It’s been a while since I updated you on “Living the Dream,” so here I am 3 months after “the Smooth Move” from Kansas City to La Jolla, CA. And I’ve had a lot of new experiences that I want to share about making a decision to follow a dream by moving to a new environment. So here are some random thoughts and observations:
I’ve learned that many people have been following this move and are even, somewhat “inspired” to make changes of their own. One reader sent me an email with the subject line “MMMM” aka: Mini Marty Moving Moment! He and his wife downsized from their suburban home and became urban condo dwellers – taking public transportation and walking to the local restaurants. Believe me – that’s a big change! I was thrilled to hear from him and honored to be part of the 4 M’s!
I’m getting used to urban life as well. I’m living in a condo with tissue-paper-thin windows that keep out neither the wind nor noise and rattle with the slightest hint of wind. There’s a construction site across the street and jack hammers start about 6:45 am and an elegant hotel that is diagonal to my building that is the home of weddings and parties – with joyous music and announcements until the 10 pm curfew. And did I mention the massive dust from construction? Or the people how have “lead feet ” on the floor above me?
The trade off is that I can go out my back door, cross the street and walk the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The sunsets are magnificent and I even saw a whale, out in the distance making its way south.
Walking this coastline is an amazing experience. It feels like I’m in another country because it seems like I hear at least 10 different languages and yet we are all enjoying and sharing the magnificence of the ocean waves, watching the surfers and the joy of watching the sea lions and seals. I take a deep breath and know that this is why I am here.
I find myself, (acting like a local), stopping to offer to take pictures of people – so they can be part of a group picture and capture the memory of a glorious day with friends and family.
I’m officially a California girl now: I have a new license plate and drivers license and I wore a fleece jacket because it was cold … and it was 60 degrees. I felt silly telling that to my friends in Green Bay when it was 4 below zero.
The people here are engaging. They aren’t just nice… they look you in the eye and engage in a conversation – whether it’s at the hardware store (one of my favorite places), the grocery store, dry cleaner or gas station – I feel like I have a new best friend when I leave. When they hear I just moved here, the typical responses are: “Welcome! We’re glad you’re here!” “Don’t you love it here?” “Welcome to paradise.”
Not many people here are from here. I like that. And it’s fun to connect with people who never lived any place else – although that’s not very often.
This area is a new-age, spiritual and personal growth and development mecca. Need I say more? I am at home and thrilled to be among thought leaders who are more geeky than I. As a dear friend said: “Marty – you’re moving to the land of fruits and nuts.” My response was – “yes – I am a fruit and I’m a nut.” I am being exposed and stretched to new thinking and get to choose what works for me. I love the vastness of thinking and the opportunity to pursue… or not.
Somehow – without intention or planning – I am able to talk to friends or family across the country almost every day – often for an hour or more. Sometimes I initiate the call, sometimes not. Sometimes we “Zoom” for a face-to-face visual call and have a glass of wine together or sometimes it’s a chat on the phone. Either way, it is a source of comfort and joy, as I forge my way, in an unknown world .
And, finally, I realized that EVERYONE wants to visit now that I am in paradise. And I am thrilled to share “the good life,” even though I know this life ‘s not for everyone. In February, I have 5 friends who will visit and I get to share new experiences and at the same time, feel connected to my roots.
So – these are some of my personal observations after 3 months in a new environment and living the dream.
Stay Tuned: The next blog will focus on the challenges and rewards of redefining a professional life.
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