Greetings from San Diego, California!
It’s been a crazy year. Exactly one year ago, we were embarking on our move to San Diego. We didn’t know where we would live, nor where I would work. We had no idea what new adventures awaited us in San Diego, but I knew it had to be better than Denver…and it is.
Sorry, Denver! You’ll always have my heart, but life is good here. After living in one place for nearly 9 years, I was so ready for change. And boy did it come in waves.
My husband and our dog Murphy landed in San Diego at the end of March last year and got the keys to an apartment we had never seen in person (thanks to the power of Bumble BFF and smartphone technology for our impulse lease signing from across the country). We ended up living in Golden Hill, and after many trips to the NEX and IKEA, made a cute 2bed/2bath apartment off the 94 freeway our own.
I took a job in Mission Valley pretty quickly upon arrival and had no idea how smart of a decision that would end up being. Moving away from 19 years of friendship, and my family was hard, but suddenly I had a focus: a job.
I started another decade, and turned 30 in June! For only living in San Diego for a few months at the time, I managed to celebrate with a group of new friends and my husband. Being a natural born networker, making friends out here hasn’t been a problem; however, I would be remiss to say I don’t miss my Denver besties.
Now being only 2 hours away from Disneyland (and equally a Disney diehard), I got a Military-Park-Hopper pass and was able to go whenever a free weekend would lend itself to me. I also was close enough to LA that I was able to go to RuPaul’s Drag Con at the LA Convention Center. My best friend and I were finally in the same state, and we were able to see one another as often as we could. I got to go to a taping of ‘Men Tell All’ for “The Bachelorette” with my sister, and that was quite special too.
I set a lot of goals on my Peloton bike. It kept me grounded when times were tough and gave me a sense of control over my goals and outcomes. In the last year, I have completed over 850 rides on the bike and just finished celebrating in the San Diego showroom on Saturday for my 1,000th Ride. In September, I flew to New York City for the first time to ride in the studio with my favorite instructors. It was a life-changing trip.
Speaking of trips, my husband and I tried to travel more, despite both of our work schedules being tricky. Even if it was just a day trip to explore and take our cameras out, we made it a priority. In the last year we have made it to Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and have plans to visit San Francisco, and Dollywood (a dream of mine) soon. It might not seem like much, but being able to get away just for a weekend is so good for your spirit.
In September, we bought a house. Yep – Scott and I are homeowners! We purchased an adorable forever-home (yep, forever – San Diego is where we hope to end up post-military) in East County. We couldn’t have done this without the tireless efforts of our dear friend and San Diego realtor, Ehab Ismail.
In San Diego, I got more involved in the things that drive my passions. I finally had space in my career to sit on a board of directors for a cause. I chose MARYAH (Metro Area Real Estate Professionals For Young Adult Housing), which helps fund the LGBT Center’s Sunburst Youth Housing Project. In San Diego, I have found more ways in which I can be an ally to my LGBTQIA+ friends and loved ones in my community.
This move was grueling for the most part. I moved away from family, and we had some very tough times last year. It was hard being apart from them, but I know that they will always be in my heart. My husband began to go out to sea, and as a military spouse, it was my first time having to worry about him. I gained a lot of strength and resilience in the last year, of which I am so grateful. Fortunately, I am 2 hours away from my in-laws. Having them in close proximity to me has been such a comfort. I truly feel so lucky to be close to something familiar.
While I have begun to grow some very beautiful roots in San Diego, I am remiss as to what is next for me. I find myself missing the beautiful networking groups I had in Denver, and the friendships I have had for years. While I continue to grow and change in my new normal, I am constantly reminded of where I came from and what I have to offer the world.
To those who I have met this past year, your imprint on my heart has meant the world to me. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. Whether we worked together, volunteered together, or met through Bumble BFF, I honestly cannot thank you enough for being in my life.
My first year in California was a very beautiful journey of self-acceptance, forgiveness, and love. I hope that each year in my new decade is just as rewarding.
The universe is calling to me right now, and I feel that change is upon me. Let’s see what 2020 brings!