Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Last Ride In...

I took that last ride in a few days before getting in the car and heading north to Washington State. It was a beautiful SoCal afternoon, my family was in town for the holidays and I felt like I had all the time in the world. When I got out of the water, I didn't want to go home, so I sat on my board and looked at the water for one last time. And cried and cried.

I cried because I knew I'd miss the ocean.  But I also cried because I realized why the ocean had meant so much to me during these last few years in LA. I hated my fucking life.

I loved my husband. I loved my kids. I loved my friends. I loved the weather, the mountains, the yoga, the  produce, the open-minded people and the sky at sunset. And still, I hated the grind: the sense of barely keeping my head above water financially and the effort it took just to get by. I hated the speed, the constant busy-ness and, as another emigrating friend recently put it, "the constant reminders of the life I could have had if I hadn't made so many mistakes."

As I sat there on the beach, I felt like I'd been ground down and sanded like a block of wood. In my despair, I grew concerned I'd lost something along the way:  the belief that life could be other than a constant struggle to heroically rise above my circumstances.

I write these words from University Place, Washington, a small town east of Tacoma. This will be the last entry of "Surf, Pray, Love" and we will end on a cliff hanger...

What will happen? Will I make the shift I hope to make - from my stressed out, urban lifestyle to one that is  connected to the outdoors, spiritually nurturing and grounded in community? Will Brian get a more challenging, better-paying job and enjoy the crafts-centered life he seeks? Will Trinity's health improve and will she chill the fuck out? And will Ashton emerge unscathed - and even stronger and happier -  from the transition?

Tune in to my upcoming, as of yet untitled blog, for these answers and more.



  1. You save the best blog for last! I am so sorry to see you leave, but if you really can find a place where you aren't reminded of your mistakes, I will move there too. xoxo

  2. I have many positive feelings about this move for you guys! We keep talking about a trip up there--will let you know when we finally do it! HUGS to you and yours!

  3. Jess,

    You walk forth with grace. The ocean will always be in/with you(like the Force). She goes with you.

    One of the surprising features of my transition out of living in LA was that I found myself having to consciously drop my "guard". Where I live, 50% of the bikes at our local elementary school are unlocked. People look you in the eyes. The gas station guy, the guy selling you a sandwich, the cashier. Real. Human. Interactions. If somebody approaches me and strikes up a conversation my LA instincts tell me they want something from me(and it's shields up), but they are just being friendly. It feels like I have to keep remembering to take off this creepy jacket I keep finding myself wearing.
    It's easier now. I feel more myself.
    The transition has been easier, and more sourceful for me than I expected. Even the weather was no big deal. It's different, but I'd say better. You and your family have our love and support. Wishing you a graceful transition.


  4. Thanks to everyone for the beautiful comments. I feel so supported and loved as I take on this thoroughly unfamiliar undertaking. Most of all, I like Doug's encouragement that it will be easier than I suspect. I"ll take it!

  5. May it be all you're looking for, and more. So glad you're sharing the journey, and I look forward to what you do next. We've been trying to move out of the city here for 2 years now, and hope to make the jump soon in that we want mountains and trees and space and room to create, all if which are rather impossible here. May you feel the surge of the ocean wherever you live.