365 Days in Southern Cali

January 11, 2015, marked my one year anniversary in California. In true Californian vernacular, I must say the last 365 days were gnarly. 

The morning of my Californian anniversary started similar to the previous year, I awoke to clouds and rain. In spite of the weather (I’m Californian now so anything but sunshine hinders my functional capabilities), I participated in a lululemon event, #BodiesInMotion, co-Hosted by four incredible lululemon ambassadors. A pack of approximately 130 of us ran 3 miles through downtown SD and finished with some soaked yoga at Mission Brewery (the run included a large number of hugs and high-fives so the rain was barely noticeable and we were ready to relax on our mats with Hellen and Katie B, so it turned out perfectly). 

The information leading up to the event was vague, they just told us where to park, what to bring and our meeting location. We knew we were running and practicing, that was it. Upon arriving to the meeting spot, we were instructed to put our mat in a van and then we reconvened. 

With only a few familiar faces in the crowd, I introduced myself to Danielle. Unbeknownst to me during our initial pre-run interaction, Danielle was the speaker of the event, representing the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I had already asked Danielle to be my run-buddy so I was able to hear a bit about her story before the rest of the group as we jogged a majority of the 3 miles together.

My experience running with Danielle brought the past year in San Diego full-circle for me. Danielle survived cancer when she was in high school and as a result of her illness she is now an amputee. Even though she was running with a prosthetic leg, she was the one pushing me. Running with Danielle was an incredible reminder that we can do ANYTHING we set our minds to and our obstacles are only as big as we let them be.

The week prior to our run, I watched this TED Talk and after running with Danielle and listening to her, I realized my life these past 365 days turned out beautifully because of my grit. Similar to the growth mindset, people with grit foster a belief that “failure is not a permanent condition.” Danielle, too, agreed it was grit that kept her going. Across all circumstances, no matter how big or small, outcomes are determined by our attitudes toward obstacles.

As mentioned, the past 365 days in San Diego were gnarly. Too be honest, many of them were hard and painful. My motivation for moving was two fold: 1) I wanted a new experience in a new city 2) I reconnected with a guy that lived here and we started dating. As destiny manifested, I got an opportunity to transfer my job AND I got promoted, so my move from Chicago to the West Coast was verily comfortable and easy. 

Once I got here, things shifted quickly. Work was extremely challenging. My studio was under-performing when I arrived and some the staff were less than pleased to work with me. I didn’t know how to drive (essential in Southern California) and I was uncomfortable with the slow pace of North County. I didn’t have any good friends. AND, 4 months after I moved, the guy I was dating broke up with me.

All my family and friends in Chicago (and the guy I had dated) told me to move back home and I almost did. Then, one day during my meditation practice, my grit kicked in and I was like, “F&CK this”. I came to California to challenge myself and I vowed to follow through with it.

Once my attitude shifted to “I can” and I made the decision to stay in San Diego, to preserve, everything slowly shifted. It’s taken time, but I finally live in a location I love. I have friends. I am involved in great communities. And most importantly, I have learned a lot:

-It's taking me time to become the beach girl I dreamed I was and while I love nature, I will always love the urban lifestyle. 

-Traveling is key to my happiness and privileging travel always adds to my life, never decreases.

-Being single and without a solid network in a new city does not have to be lonely or scary, it’s empowering and an opportunity to make decisions solely based on your passions and hobbies. 

-I have an entrepreneurial, hardworking spirit. Achieving my level two reiki certification was next level, but there is a passionate, enterprising woman alive inside of me. I look forward to using my mindful yoga practices to grow professionally. 

-The universe wants us to succeed and as we recognize that truth, we make choices that support our highest good.

To summarize, the last 365 of my life were similar to a modern painting. It was confusing and messy and unconventional, but super beautiful and inspiring. It lit my soul on fire and I now have more strength and determination to live my mantra and fulfill my destiny! I am eager to share the experiences that emerge in the next 365 days and the wonderful things that come from my grit and tenacity.