24 July 2008


Two or three years ago, I thought about picking up my life and moving to California. I looked for academic jobs, library jobs and even started imagining how to tell my mother that I was leaving for the west coast.

I knew that I would probably never do it, but it really gave me pause. I've written about this before, but there is something about that state that seems like it would be a good place for me to go for a while. I don't know that I'm supposed to live there for years, but I think that if I got to spend a month, or even a summer, out there it would quell a lot of my curiosity and wanderlust about it.

I has sort of planned on being there in June of 2006 for what I thought would be a life altering (or at least interesting) event, but that didn't happen.

And now I know that it wasn't supposed to happen. Those fates that I wrote about a couple days ago, decided that wasn't the way I was supposed to see the state or my life.

I've come to terms with that. It has taken a long time to come to terms with it, but I have.

I wasn't brave enough to apply to any of the California schools for graduate work. Even in retrospect, it was probably all for the best. Or at least that's what I like to tell myself.

California isn't the answer to anything for me really, but I'd like to think it is. Perhaps I should call my dissertation California: Representations of Reading in Renaissance English Drama and that shitty novel I'm writing about the last couple years of my life California too. :)


Claven said...

Obviously I had to say something here. My urges to move were more internal than anything related to the state or location I chose. I constructed California to fit my internal motives. At the time I knew it as I was doing it in blunt manner. Today I like to think I have a better understanding of a how and why I did that. Regardless, ten years later it does feel like home.

Dexter Colt said...

Some people change location to fit their needs. Some people change their needs to fit their location. I am the latter.

Will Grizzly said...

Any particular part of California?

m.a. said...

Claven, I think that you and California are an excellent pair.

Dexter Colt, You're awesome.

Will Grizzly, I would like to hang out in LA for a little while, but then spend a lot of time in Northern California.

zandria said...

I had the same kind of California-lust, but I ended up going through with it. I moved out there (drove cross-country by myself) in the summer of 2005 after I graduated from college. I lived with my aunt and uncle in northern Los Angeles county. I liked it, but I ended up moving back to the east coast a year later -- summer 2006. It just wasn't the right time for me to be there. There's a chance I might go back one day, but no definite plans as of yet. :)

Jenni said...

California and I have a love-hate relationship. I would LOVE to live in Laguna, but I HATE that I can't afford it.

I like California, Josh was born there and they still have very close family friends out in Orange County...We go there from time to time, visit, have fun, but then I'm always glad to come home.

You should have checked out Minnesota...You laugh, but it's really great here...Except in the winter...then it pretty much sucks.

Pascal √Čbert said...

Obviously I know nothing of your situation but am confident that, should you choose not to follow this path, you are in very real danger of having to question the decision for many years to come.

Personally I am saddened that California has not yet slipped in to the ocean forever as I am not a fan in the slightest.

Had I never jumped however I should have never come by this particular epiphany.

Go. You'll always know how to find your way home.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

I was born in Vallejo, CA, but didn't grow up there. In 1995, I moved to the Bay Area to go to graduate school and fell more in love with it than I expected. My original plan was to only stay two years. I stayed seven. The only reason I came back to D.C. was because of a job offer. While I love D.C. for its history and free museums, there isn't a day since I returned that I haven't regretted coming back here.

My experience with California (and keep in mind, I'm talking northern here. Southern is a whole different experience) versus D.C.: California breathes life into you. D.C. sucks you dry. Most Californians love their jobs, but know when to quit. Work ends at 5:00 and play is taken seriously, but not competitively. D.C.'ers never shut up about their jobs and even when they're on vacation most of them are thinking about work. Even their play is organized (think kickball /softball /volleyball-on-the-Mall teams) and competitive as opposed to spontaneous and just-for-fun.

I could go on for a bit, but I'll stop. California certainly isn't the end all and be all of living well, but it's one place everyone should try at least once in life. And for more than just a summer or a few months.

Megarita said...

I think the last commenter is most in line. I love being on the west coast because of the substantially different priorities and conversation, but then after a while I get bored. As my brother said when we were driving through Sonoma (which we loved), "I wonder whether we'd have to be heavily medicated to live her?"