Tuesday, May 14, 2013
California vs. Virginia
This post has been formulating in my head over the last two months, but I haven't been able to put it down in words. Last night I lay in bed wide awake writing the post in my mind. It was a great post, well thought out and nicely written. I was awake, but too tired to actually get out of bed and write the post down in my computer. So here is my next morning attempt at putting my thoughts down as words.
People always say don't compare it's not good. Even Andy says it. I know that comparing is not good, but it happens anyway. It happens and I let it happen, so whatever! Since moving out to California it is in constant comparison to Virginia. Not saying that either is better, but there is always something here to remind me of Virginia...or even DC, which inevitably makes me homesick and I start to compare.
When Andy and I lived in DC and Virginia it was normal, comfortable, it was where we grew up and had spent a lot of our lives. After getting married I always figured we would move somewhere else and start new in a place that neither of us had been before. I thought we would make new friends, form a great group of like minded people, and go on a lot of adventures. That did not happen though. We spent our first three years of marriage in DC and Virginia.
They were great years though. We had lots of close friends surrounding us and we did all sorts of fun things. Yes, the area may have been the same as from our childhood, but our friendships were blossoming and there was always something going on, from parties, to cookouts, to random Easter egg hunts put on by our friends in the center of DC.
Then the job offer from California came. It was everything we had hoped for, only three years late. Our life was good where we were at, but the idea of being in a new place with a new exciting life seemed more important. So Andy took the job, I closed my chocolate business, we said goodbye to dear friends, and we moved out to the Bay Area.
Our first few months here were great. We were more focused on adventuring and seeing the area than anything else. Because of that, friendships were not made and community was not built. We also live in Oakland rather than San Francisco, which makes us feel isolated from everything that is happening. Most of the people we know are in SF, so it is frustrating to be across the Bay, which is close yet far at the same time.
So here we are living our "dream" life in California, yet all we can do is think about Virginia/DC and everything we used to have there. We push forward and try to make California work, but it is a slow almost excruciating process. I am discovering that friendships are not easily made in your late 20s, most people already have their solid friend group at this age. Yes, there are meet-up's to go to, but the actual friends made are far and few between.
California is the great land of sunshine (for that I am thankful), but I find myself missing the Virginia rain. I have never craved a heavy rain storm this much before. California has majestic beaches, wonderful wine, and endless parks of hiking to explore. Virginia though, has rolling green mountains, rivers for rafting, and loads of great friends. So the comparison continues... while we figure out where we fit into the grand scheme of everything...