Saturday, September 29, 2007

My 10th anniversary

I left Birmingham, Alabama -- my home for seven years--10 years ago yesterday. I arrived home -- my childhood home in Springfield, Missouri-- the same day and spent two days there with my parents and brother before I started my trek to California and a new life.

I *had* to do it. I had known for some time that I needed to be elsewhere, in a different life, because I did not want to say, at some hopefully far-distant day when I'm near the end of my life, "I wonder what would have happened if..." I did not want fear to keep me from fully living -- fear, nor complacency, nor indecision, nor codependence, nor the expectations of other people. I did not want to settle for the life I had.

I visited California on a business trip earlier that year for 10 days, and knew almost from the moment the plane touched down that I needed to be here. I'd never had any desire to live here until that time. And after that, I explored every possible avenue to find a way to come. Persistence paid off -- that, and some colleagues who believed in me--and my company created a job for me in the Bay Area where there were two offices.

It was the best move I ever made.

If I'd been told then that 10 years later I'd live in a little town in northern California with a husband I adore, living on land with a house I got to plan, and that I'd sell real estate, I'd have wondered what they were smoking. And dismissed it as pure fantasy.

What I've learned in the past 10 years:
  • I can do just about anything if I'm willing to work at it and am patient. And persistent.
  • I am a loving and very loved woman who has discovered wonderful things about this body -- and a little more about taking care of it.
  • There are soulmates. I never expected such love to come to me, and I am deeply grateful every single day for my husband.
  • If you wait to seek happiness until you have a job, a house, a car, a child, lose weight, stop smoking, whatever -- you will never have it. Life is in this moment: it is all we have, one moment at a time.
  • If you don't like where you are, who you are, or what you have, change it. You are the decider of your life's path, and of who you are.
  • It is never too late to change. Not until you are expelling your last breath.
I'm sure I'll think of others -- but the essence is here. Life is a gift, every day. We are fragile, but we also have amazing strength. It is not a dress rehearsal: we seldom get do-overs.

I am grateful and blessed. Thanks be.


thejunkyswife said...

That was really lovely. I moved to New York in a similar scenario to the one you described...I'd been there for just one day trip before, and I knew it was where I belonged. I still miss it...maybe I never should have left!

Maris said...

I loved this post. I found this post searching for reasons to love living in California. I have never been to California, but I just know that that is where I am destined to be. How to get there, I do not know. I just know with my healthy way of living and the great weather that California offers, that is where I need to be. I know I need to take action somehow and find my way there. Perhaps one day we will cross paths Beth. Thanks.