When we started looking at orders about five years ago, picking your location was more out of dislike for the other options rather than a strong desire to move across the country. When we learned that the Navy accepted our pick and we were moving there, I felt so many emotions, but mostly anxiety and fears of the unknown. How was I, a self-proclaimed homebody, going to survive 3,000 miles away from home?
I was determined to stay positive, to find reasons to look forward to this new adventure. I could see Hollywood, maybe run into a star. I would see landscapes unlike any I have seen on the east coast. I moved there looking forward to the touristy charms. I got so much more…
I found a church that instantly felt like home.
I found a worship team that welcomed me and found ways for me to continue serving even when my husband was deployed and I had a preschooler and toddler in tow with no babysitter to call on.
I found some of the strongest friendships that I have had in my adult life—women who embraced me, supported me, and stretched me; women who have left a lasting impression on my life.
I found a new appreciation for my home and family, especially my mom and sister, realizing that I cannot take them for granted but also seeing, in action, just how far they are willing to go for me and my little family. I will never be able to repay them for all they have done for me.
But I think, most importantly, I found me. I discovered my own strength and came into my own. I grew as a mom, as a friend, and as a person. I found my voice, learned what I needed from friendships, learned how to be a better wife, learned how to better trust in God. I truly believe that this move was designed for my own self-discovery. I could not have grown as I did if I always remained close to home and safe in my own comfort zone. California was my leap of faith.
I cannot believe how quickly four years in California flew by. We have been back on the east coast for a week now and it still has not fully set in that we will not be returning to the home we worked so hard to create for ourselves in Port Hueneme. I do not know if it will fully hit until we are leaving my mom’s and making the long drive to our next adventure.
California, you were a place I was scared to move to and you became a place that broke my heart to have to leave. Thank you for the lessons, the love, and the friendships.
Until we meet again, xo