California Dreamin’

Here I am in California, but it feels like purgatory.

My family and I are here for a month, in and out of the Sacramento-area, while my husband completes a medical school rotation. It’s been about a year since I’ve spent any length of time here, and right now it feels like such a tease.

We left California–the land of our births–more than three years ago. At the time we didn’t know what adventure lay before us as we made our way on Southwest Airlines to Omaha, Neb., and finally to Des Moines, Iowa. We had our twin boys, rapidly approaching their first birthday, and a household full of stuff to fill our new house on a quiet street in the northwest part of the city.

We have had many opportunities to come back to California to visit friends and family, and each time it felt great to come back, feel the sun on my face and enjoy the relative ease of slipping back into my California comfort zone.

This time has been different. It almost pains me to be here. I’d rather stay away and forget it exists for the time being–that time being the remainin year and a half in Iowa and subsequent residency years somewhere else.

I wonder if this is what a caged bird feels like, when seeing the vast space before it, wanting to fly around, perch on a tree over there, bathe in a birdbath over there. Freedom is so close, but unattainable.

So I wonder, how do you continue to forge relationships, build careers, keep on going full speed when you are stuck in a holding pattern?

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  1. I moved from Vancouver to Calgary. I think I know how you feel. I still visit Vancovuer, I consider it my 2nd home because over 75% of my stuff is still there.

    It is not just the change of flatter, more drier Midwest (in Canada we tend to refer to our area as either prairies or oil country, because Alberta is Canada’ big producer), but also the overall cultural milieau. It just feels less cosmopolitan in Calgary vs. Vancouver or Toronto. Latter city I was there for over 20 yrs.

    This is why it’s important to choose to live in a neighbourhood where one feels “right”.

    • I love Vancouver, Jan. Such a beautiful city. I have never been to Calgary, though.Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m feeling less antsy here in Ohio than I was in Iowa. It’s surely not California, but it feels less isolated. Nevertheless, when we leave Ohio and my husband gets his first physician job, I don’t want to move from whatever spot we land in. I want to put down some roots!


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