When I was a little girl, my dad would ask my siblings and me questions about nothing in particular—questions to get to know us, I guess. "If you were stranded on an island," he'd say, "and you could only take one thing with you, what would it be?" "If you could only listen to three records for the rest of your life, what would they be?" "If you could only read three books forever, what would you choose?"
And this one: "If you could live near the beach or the mountains, which one would you pick?" I hated that question. How could anyone choose? How, how could anyone choose the beach over the mountains or the mountains over the beach? I've asked myself this question over and over again in life, and sometime in college, I finally decided on mountains. Then I started getting involved in water activities (e.g., kayaking, paddleboarding, rafting, rowing), and I thought, "Well, if I'm going to live in the mountains, I at least need a river or a lake nearby." I thought it was the perfect combination.
And then I moved to California.
I realized my dad had created a false dichotomy. In my mind, you could only have the beach, or you could only have the mountains. You could not have both. But you CAN! You can have both! And it's called California! You can hike AND stroll along the beach in one day! It's wonderful. I feel like crying tears of joy just thinking about it. I mean, look at this:
So why, then, am I leaving this beautiful state? For a job, that's why. It was a tough call, but I decided that this new position in Salt Lake City was a good career opportunity. I'm anxious and a little sad and will really miss my friends (and Santa Cruz!) when I leave . . . I didn't expect to love California, but I do now. It may be my soul state. (I'm holding off on that judgment until I visit all the states, though. Still. I have a feeling.)
At any rate, this is my goodbye post. Goodbye, California! I love you and will try to visit often! Don't forget about me!
Thing I'm thankful for: my small group of California friends, especially the Googlers. You know who you are. I love you all.