I have to admit, I have been lost in the sea of moving, preschool, trying to make kids toys, family life and travel so I have left my blog somewhat abandoned for the past 6 months. So much has happened. Our lives have changed so drastically and each day I am so utterly thrilled with the outcome. My body got to a point where it literally ached for change. We had lived in Santa Barbara for nearly 9 years and I wanted a breath of fresh air more than anything.
For so long we wanted to buy a home and we gave it our best effort for a few years in a place we could not afford. Santa Barbara was wonderful in so many ways, but the main problem was finding an affordable place to settle down in. Eventually, we realized if we didn’t get out soon, we would perpetually be renting in a town that we could only afford a one bedroom condo in, our child would be on several transfer wait lists for good schools and/or in a lottery for a charter school. This was unsettling and I am a planner, so this was downright wrong. I wanted what I had as a child: a small town where the school down the street was the school everyone went to, and that was a known fact from day one – my mom had that even though she rented in the early days.
We spun every possible scenario for relief. I obsessively watched the Craigslist adds for a better home and realtor.com for a place to buy. And even when we found rentals we liked, it was like going to bat at the All Stars in competition to get the place. The owners were inundated with 100s of inquiries and many times a one income household was a turn-off. Our rental payment which was already a mortgage level rate was growing exponentially and soon would be a mortgage rate of a $500,000 dollar home. Yup, just to rent it and Santa Barbara standards were low – so that price would probably include a no-access garage or a shared lot (I’m not bitter about it or anything. Ha).
The lifestyle was different from what I imagined my life being and the cost was just making it feel all the more wrong. I wanted to live somewhere where the idea of being a stay-at-home mom was embraced. It takes two incomes to live in Santa Barbara for the vast majority and maybe even three. I was playing 1950s mom in a fast-paced, gluten hating, career mom kinda place and I felt so out of my element. Not that working and being a mother is bad (of course not). I highly respect it, I just didn’t feel those feelings were reciprocated for the choices I was making. The values were just different.
Overall, my dream life embraced being home with my child and living wild and free in the outdoors and the countryside. This need to nest was pounding on my chest. I felt it from the core and I wasn’t going to let life just sweep by, leaving me in the scenario that I dreaded. We needed to act fast so we could establish a life that we loved, before Willow started her elementary school experience.
Do you ever feel like there are times in your life when it is just spot on right, everything is aligned and you just moved mountains with your decisions? This is one of those times for me and realizing this, is making me want to look back on my whole existence to see similar patterns and reflect on them. I just have to say that I’m not really religious but this is one of the times in my life when I felt an immense force…God swept in and made things happen for us. Like the universe was so aligned that we were able to achieve our wildest dreams.
Granted this is a rental…it is not forever, but I think it will align us with the foundation that we were craving. This has happened a couple of times in my life and one of them was how our conception of Willow played out. I won’t go into that now, but try to think about your life and find the few points in there that were so profound and aligned everything you ever desired. I challenge you to do this to appreciate that these times do come along and they change us for the better. They are few and far between, but a blessing from angels for sure. Something to forever remember and wonder…we are bigger, greater, more powerful than we can imagine and God is doing this in some way, shape or form. At least that’s my opinion on the matter.
So with all that being said we landed in this darling small town, where oak trees are peppered over rolling dry hills; horses are corralled in each passing field; the sound of crickets pulsates through the starry night sky; cicadas buzz; owls hoot and screech; sheep mules and goats can be heard throughout the neighborhoods; crows drop walnuts like it’s rainy walnuts; and most importantly, people are so kind. I hear natures call all day and night, packs of coyotes keep me awake. My kid gets dirty and plays with trees, and collects acorns, and runs freely in her underpants from yard to yard. It was my dream to see her grow up this way. Now we just need chickens and a dog.
I just wanted to write a little something to remind us all that if your heart starts talking to you and you start listening…perhaps you can move mountains by making changes. If I suffered through and ignored my big picture, I would have found myself in a tangled web, in a city I couldn’t afford, that didn’t feel like me, and I would have missed out on this whole new wonderful way of life. So, I’m challenging you to reflect and remember your precious moments – when the stars where aligned and to make changes when changes are due.