It’s official; when I post this, we will have been living in California for eighteen days. I’d love to say that I feel settled already and that this move was meant to be, but I don’t know that yet. That’s not to say I hate it either. For some reason, I just feel like I’m visiting, like I’ll be going back home soon, even though it’s not true. So, here I am…stuck in this middle ground.
That said, over this short period of time, California has already made a number of impressions on me. I will list them below from most positive to least.
- The Food: Every town has a Farmers’ Market, and you can pretty much find one every day of the week. The produce is insane; the flowers are gorgeous; the meals we’ve been making are off the heezy. The local grocery store’s organic line is the cheapest thing on the shelf. ‘Nough said.
- The People: Californians are SUPER friendly. As a New Englander (pretty much born and raised…I spent less than one year in Georgia), I think I’m allowed to say we can be chilly at times. I don’t mean that as a serious criticism; we just really value our privacy. Most New Englanders do not say hello to random strangers walking down the street. They do not stop you to have twenty minute conversations about life because your dogs are the same breed, nor do they chat you up in William and Sonoma for half an hour even though you’ve already bought product from them. Yes, all these things happened to us within the first few days of living here. Also, some woman randomly stopped me to ask my opinion of Swell bottles; she saw I was holding one and apparently thought I would have something valuable to say without even knowing me. SWEET.
- The Weather: I need to start off by saying that we chose the WRONG time of the year to move. It has been hot has Hades over here, making it almost impossible to go outside and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine. To California’s credit, it does cool off noticeably in the evenings and remains manageable through mid morning, which helps. This past Monday was the first day it stayed below 85 since we arrived, and I have to say it felt sooo good. I am seriously contemplating how to get Tyler to “summer” elsewhere next year, while enjoying the more pleasant weather that supposedly exists September through May. Suggestions are welcome.
- The Landscape: Since our cross-country road trip, I have found it quite strange to look up and see large hills or mountains off in the distance or surrounding the town or city I am in. For example, despite loving the city of Boulder, Colorado, driving around it consistently made me feel unsettled. It was as if there was something unnatural about being in that type of environment, which I feel here as well. I know this is odd because most people (including my husband, who is OBSESSED) think California is beautiful, and objectively, I recognize that it’s true. But for now, the hills just makes me miss the relatively flat, green forests and suburbs I’ve always called home. (Insert sad face.)
All that being said, I am sure that over the coming weeks and months my opinions of my new home will shift and take different shapes. In the meantime, I expect that I will continue to feel some homesickness, but as we told the boarding students where I used to work, it is important to put yourself in the “stretch” or “growth zone” every once in a while; so, here I am.