Cheers to Year One
This week marks a year of my time in San Diego.
Firstly, holy shit – time flies. Secondly, wow have things changed!
I moved to San Diego on somewhat of a whim. An old friend I had just re-contacted suggested I apply to jobs in San Diego as he knew I liked the beach. I applied to one job in SD county…and a month or so later, received an offer! I took the offer as a larger sign and promptly resigned my dream of moving to Los Angeles.
I knew approximately nothing about San Diego, having only made a few visits beforehand, where I really only saw Point Loma Nazarene University (an LDR led me here), enjoyed an acai bowl and lots of sushi, went to a Padres game and the zoo…and well, that’s about it. More than that, when I accepted the offer, I knew absolutely no one within a two hour radius. Not even acquaintances – not a single soul. And to top it off, I started my job on a Wednesday…without a place to live – and absolutely no leads on any roommates and/or apartments...or any idea which neighborhood was which…or what any of that meant.
I’m happy to say – a year later – I’ve now become decently familiar with San Diego, have a couple really amazing friends and a supportive community and have a place to live with my first actual lease.
Was this all easy? Hell no. Would I do it again? Honestly, probably not for awhile. Am I happy in San Diego and do I think I made the right decision? Without a doubt, yes.
Real life sucks. I won’t sugarcoat this. It sucks not setting your own schedule and having tons of free time (and to think I used to believe I had no free time in college…). It sucks having to pay bills after being pampered at a college where they required dorm living (with a weekly cleaning lady included!!!) all four years. It sucks to pay rent in one of the top 5 most expensive cities in the US. It sucks to not have your best friends living across the hall – or next door. It sucks to feel totally at the bottom of the totem pole. Sure, making money and being independent and pursuing your passion – all great. But, I’m still adjusting to…well, not being a student… to be 100% honest.
Things work out. After a few weeks of bouncing between Airbnb’s, an old teacher’s parents’ house and a new coworker’s apartment (with just a suitcase in my car), I finally found an apartment – within my price range, no roommates and less than a 1.5 miles from the ocean! Things always work out how they’re meant to be – even if they’re scary and seem insurmountable. Patience is key – and definitely not my strong suit.
Love the city you live in. In order to familiarize myself with the layout of San Diego (and simultaneously occupy my weekends when I knew no one), I set off on adventures across the cities to new restaurants and new places…and lots of beaches. I fell in love! It’s fun to play tourist and get out and experience the area you live in. On a daily basis, I truly feel lucky to be in San Diego full-time.
Get out of your comfort zone – that’s where the real growth happens. Being in a new place totally threw me out of my comfort zone (and still does, to be honest). I hate using Google Maps to get places, I get nervous before November Project knowing I need to turn off my inner introvert for an hour, I doubt my professional skill set anytime I accept a new project and I get such social anxiety going trying to make new friends. The list goes on. But, I do it. It’s all been scary, but it is where I’ve seen the most growth.
There are really amazing people in this world. This has probably been the biggest thing I’ve learned this year, and I’m still astounded and in awe of the people that have been placed in my life the last year. To my coworker, Katrina, and her fiancée, Dan, who housed me when they did not know me at all…not to mention, helped sit with me when my car was being towed. To my other coworker, Esther, who reached out when I was going through a difficult time and let me have some puppy therapy and sat with me and made me tea while I cried. To Kylee, Laura, Ken, Antonette, Ericka and Katie who all drove me around to doctor’s appointments, November Project, grocery shopping and work – yet again, hardly knowing me. To Dana, Ken and Kimy who used their lunch breaks to visit me in the hospital when my hip was fractured. To Laura who invited me to my first NP party when I had no friends and helped introduce me to the greatest people. The list goes on and on and on and on…but people’s acts of pure kindness have really touched me this year and have given me faith that people are indeed, good, and that this is where I’m meant to be. Thanks San Diego for bringing these people into my life and I hope I can be half as kind as any of these people.
Everything is still a work in progress. A year later, not everything is hunky dory. I still lack the same strong friendships I had in college. I still don’t know my way around San Diego completely. I still have moments of doubt if I should be here. The list goes on, but after looking back at the strides I’ve made, I know it can only go up from here.
So, cheers to one year in San Diego and here’s looking to many more from here on out! I think that deserves a drink ;)