While having a baby in June was an epic way to do 2019, we’ve also decided to make another HUGE CHANGE in our lives. This one, however, has actually been in our plans for longer than the little guy was even a twinkle in our imaginations!
We’ve lived in LA almost six years. When we moved from Northern California, my husband and I wanted a change. I’d just graduated with my PhD and left academia. We decided to stay in California since our families are here and LA had some great professional opportunities for my husband. As it turns outs, the proximity to our families, especially in the last few years of my dad’s life, was perfect.
At first, we really enjoyed living here. We had some family and friends in the area and we quickly made new friends in our apartment building. My husband’s job was going well and I started to turn my blog into a business. We were networking for work, eating at new restaurants, and enjoying the weather of LA.
Within about two years, however, the three closest friends I’d made moved (interestingly enough all to New York City). And within a few months of the third friend moving away, I noticed I wasn’t as happy anymore. For a while I assumed it was the difficulty of trying to earn money as a blogger in addition to working at home alone as an incredibly extroverted person. But I soon realized it was because my close friends had moved away. I was lonely.
I tried to make the best of it in the coming months. My husband and I got married; he switched jobs to a firm he absolutely loved; and things started to balance out… except I still wasn’t happy.
I’ve gone home to Paradise in Northern California to visit my mom/family every six weeks since we moved here. I did it to get my hair done, to work in my family business, and to visit my family. I also did it because I needed to get out of LA periodically (and, yes, even six weeks was too long at times).
The thing is, every time I flew back into LAX or drove into the Valley, I wasn’t happy to be “home.” I was disgusted by a whole mess of things. Los Angeles is a city full of dichotomies. If you’ve never lived in LA, you probably imagine just the beach and sunshine…
I see the stupidly crowded freeways, the horrendous homeless situation that just seems to be getting worse and worse, the terrible infrastructure, and the frustration built up in people from having to work so hard just to live their daily lives. Going to Trader Joe’s is work if you don’t go on a weekday morning. Between figuring out which streets will be crowded, which parking lot is better, and what route you’ll take home, EVERY SINGLE OUTING feels like a road trip. And you should probably pack water and snacks no matter. Trying to adult on a basic level is really a full time job here.
Los Angeles and Southern California in general are full of so many great things – job opportunities, new restaurants, a buzz of staying busy, and truthfully SOME FANTASTIC PEOPLE!!! But none of that ever made me feel at home. My job is incredibly mobile; I don’t mind returning to favorite restaurants; and I don’t thrive on trying the latest and greatest all the time (and I’ll never wait in a long line).
My husband’s job was such a great fit for him, however, that I tried to keep my feelings to myself. That was until about two years ago when he and I started talking about our future – a future that included my being closer to my mom, our family in northern California, and my family’s business. So we decided that at the end of his current project (expected completion date of August 2019), we would move back to Northern California. And we both knew instantly where that would be… Sacramento.
While we are both city people, we’re also both incredibly family-oriented and we both need to escape easily from the city. I need views of nature and open highways. He mostly needs open highways! I can’t see anything beautiful in LA short of being at the beach (another undertaking most of the time). I know there is beauty here, but I can’t see it. And that’s how I knew I needed to move.
We’re SO EXCITED to be moving back to Northern California where we feel most at home. We’re ecstatic to be closer to our parents, many of our siblings, and to a lifestyle that’s familiar and comforting.
There are so many opportunities in Sacramento. It’s a growing city and full of many, MANY young couples and families like ours. You can easily get out onto those open highways. You can get to skiing, boating, wine country, and the coast within a few hours (without much need to worry about traffic).
So at the end of August, we will be relocating. My style, food preferences, and desire to travel around the world will stay the same. So expect a happier me with fewer palm trees in the background and some more legitimate fall/winter styling!