Today’s post question was from Patti : What do you like most about living in Socal and what do you miss most about back East?
I used to get asked this question a lot when I first moved out here 5 years ago, along with “What made you move out here?”. I moved here in March 2006 because I was offered a job working with abused and neglected children in a group home. On top of that, they were also teen mothers and/or pregnant teens. I felt that God had put a calling on my heart to come out here and serve these young girls and help them to learn how to trust adults in a healthy way, and to learn how to live independently and to raise their children. The offer to work out here came almost a year after my engagement had been broken off. I had decided that I had enough disappointment and bad experiences in my life and had been wanting a change, not just in my scenery/location, but just overall, within myself and my life. So I happily welcomed the job offer and the chance to start over in a new state. For the first year I lived in California, my job was my life. They had us working about 73 hours per week, and it was a live-in position, so it was basically 24/7. On my days off, I typically was catching up on sleep or trying to branch out off campus with some of the other staff, to see what all Southern California had to offer. It wasn’t until I no longer worked at the group home, that I really got to start seeing all the sites here, and feeling like my life was starting over.
I chose to stay here, and not return back to NY, where I had been born and raised, and spent my entire life. And I’m glad I stayed. For starters, I grew up in a really, really small town, where you knew everyone and everything. The weather was terrible. You had winter for 6-8 months, and it would get to below zero temperatures, then the spring would be very rainy, with lots of mud and varying temperatures. Then the 2-3 months of summer consisted of very humid, muggy days. My favorite season was Fall. I loved the change in the temperature, to warm but often crisp, the light breezes, and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees. Here in Los Angeles, we don’t really have Fall; we basically have spring/summer all year round, with a touch of rainy/gloomy for the winter/early spring. I love the weather, most of the time. It lets you have the freedom to do more things outdoors, and is just overall much better for my mood.
Another great thing about living in Los Angeles/southern California, is that there is so much diversity and so many things to do. Back home, I was surrounded by all white people, and we had no types of ethnic influence, nor any ethnic restaurants. When I moved out here, I was immediately exposed to so many different cultures, which I love. And I started branching out with my taste in food. I want to try it all! And I want to try to learn new languages.
As far as things to do here, I love that I am 30 minutes from the beach, an hour or two to the mountains, and to the desert. I can experience all 3 in a day if I wanted to. And there are so many tourist attractions, such as Disneyland, Hollywood, lots of museums, sports arenas, etc. You name it, and it’s probably here, or close by here.
There really isn’t much I miss about NY, other than the people. Most all of my family still lives there. It’s sad that we see each other only once every couple of years. But with things like email, Facebook, and Skype (video chat), it is much easier now to stay in touch with them. I had some great friends back home, but I think me being here has kind of made me “out of sight, out of mind” with them, which has been hard. I am going for a visit in October and hope that I can reconnect with some of my old friends. And hopefully, it will still be Fall in NY, and I will get to see the glorious colors of the changing leaves and breathe in the crisp, clean, smog-less air.
**This is part of a series I am doing where you, my wonderful readers, can ask me anything you want, whether in my comments section or using my BLOG THIS page. I will then answer your question in a blog post and link back to your blog.**