California has been my home on and off again for the past 29, almost 30 years of my life. I was born and raised in Southern California and lived here until I left for college in Pennsylvania, on August 13, 1996, at the age of 18. I lived on campus but came home for the first two summers. Then I moved off campus, got an apartment with friends, and stayed through the summers. I was by then, a converted East Coast gal. Grad school came and once I was done in December of 2001, I stayed on the East. It wasn't until the end of 2002 that I returned to California. We-my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I had every intention of becoming life-long residents of this lovely state with mild weather and sunshine enough for all. Within six months of moving back to CA, I knew that I wanted to be back in Pennsylvania. It was clear to me that the life I envisioned for myself and my future family would not happen in the West.
In five weeks, my husband and I will leave the home we've known and start all over again. Not really from scratch; his family and many of our close friends are in PA. But, it will be from scratch in terms of our livelihood. I have to find a job, and he has to find a job. Initially we'll live with family, but eventually we'll have to find our own place.
It's every emotion you can think of and all the ones you can't. There are moments of absolute terror as well as fragments of excitement. You hope that those who know and love you understand that the decision you're making is about what's best for you, your husband and your future together. You ride waves of certain doubt and question why you would ever turn over such a comfortable life. You have an amazing job where you have established yourself with a wonderful reputation and you are well-liked. You have a great apartment, and while it's not huge, it's comfortable and in a prime location. Rent is fairly reasonable as well! Really, there's no reason to uproot yourself.
Then you realize that nothing good has ever come of complacency. What you want for yourself, you have to go after; it won't find you.
And then your stomach settles, you are able to breath deeply and you know that you're doing the right thing.