get back into our grooves. And such is the cycle of most of our lives.
I think it’s important to note that this is okay. It is typical to have our ups and downs. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up when things are shitty- they will return to okay- or even to great- just give them time. I think that when I realized this, I gained confidence and found courage to take more chances. I really believe that stepping outside of our comfort zones is how we grow as people. Sure, we may find we are off kilter a bit- but like I said, that’s okay. We just need to realize that we can get back to balance soon. And we will be stronger when we do.
When I came out to California with Carrie, I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I knew we were going to work on a farm, that’s all. What this farm would be like, who the people would be like, and what we’d be doing was unknown for the most part. It was a big risk- but one I could not be happier I took. What we found on that first leg of the journey, on Abbodanza farm- was a new family and a new lifestyle that I am happy to have experienced. I found a new ideal way of life that I will strive for from here on out. I left there with a whole new perspective- on simplicity in life mostly- on enjoyment in the everyday tasks we must complete. (On that note- read this post).
I found new reading materials at Abbodanza that really opened my mind- to the ideas of interconnectedness amongst people, being in tune with the rhythms of nature, ways to guide your life and live the way you want to live. I became more patient as a person- through gardening mostly- and the concept of planting a seed and waiting- and caring- and monitoring- and loving- the plant from seed to harvest. It is not instant gratification. It takes time, and it is a process- but it is a worthwhile one. And it a concept we can apply to our lives in so many ways.
Now that I live in San Diego, I am taking as many opportunities as I can find to explore the beauty that surrounds me. I can drive 15 minutes to the ocean, 15 minutes to the mountains. There are times that I sit on the beach, watch the waves, sip a cold beer, and think, “I can’t believe I live here.” On my drive to work every day I pass mountain ranges and lakes that lie in their valleys. The views are straight out of a postcard. I am so lucky to see it, but it just makes me realize how vast this world is and how many places there are yet to explore.
Most recently, yesterday actually, I surfed after work at sunset. I had one of those moments. I was walking out of the water, dragging my feet through the strong waves of the ocean, looking out and palm trees, beach bon fires, and a pink sky illuminating the sand in front of me. I couldn’t help but smile.
Anyway, none of this would have been possible if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone, knowing that I’d get off balance- more than not- and rest assured I’d return to balance- at some point. It of course helps to have a great support system of family and friends to talk to daily- a little cushion to fall back on if I ever need it. I am excited about my next adventures, whatever those may be- and I hope to grow even more simply by stepping out of my comfort zone, at least for a little while, every day.
Now, to connect it all together- surfing is something that requires a ton of balance- and it is definitely not easy. I am trying to hard to be able to get up and ride a wave. I see others doing it, making it look so easy, and all I want is to be in their position. So far, I’m still getting the hang of it. I need a ton of practice, but maybe soon I’ll be a surfer. If I can find the balance…