Tonight is our last night in California. Our conversations with the last two Lyft drivers provided some food for thought. Every time hubby and I travel to a new city, we ask the same question: Could we live here? As grateful as we were for the views, the food, the beauty and our time with my cousin, we both said “No” to the question about the Carlsbad/Encinitas area. We arrived at the Gas Lamp Quarter in San Diego yesterday morning and I immediately felt in sync with my environment. However, we are preparing to leave tomorrow morning and both of us wish we had more time here. We could use 2 or 3 more days right here so we could answer our question with confidence. We had lunch at Cafe Gratitude and walked down to the the Harbor waterfront area. Hubby proclaimed he could see living in the apartments down the street from the restaurant. We watched locals stroll along the water, their laminated IDs swinging from their necks and belt loops, lucky enough to work nearby the harbor and bathe in the sun during their breaks.
But back to the Lyft drivers. The one who took us to Balboa Park to go to the Zoo and museums told us he had been living here for seven months. He and his girlfriend visited from Philadelphia last January, looked at one another and made a decision to move here. Within a matter of months, they were in San Diego and found jobs days later. Our second driver moved here from Brazil fifteen years later and has not looked back. I know we are playing tourist but everyone we spoke to seemed so sure of the risk they took. Of course, it is unlikely people would pour out their deepest fears and insecurities to a complete stranger.
However, I choose to believe them. As someone who decided not to continue down a career path that would have been “just fine” and “safe”, I understand what it means to take a risk to become who you want to be. Sometimes, it means moving across the country, forging a new career path or choosing to end a relationship.
My future risk may not include an adventurous move across the country but I know I am open to the exploration of what comes next.
Your turn: What risks have you taken lately? Or what risk do you want to take?
It’s our third day in Carlsbad, CA. A part of me would rather just sun myself at the pool or the beach but another part of me is glad to be sitting here writing. I know it’s because I am proving that no matter where I am, I am making posting here a priority. When you are on vacation, staring lazily at water and palm trees, the last thing you may feel like doing is whipping out a computer. But I know how committed I am to this process. I want to write through anything anywhere. I want to live up to my own expectations.
I am not sure if there is any other time in my life that I would have been able to truthfully write this but the time is now. Maybe this is what it is like to fall in love with what you’re pursuing. In my marriage, we would do anything to keep growing together. That’s part of the allure of travel. There’s a shared experience, a treasure of memory that no one can take from us.
With writing, there is a similarity. I am invested in my growth. I want to keep my schedule. Keep my word. I look forward to witnessing the fruits of my labor. There is a willingness to keep trying new things like adding Meatless Mondays or taking classes.
I don’t want to get out. I want to work through it all. Fail forward. Leave excuses behind.
So no matter how gracefully the fronds of the tree sway or the heat threatens to wilt my will to keep my commitment going this week. I won’t give in.
I submitted a piece this afternoon about seeing buffalo in Colorado. I knew I would write about it when I saw a field of helicopters right before we touched down in Richmond on our return flight from Denver. It seemed incongruent. The beauty of nature I never have the opportunity to see here in Virginia and machine constructed by man to do something we cannot do naturally. If only we could will our bodies to take flight. But that’s not how we are built.
There are so many things we are built for: walking, dancing, inventing, running, praying, solving equations, sex, connection, writing, healing, love…etc.
And I have to wonder, especially after this trip…what else am I built for? I know I am trying to bust out of the box I created by writing, publishing and moving myself more often but what else? Many of our mothers and fathers told us we could be anything we wanted as long as we what? Put our minds to it!
But how do we even know what we want unless we are in a near constant state of curiosity and active exploration? I know who I am now but I can confidently say I don’t want to know exactly who I will be next year.
I want to fundamentally shake this whole notion of Kristina.
Last year, she wasn’t the woman who would take an impromptu trip to Colorado and run a blog. I am glad I didn’t know that in 2016. Neither of those things may mean much to others but it’s more than enough for me. I didn’t have to abandon my community, my faith or fall out of love with my husband to become those things. I just had to be willing to see more of what I was built for.
Over the next couple of months, I will work harder on the health front. I have always dreamed of seeing the Pacific Ocean and running along a beach in California. I will be there mid-January. I may not be able to do it for long right now but that has the possibility to change. I know I am built for the experience.
I am curious: What do you believe you are built for and what steps are you taking to make it become a reality?