La Californie

In mid March I journeyed back to the states to work in California, my first return there in over a year.  Filled with anticipation of this trip, I thought a lot about returning to our “home” of Laguna Beach and to our old life.  I wondered how would I feel to be back in our old neighborhood.  Would I miss it instantly?  Would my heart melt?  Would I feel the need to return as soon as feasibly possible?

After arriving I was filled with mixed emotions and yes my heart swelled in my throat on more than one occasion.  It was so wonderful to see our dear friends, to visit familiar places, to hear the soothing sounds of the beach and to smell that salty ocean air.  Laguna Beach is beautiful, I think probably more so than I remember.  But that’s just it, more so than I remember.  Walking on the beach early one morning, it dawned on me that you can live in the most beautiful place in the world, but if you aren’t fully present to your life, the location of your home is irrelevant.  While this may sound trivial and apparent, sometimes being wrapped up inside a bubble isn’t so transtransparent.

I loved our life in Laguna but sadly enough by the end of my time living there that life no longer loved me.  I became someone that I didn’t want to be.  Being back again in Laguna, I realize just how much I needed to leave, to refresh life and start anew.  California is beautiful and will always hold a special place in my heart, and although seeing our former home is still bittersweet, to be honest I am not missing the noise, the amount of people or the traffic... especially the traffic.

While I was sad to say good-bye to dear friends, I know that we made the right decision to move on.  Life pushed us to change and to move forward.  We arrived to a new chapter, a quiet pace and a simple being.  The nature and space of the countryside are helping to heal a part of me that was broken.  Living in Provence and in now returning back to Laguna, I now fully comprehend that the life I choose will be built based on what is on the inside, not the outside.

As I am now back in France, I will cherish my photos and my memories.  I smile for my friends, my time in California, for the life lessons learned and still to be learned.  Maybe we will return to live there one day or maybe not.  That path is not yet paved.  For now I know that sometimes leaving what you thought you wanted opens you up to receive what you need in order to live the life you were meant to…