I’ve been putting off this blog post for a while now, and I guess it’s time to come clean. I’ve been a little MIA on this blog because I’ve been dealing with so much personally…and well…that’s because…
In exactly six days, I’ll be making the move 3,000 miles back to California! *cue Biggie song* I’m going going, back back, to Cali Cali…
It’s been a feeling brewing in my soul, stirring up my spirit and this decision just finally felt right. If you know me, you know I’m currently living in Brooklyn, NY. And if you don’t know me, welcome! So glad you landed here and that we’ve connected. ☺️
The decision to move back didn’t come easily. I’ve built my entire post grad life and identity on the east coast. I moved to Washington, D.C. two days after graduating from college and have been out here ever since. I was a terrified twenty-two year old who knew nothing about what it meant to live outside of California, became a teacher and suddenly responsible for educating 100 lives, all while trying to figure out my own place in the world. It’s been a wild ride here to say the least. I grew up here, found my independence, faced some setbacks, made friends, lost friends, fell in love, got my heart broken, been on one too many bad first dates, and ultimately came out a hell of a lot stronger.
So you look like you love living in Brooklyn—why are you leaving?
Great question. First and foremost, anyone who knows me intimately knows that I was the last person on this earth who would have willingly moved here. I remember visiting NYC while I was living in D.C. and kept thinking to myself: I could never live here. But I truly believe that everything happens for a reason (cliché, I know. Sorry y’all.) After my two years with Teach For America were completed, I began the job search and was completely set on staying in D.C. But some doors closed on me with the schools I was vying for and suddenly, this opportunity to work and teach in Brooklyn, NY, came up. In retrospect, it was all God’s plan for me and while I couldn’t see it then, the opportunity to live and work in Brooklyn has been the biggest blessing. I’ve grown professionally in so many ways; I grew as an educator, a leader at my school, and undertook some big roles that really pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I’ve made some incredible friendships and shared some amazing memories with my students that I am so truly grateful for. I will always look back on my experience in D.C. and New York with such fondness. I look back on this experience and think, “damn, you really did it.”
But with the good, also comes the not so pretty. People shy away from talking about the hard stuff, but I’m totally going to go there.
While everything on the exterior has been pretty, life in NY definitely takes a toll on you mentally. I’ve been through some dark phases here where I’ve felt very alone. I experienced my first episodes of anxiety and depression. I remember vividly experiencing my first anxiety attack after moving to Brooklyn and starting my new teaching job. The amount of newness and work that I had to do, all while settling into this new city without having a support system, hit me. These feelings of anxiety have come and gone and while I’m good at managing it on the outside, trust me, it hasn’t been easy or fun.
And it’s something that I still struggle with. These past 6 months have been really difficult on me as I’m navigating what a new life looks like where I am healing my eczema naturally. I still have rashes on my body and while I do a good job hiding them in my photos, know that I struggle. Some days, I just do not want to be seen. Some days, I just want to crawl into a hole and not come out. Having eczema can feel like being a prisoner in your own body because so much it feels out of your control. Some days when I’m in a flare, it’s really hard to show up and just be seen. It’s been incredibly tough and this decision to move back to California is a choice I am making to put my health –physically and mentally- first.
And so in the last few months, I’ve felt this inner fire in me telling me to move back to California. It’s home. It’s where my people are. All of my family members (and I mean everyone—mom, dad, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins twice removed, you name it) are in California and it’s been incredibly difficult to be out here on my own. Sometimes you just want to be in the comfort of your parents or siblings’ company. Sometimes, you just need to be by your people who love and care for you. And while I’ve been out here on the East coast, it hasn’t been an option for me, and I’m ready to change that.
Ultimately, leaving my entire community I’ve built out here, an awesome job that was incredibly stable and had room for growth, wasn’t an easy decision. But knowing that I’ll be back where my family is, a place where I know I have support, and back to a lifestyle that is more relaxed, is what I need and what I want. Do I know what I’m doing while I’m back in California? No. I don’t have an immediate job lined up and this uncertainty scares the shit (sorry for cursing, but it really is the appropriate word here) out of me. I’ve always been a planner. I’ve always known plan A, B, C, and D. And this is the first time where there is uncertainty in my life. I do not know what path I will take when I move back, but all I know is that I’m ready for change. I’m ready for a fresh start. I’ll be taking the next few months off to “figure it out,” pursue my creative passions, and ultimately, take a breather.
And so apologies if I’m absent here for the next week. I’ll be packing my life away and attempting to fit all my clothes and shoes in 5 suitcases (That’s not that bad, right?!).
If you made it down here, thank you so much for reading and for allowing me to be vulnerable. Let me know you’ve read this by leaving me a comment; I’d really love to hear from you. Have you ever made a huge move like this before? Are you also going through a phase of uncertainty? Let’s be friends and cheer each other on. It’s always comforting knowing that there are people out there going through the same thing. I’m rooting for you and wishing you the best on your journey to greatness, sweet friends! Let’s do this!
What I’m wearing:
At this point, you should know that I’m all about maximizing my budget. This means using your pieces to create the allusion of a new outfit, mixing pieces so that the same pieces can have fun and refreshing twists. This is a maxi dress that I styled in two different ways! Hope you enjoy!
Yellow midi (maxi on me) dress from Target
- Only $27.99 and definitely looks more expensive in person! This dress is actually a midi dress but hits me at the perfect maxi dress length. My type for petite gals is to find midi-dresses because they make for the perfect maxi length for us!
- It flows beautifully and has fun stripes that add dimension to it.
In the first outfit, I layered my maxi with a kimono cardigan and belted it to give myself a waist. The kimono cardigan is a beautiful turquoise and paired with the bright yellow, it gives you a bold and colorful outfit. I actually had a woman stop me on the street to tell me how happy my outfit made her when I was wearing this. I’ve also received so many compliments on this outfit–it’s definitely a fun one that is perfect for summer! My kimono cardigan is about 6 years old from H&M. Here are a few alternatives:
- Kimono duster with lace tie from Target
- Lilac floral kimono duster from Target
- Tye Dye kimono cardigan from Target
In the second outfit, I utilized my closet staple: a denim button down to create the allusion of a skirt! It’s one of my favorite ways to wear denim shirts. To style, button the shirt down except for the last 3 buttons or so. Then use the ends to tie it together and give yourself the allusion of a top and skirt. This trick also elongates you especially if you’re a shorty like me! My shirt is from Madewell, but here are some alternatives:
My shoes are a couple years old from Topshop. Here are a couple of other fun lace up options!
- Lace-Up brown sandals from Madewell
- Lace-up Gladiator sandal from Sole Society
- Lace-Up Gladiator sandal from Halogen
Hope these outfits serve you as some inspiration to take a chance on color, a new style, or both! Let me know what you think and if you’ll be rocking any of these looks!