I’m standing on the beach and the feeling washes over me just like the waves are washing over the sandy toes of my children: we need to live here in Carlsbad. There wasn’t much of a moon that night, so it was black on the beach. We walked along the beach for a while and then I sat in the sand and took in the moment. It was getting late and none of us had eaten dinner so we walked back to the car. I realized my keys were no longer in my pocket and I panicked. How would I ever find my car keys in the sand on a long stretch of beach? It felt like trying to find a needle in the haystack. Ava was on the job immediately and if you know Ava, you know that of course, she found the keys in the sand in the dark. I will never know how, but she did.
That weekend in March changed our lives. We sat at Starbucks in Coronado and I texted my mom because she is always my go-to person. I told her I wanted to live in San Diego. I needed a change, and I had needed one for a couple of years. I desperately wanted to live at the beach. I wanted to feel the ocean vibes and the energy of a new city pump adrenaline through my body. My mom said that she has spent her entire life wishing she lived near the beach again, and so if I want to do it, I should do it.
As we moved our way through the weekend, I kept asking the kids how they would feel living in San Diego. Yes! They would tell me. Can we, mom? They would ask. One could naturally assume that if you are vacationing on the beach having a ton of fun and you ask your kids if they wanted to move there, they would probably say yes to that. But we knew that our kids were ready for a change and a life adventure as much as we were.
By the time we left San Diego for the drive home to Northern California, we had all decided we would put our house up for sale and go for the big move. A life change. An adventure. An intentional uprooting. The hard part was, how would we tell family and friends that we are moving away from them? I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t know just how heart-wrenching and how many tears would be shed over the next three months.
There are times in your life when, despite your comfort zone, and despite the close proximity to your family, your cherished best friends, your favorite grocery stores, the familiarity of daily life, you know you need to make changes to bring new energy into your life and see the world in a different way. Over the past few years, there were enough events in our life that caused a ripple effect and led us to know that we needed to make a change.
This is how I told my friends the moving news because I didn’t know how else to say it:
“I have news to tell you. We are putting our house up for sale and moving to San Diego.”
Most everyone was excited for us, but I know that with the excitement came disappointment and sadness. It is quite a sacrifice to leave behind an entire community of wonderful people who love you and adore your kids, but I know it is even harder to be the ones left behind. While Chris and I were running on the adrenaline of listing our house and trying to find a new home in Carlsbad, we hardly left any time to lament relationships that we knew would not be lost, but would certainly change. Lamenting would come later.
Some people close to us grappled with why they weren’t important enough for us to stay and how their life would be negatively affected when I was no longer around for the daily spontaneous cup of coffee.
People move all the time. They move for jobs. They move for change. People every day are leaving their communities behind. But it is not for the faint of heart. Building your own personal community empire over the span of 15 years and then leaving it behind is not ideal.
We listed our home for sale in April and in July we sold our house. On July 10th, the movers showed up a day early because they forgot to tell us that they don’t work on Sundays. If you need a reminder that over 15 years in the same home you have collected a solar system of shit, just move. We filled exactly one dumpster with trash from under, beside, in, and around our house. That is approximately three dumpsters shy of the size purge that needed to happen.
I consider myself to be an organized person, but in big life moments when my organization skills could be put to good use, they go on vacation. No, we didn’t pack up the garage in time. Yes, we forgot about all the useless junk under our beds.
Do you know how I know that I have the best friends in the world? Because on our moving day when we had gotten ourselves into a pickle with packing, they all showed up on our doorstep to help us. My gratitude for the amazing friends who helped us is huge, and there aren’t enough thank yous in the world that would suffice.
It would be an interesting three months of nomadic living, and a bombshell nobody saw coming, that would prove how you can get through any adversity if you all stick together with love.
Here are some photos from the incredible times we had in the days before our departure. I will hold these moments in my heart forever.