How does a person leave the closest place to paradise that they’ve ever experienced? This is the question I have been pondering. One of my most useful discoveries has been that if you want to find a great place to live, listen to how the people who live there talk about it. There’s a reason why people love to live in certain areas of the country. Sure, there are contented people everywhere who appreciate their community because it is home. When an area gains a widespread reputation as an exceptional place to live, it is the acclaim of the locals, not their contentment, that spreads the word.
I heard about how wonderful San Diego was long before I had traveled west of Colorado. In the Summer of 2004, I packed up my red Toyota Celica convertible and told my sister, who I brought along for the journey, that I was looking for a place out west near the mountains and the ocean. I had grown restless in Minneapolis and realized that there was no reason for me to limit my possibilities to the midwest.
I had already decided I liked San Diego before I arrived but when I spent my first Sunday afternoon in Balboa Park I was convinced. We were only in town for a day when I said to Rebekah, “If there was a good seminary here, this is where I would want to live.” After returning from my journey through the West I discovered that not only was there a seminary in San Diego, but it was a part of the same seminary I was considering in Minneapolis. The only downside to that consideration was that I didn’t want to spend four more years up north. I had found my destination and it was San Diego.
I have lived in America’s Finest City for more than seven years now, long enough to understand well how it earned its nickname. Although I’ve loved living here, I’ve always known that San Diego would not be my permanent home. Like so many other transplants, I figured that some necessity or opportunity would eventually peel me away.
When I reconnected with Bethany in Los Angeles, the beautiful woman I had met seven years before in Minneapolis, I began to fall in love. She moved away a few months later and I kept hoping that she would make her way back to California. Once I graduated I decided to pursue a relationship with her, even if it meant moving back to Minnesota. Thankfully she returned to Los Angeles and less than a year later moved to San Diego so that we could finally live in the same proximity.
Our time together in San Diego worked out as I had hoped when we got married this summer. We stumbled upon an opportunity to sub-lease a beautiful home in San Diego’s South Park neighborhood for the first few months after our wedding. I knew that it was the perfect time for us to consider a move to LA. Before we signed a one year lease and began to establish our roots here as a couple, we needed to explore the possibility of spending our next season in the place where Bethany could once again do the work that she loves in television and film production.
We began looking for an opportunity to transfer within my company back in September. Over the past few weeks we’ve finally secured the job, and found a place to live in the North Hollywood area. It is close to work and even more importantly, within a mile of our two favorite coffee shops in Los Angeles. Saying goodbye to San Diego is hard but I believe that the risk we are taking by stepping away from what we know to give Bethany a chance to do the work she feels called to, will pay off.