Solace in Santa Barbara
Prior to unpacking the Uhaul trailer full of my life’s possessions in Santa Barbara, I had lived a semi-gypsy life, partially bound to California and fully bound to Belgrade, Serbia. I had spent many years with no stability, and though I had not truly sought it, I wasn’t ever afforded the actual opportunity of stability before coming to Santa Barbara. My intention, since 2007, was to spend the rest of my life in a coastal Californian city during winters and the rest of the year in Belgrade; being a teacher made that dream an actual possibility compared with someone who works in a different field. That intention, however, has faded due to extenuating circumstances.
I believed that living in Santa Barbara would provide me with a balance of European living but in my natural Californian habitat. So far, it hasn’t provided the European feel that I thought it would, and it’s high price tag and “beautiful people” lifestyle isn’t my cup o’tea. Nonetheless, how can I complain about living walking distance to the beach and a short hike from a beautiful mountain backdrop? Even better, I have family within driving distance, something that isn’t possible in Serbia.
Another thing that I never had in Serbia, nor in the years since graduating from college, was a stable full-time position. Santa Barbara has given me this, and I am extremely grateful for this. I work at an amazing university with a great group of people, and my students are more or less a pleasure to be with (except when it’s time for grades). If Santa Barbara has given me anything, it has given me stability, and for that I am eternally grateful.