Change is inevitable. Goals change. Perspectives change. Passions change. Desires change. And oftentimes, environments change as a result.
Happiness is not inevitable. That is, unless we decide that we want it to be. Every day we wake up with a choice: Do I want to be happy today? We have the power to make choices throughout the day to be happy, and these choices culminate throughout life resulting in a life filled mostly with happiness versus a life just hoping for it.
This choice to live happy has brought me to a very big change in my life: a move (yet again) back to California.
After one of the most therapeutic, healing, and growing years of my life in the Pacific Northwest, my husband and I have just wrapped up a crazy move back to California (Santa Cruz to be exact). If you had asked me even 3 months ago if we’d be leaving our little town on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, I would have thought you were crazy. And look at us now; what started as plans for a road trip down the west coast has turned into a full on move. We sold most of what we owned, packed up our truck and a little trailer, and are now in search of a new home. The adventure has been stressful at times, but mostly overwhelmingly happy, proving to us that listening to gut feelings and our hearts will never lead us astray, especially when that gut feeling says “go sleep under the stars for a bit”.
So now, the why: Why are we leaving perhaps one of the most beautiful places on earth and new amazing friends who welcomed us in with open arms? Why are we leaving small town life for the more chaotic life in Northern California? Why did we sell a ¼ acre of land and a large house for what will most likely end up being a condo or townhouse with a small yard? Why?
Because we made a choice to be happy, and as I mentioned before, following our heats has never steered us wrong. When I say this, I don’t at all mean that our home in Washington was making us unhappy. We loved the people, the community, the land, and the adventure. But something was calling us back to California, and over time we’ve learned how important it is to listen.
Family, friends, opportunity. Each called in its own way. As this next chapter of life approaches, we know that this is where we want to be. I have some really incredible opportunity to reach greater populations of people with my nutrition work and as a CrossFit Trainer in California. Rusty has great opportunity to follow his passion with CrossFit here too. And to surf to his heart’s content. Our families are in California and so are our best friends. Though social media and technology make us feel like we can be close even miles apart, time away proved that face to face, skin to skin, laugh to laugh contact are what we need as humans.
A year away provided perspective and a greater appreciation for home and the people here. We know we have a second home in Washington, amazing wilderness, and incredible friends to come visit each and every summer. A piece of our hearts will always be in the PNW, and we feel incredibly grateful to have called it home for over a year.
I learned an invaluable amount up there about adventure, movement, mindfulness, the land, sustainability, farming, hard work, community, what it means to shop local, and perhaps most importantly, myself. We feel good knowing that we’re passing on our home and small home garden to a lovely mother and her 3 kiddos. Rusty and I grew closer, we feel ready to start a family, and we know more than ever what we want out of life: to live simply and to share our message with others about health, wellness, fitness, and responsible/sustainable living. We learned that we want to live responsibly, explore often, and love deeply. We learned that living radically comes in all shapes and forms. And we learned that wherever we are in this world, when we have happiness, we’re home.
So cheers to the next adventure. Cheers to finding the greatest local producers (including our own small garden) and creating more fabulous recipes (and perhaps a book *hint hint*). Cheers to exploring the parks, mountains, and beaches of California. Cheers to reaching more people with our message and knowledge. And cheers to YOU for following along on this journey with me, for always thinking radically, and for staying true to your roots.
Live rad my friends, and if you’re in Santa Cruz, let me know!