It was July 7, 2006 that marked the date of my westward expansion. This summer I’m celebrating 10 years of living in California (minus a little 8 month stint) and sharing my thoughts on how the past decade went.
I won’t lie, I’m having a hard believing it’s been 10 years since I moved west to California. That means I graduated from college a decade ago. A decade! Just saying 10 years seems like I should have accomplished these huge milestone moments in my life and I almost felt defeated that I possibly hadn’t, but then I realized that I’ve done pretty darn good for myself and I’m living the life exactly how I want it.
Let’s do a quick recap from back at the beginning, starting in July of 2006. I had just graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and had already arranged my move to California months prior. I was ready for some year-round sunshine and kissing my ice scraper goodbye. I’m constantly asked “What made you move to California?,” and the answer is simple, “Sunshine.” I went from needing a car lock de-icer to barely even needing a jacket, it was a no brainer.
I started out as an Executive Assistant to my best friend’s Mom who was running a very successful direct sales business. It was a great way to dive into the business world and learn a ton of different skillsets all at one time. I even spent some of my free time as an assistant girls basketball coach at the local high school. It gave me a sense of familiarity and I was able to make some great friends and a lifelong partner from it!
This next move wasn’t exactly my smartest, but when you’re 22 and have your mind set on something, there isn’t anyone who is going to talk you out of it. I decided after living in California for 14 months that I wanted to move to Houston, Texas.
Did I mention that I’ve never even been to Texas before I loaded up the U-Haul?
I remember as my Dad & I were coming into Houston on the I-10 that I looked at him and said, “what did I do?” I tried to make the best of it and had a good job as a Marketing Coordinator for an IT firm, but about month 5 or 6 I was just miserable and longing for California. I started saving up my money, getting my resume together and applying for jobs back in SoCal. I had the U-Haul loaded back up for the journey west in just 8 short months.
It’s June of 2008 and I’m living back in Southern California and staying at my best friend’s house while working an entry level marketing job for a medical supply company. I stayed there for a little over a year before moving to another marketing position in Burbank related to the film industry. I was gaining a ton of experience, doing well in both jobs before the call came from my previous boss, Lisa, back when I first moved out here. We’ve obviously stayed in touch since she’s my best friend’s Mom and the timing was right for us to join forces again with her direct sales business. Gone were the days of an hour commute for 22 miles and I was back to working from home and doing a job where I finally felt truly appreciated.
At this time I’ve bounced around to different living scenarios, but had finally moved in with my boyfriend and beginning to settle down. Just before we got too comfortable, we had an opportunity to move from the hot desert weather of Valencia to the coastal beach temperatures of Ventura.
This is where we have called home for the past 4.5 years. While living up in Valencia I felt that I had gone from one extreme to the other in terms of temperatures. I wasn’t cut out for 100°+ weather as much as I was for 8°. The beach temperatures are absolutely perfect and I even get to use long sleeves at night while wearing a tank and shorts during the day. It’s the best of both worlds and we couldn’t be happier.
I continue to do some work for Lisa, but have moved towards solo entrepreneurship in its entirety this past year or so. Making that dream of being your own boss a reality is the most fulfilling experience I could have imagined. It comes with scary, unknown moments and brass learning curves, but I only look at those as stepping stones towards achieving success.
If you would have told me 10 years ago that at 32 I would be a lifestyle blogger, photographer, creative marketing entrepreneur, dog rescuer and partner to an amazing man for 8.5 years I don’t know if I would have believed you. I certainly haven’t followed a “normal” path into adulthood, but anyone who knows me from childhood wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve never liked following rules and enjoy making them up as I go.
I’m excited to see what the next 10 years have in store for me and how the evolution of my story will play itself out. Hopefully we’ll still be connected someway, somehow so we can reminisce together!
Keep Living a Stylized Life.