We have been back from San Diego for four days now. While I was talking to a friend about the trip yesterday, I found myself romanticizing San Diego. Not that there isn’t anything to romanticize-gorgeous beaches, delectable food, picturesque views and a vibrant arts scene. Plenty of material, right?
However, I believe I was crushing on the freedom of living there if I wanted to. When we were walking hand in hand in Little Italy, hubby peered up at an apartment and said “I could live right there.” As we walked through the harbor afterwards, I started to feel the same way.
As a writer, I know my imagination has a life of its own. It will pack up a suitcase, book a flight and go on its merry way. Even as I am writing this, I know it’s the freedom I crave–freedom to travel as we please, live where we want when we want with the stability we need. Since I am well aware we are not there yet, those romantic notions are put on hold-not forever or even indefinitely but until all of our goals are met.
I know this will take being more with steadfast with my efforts with my writing and wellness goals. When I see the rest of my life, I not only envision this level of freedom but a healthy person exercising it.
I think San Diego gave me the gift of this vision and an extra incentive to see it fully realized.
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?