Ten months ago, I packed up all my belongings and moved 2,000 miles away from everything I had ever known. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew it would be an adventure. And quite the adventure it has been!
I’m so grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to live out here. I worked for the best family I could have ever dreamed of working for and fell in love with their two kiddos. I never imagined I would be able to say that I can do all the things I’m capable of doing now. For example: getting up early every morning, having a hot breakfast on the table, while packing two lunches, getting two kids to school on time, as well as keeping up with their after school activities. It’s a lot harder than it sounds! I guess it could be considered the norm for some people my age, but I never thought I would see the day when I was domesticated. And the crazier part is, I didn’t mind it. I borderline liked it! But, not enough to do it for the rest of my life – for someone else’s kids, that is. I figure one day I’ll have kids of my own and I’ll have to deal with them… but this was GREAT practice for the future. Those two kids taught me so much and showed me the ability to love unlike I’ve ever loved before.
Along the way, I met some lifelong friends and created lifelong memories. We had and epic summer. There was a core group of four of us who hung out often.. and now three out of the four of us are moving! (Poor, Erin! We’ll miss you!) The timing is crazy. But it gives us an excuse to go on vacations to visit each other! I’ll miss our beach days and our fun nights out. I’ll miss random trips to Disneyland where we camp out at the Grand Californian Hotel, getting drunk on Black Pearl drinks, and then wandering about Downtown. And I’ll miss Universal Studios…because Harry Potter, of course. All of these are some of my most valued memories. And the pictures and videos will be a reminder of what it was like to live in California in my 20s just being free.
I had always wanted to live out here and God gave me the opportunity. I wasn’t sure of His reasoning ten months ago, but now I think I understand. He wanted to show me who my true friends really are. The ones who called me every week, even though I was 2,000 miles away. The ones who shot me a text at the exact moment I needed them to, even when they didn’t know it. The ones who FaceTimed me because they missed seeing me. As well as the friends that I made out here and created a lifelong bonds with. Who stood by my side when life was getting me down or when I needed to go let loose. He wanted to show me that they are more than just my friends, they’re my family. And that home is not where the sun is always shining and the beach is, but home is where my family is. Home is where my heart truly lies. And home is the Midwest!
My journey here in California is coming to a bitter sweet end. I will miss my kiddos like you can’t even imagine! And I’ll miss the friends that I’m leaving behind here, too (even though I know we’ll FaceTime often). But, I’m so excited for what lies ahead. I haven’t lived in my hometown since I was 18! I’m ready to be closer to my family and friends. I’m SUPER excited for my first nephew’s arrival in December AND my first niece’s arrival in January (unless she comes earlier). I’m ready to get back into my profession and start doing hair and makeup, again, because that is where my passion truly lies.
God has given me such an amazing gift and I’m so grateful. Thank you to everyone who made my time out here so meaningful. Especially the Castros – my California family! I can’t thank you all enough. Here’s to new adventures! And I pray they are never ending!
If you want to take a look back at my time in California, take a gander below at my four part Summer in San Diego series and bonus video of my friend Erin’s gender reveal!