From San Diego, With Love

Originally posted April 3, 2016.

About a month ago I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to San Diego. I did it without a job, without an apartment, and without knowing hardly anyone in the area.

I kept my plans close to the chest for quite some time. Partially because I didn’t want too many opinions and I didn’t want to face judgment. But mainly because I was afraid I might back out. Get too scared. Live in my comfort zone. Settle for a life that was good but not great, safe but not sustainable, successful but not inspiring.

But I didn’t back out. And I’m not fazed by anyone’s opinions or judgments because I already did the damn thing. So if you’re interested in my move, well, here ya go:

It started when I visited San Diego a few summers ago. I walked out of the airport, saw the palm trees across a spectacular blue sky, and broke into a wide grin. I had a good feeling in my gut. It was the same feeling I had when I visited Chapel Hill for the first time and saw the Carolina Blue street signs across that same spectacular blue sky. I knew immediately I wanted to go to UNC. Ever since, if I have the same feeling about something that I had that day, I go with it. It hasn’t led me astray yet.

After graduation, I found it challenging to find a job across the country. It turns out people don’t always believe you when you say you’re prepared to relocate yourself immediately. Instead, I got a job in DC and lived at home to save money while I figured life out. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do so I maintained my status quo even though it never felt quite right.

Don’t get me wrong. I learned and developed in invaluable ways through my many mentors at work. I am eternally grateful to my parents for putting up with me (and putting me up) for a year and a half after graduation. I had good friends, both old and new, in the area. It wasn’t a bad life, and I wasn’t unhappy with it. I was unhappy with myself.

It’s a shit feeling. 0/10 do not recommend.

I don’t recall exactly when I made the decision to make the jump. I just remember one day calling my best friend and telling her I was quitting my job after the holidays and moving to San Diego.

Her response is exactly what we all hope the person who knows us best will say when we make bold life decisions that need support: “That sounds like you.”

After months of planning and saving, I finally executed. I landed on March 22.

I recognize that finding a job will be difficult, having a three-hour time difference will get frustrating, and being across the country from my stronghold will likely make me cry at some point. But none of that scares me. Or at least, not in a way that makes me want to change my mind. More so in a way that makes me want to lean in, work hard, make things happen.

Christina’s right. That sounds like me.

And, you know, maybe it won’t be that difficult. Sometimes things fall into place in the exact right way and at the exact right time, and that seems to be the case with this.

I met my roommate online and all signs point to her not being a Craigslist killer. In fact, she’s pretty cool. We got approved for the first apartment we applied to and met a couple other girls doing the same thing we did. And now we’re friends — comrades in this leap of faith we all happened to take at the same time.

The only thing giving me heartache right now is that I’m not in Chapel Hill to cheer on Roy’s boys with my favorite people. I have tortured myself looking at plane tickets and (to no one’s surprise but to my father’s dismay) have seriously considered dropping $800+ and moving my Monday job interview.

But I won’t. I knew this might happen when I made the decision to move during my favorite month of March (after the holidays but before college graduates join the job market full force) and have accepted my fate. Instead, I’ll root for the Heels with some people who might not all be into basketball, but are down to watch with me. And that’s a pretty cool option, too.

I haven’t second-guessed anything since getting here. This is without a doubt the proudest I have ever been of myself.

It’s a great feeling. 10/10 definitely recommend.