Today marks my 15th wedding anniversary (18 years together) and the 1st of May marks the 14th anniversary for Olive. I am proud of both of these accomplishments.
I never start anything without a commitment to be all in, whether it’s business or personal, and I’m feeling empowered by these milestones. Time flies by in life and I often ask myself if I am doing what I want to be doing. Am I happy? What would I change?
I used to see life as this destination I was trying to get to and recently, I had the powerful realization that at some point, I surpassed that destination I was seeking. My attention has turned to the journey… finally. I’m learning to live in the pocket of life – to allow it to unfold.
I recognize I should have been doing that all along. For the first time in my life, I want simplicity. When I began taking inventory, I realized that while I love the island life with orcas and the beautiful forest, this new season of me prefers the sunshine and the bustling city, so I’m moving back to San Diego.
I’m so grateful! I have loved the Pacific Northwest, but my brain was always still in San Diego and now my heart will be too. I am so happy to be returning and recommitting to my favorite city. I have always loved it from the time I was a little kid. I actually decided to move to San Diego around the time I was nine years old. We visited and my Dad hired a cab driver to drive us all over. We started in Point Loma with the skyline in view and went into the city and over the bridge to Coronado. I made a decision that day that San Diego would be my home as soon as I was old enough.
I moved to San Diego just before my 18th birthday. I left once two years after college. One could say I was chasing love, but actually that ended in a breakup, and I met my husband instead. So, I guess I was chasing love after all. When we met, we agreed to move back to San Diego and I never looked back.
I feel grateful for this recent departure because without having made this move, I wouldn’t have been able to see things from this perspective. What surfaced was undeniable love. I missed people like crazy and I missed places like crazy. I finally visited for the first-time last year… I took forever because I was waiting for my little ones to be vaccinated, and coming back up to Washington became harder with each visit. It turns out you can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take the California out of the girl.
San Diego is truly the finest city, but the reason is not the beautiful beaches (that is part of it), it’s the beautiful people, the creative community, the determination of groups committed to constantly improving things. It’s the thoughtful special events, it’s the community organizations making neighborhoods beautiful. It’s the warmth of the people. It’s the familiarity.
I thought I would share with you some of the things you might be taking for granted that you shouldn’t:
- The sunshine. I really shouldn’t need to say more, but I will. It’s a beautiful thing. Yesterday, I woke up to 37 degrees and ice sludge falling from the sky… it’s mid-April. Haha!
- The warmth. I’m not talking about the sunshine. I’m talking about the people. When you walk into an establishment in San Diego, you are invited in and the people conversate and enjoy one another. There’s something so unique about how warm San Diegans are.
- The sparkle. You know what I’m talking about. When you arrive at the San Diego airport and you see our city shimmer, you know you’re home. From the blooms on the rolling hills and highways to the San Diego Bay to the stunning architecture, San Diego has an undeniable sparkle.
- The food. O.M.G. San Diego is so fresh! We have the best seafood and produce – without question. There are so many great restaurants – like no other. And San Diego knows how to prepare light and refreshing meals.
- The neighborhoods. There is a neighborhood for your every mood and that is so special. I feel particularly lucky we get to work with so many.
- The nature. I have missed that infinite ocean horizon and the smell of the salty Pacific. On my last visit, we were scouting neighborhoods for our new home. We were driving along the coast at Torrey Pines State Beach and we saw massive black sea creatures breaching. I only got a glance twice. They were either very large dolphins or female orcas. It felt like a warm squeeze and made me realize that maybe I just didn’t spend enough time staring at the ocean when I lived in San Diego. I will not make that mistake this time. I am determined to be even more involved with ocean exploration and preservation.
- The sunsets. There is nothing like it.
- The ferry to Coronado. I really only enjoyed the ferry once before, but now that ferries are a regular part of life up here in the PNW, we took the ferry from the Broadway Pier to Coronado for dinner at Peohe’s and it was so fun… a highly under utilized treasure in our beautiful city. Plus, it was the perfect spot to see the stunning full moon rise a couple weeks ago.
- The love. Hands down, there is no other place that I feel more loved. Thank you for that. San Diego embraces people and holds them close. I am so grateful for all the friendships and family. I knew I would miss it, but it wasn’t until now that I really understood the depth of my love for all of you. I don’t want to say that I took it for granted, but it was always there… so when it was far away, I could feel that.
- The community strength. I have the privilege of working closely within communities, so I get to see firsthand the commitment to beautifying communities, providing resources for people in need, and solutions to problems. It has been the greatest honor. I love to be connected to people who are committed to quality and improvement. San Diego is always working on solutions. I love solutions.
- The culture. Oh how I missed the diversity and international qualities of our city. There are people from all over the world in San Diego. When I sit in our office in Little Italy, I love people watching and listening to all the different languages and style of people from around the world. They come to San Diego for all the reasons I have listed here.
- The talent. There are so many brilliant best-in-class people in San Diego. From hair stylists to museum curators to entrepreneurs innovating – San Diego is the gold standard.
I’m sure there’s more. My cheeks hurt from smiling with joy when I’m in town, reminding everyone of why they need to be more grateful. I’m thrilled that by the end of June, San Diego will be home again. It was always home, but I will be back and enjoying it to the fullest.
Thank you, San Diego and all of the people and places who make it special. While I’m celebrating 15 years of marriage and 14 years in business, I will soon be growing my biggest commitment. Of all the things and places, my longest love has been San Diego. To many more years together… I can’t wait to be back.