It’s official. We are now residents of Chico, CA. After days and weeks of agonizing over the next move for us, I decided that it was time to take a break from fun jobs and instability to try out a career path. I accepted an 11-month AmeriCorps position with the Geographic Information Center in Chico and I’ll be working on policy implementation and broadband expansion in rural Northern California. Obviously, this position pales in comparison to a year in Spain but after getting denied a visa to Spain I did some serious soul searching and some internet searching for the quickest way out of here and into a new country. But what I found was 1) none of my friends truly understand me the way they claim to, and 2) I love California, and I felt like, maybe I wasn’t ready to leave. So I signed a year lease (haven’t done that since July 2015) and I bought some furnishings (an airbed and a little hanging thing for my closet so I wouldn’t have to get something with drawers) and we’re figuring it all out.
It’s been a week and so far my rear wheel on my bicycle has been stolen from the bike rack directly in front of my front door, I’ve started running again (yay fitness), and Jax found an entire deer leg on our Sunday hike. So all in all a very strange week. I have 2 roommates and our apartment is literally beside CSU Chico and I feel like an old lady around all these college students.
I constantly question if this was the right move and I’m still not sure it is. The position is pretty flexible, in that, while I’m doing the work that’s been asked of me, I have some freedom to learn about the field that interests me, which is urban transport planning or alternative transportation. I work really closely with a planner turned grant writer and she’s already helping me get familiar with the field which is really comforting. I was afraid that I’d walk into this and be bored doing mundane tasks every day, and so far I am, but my supervisor and I have talked about what I’ll be doing once the mundane things are out of the way and it’s actually really interesting.
It was really hard to leave the Bay Area. Since my first visit to the Bay in 2016, it’s always felt a little like home. It was so easy to just jump into life there. Both times we drove into Marin after being in Florida for months, it felt like coming home. Strangely enough, Marin feels more like home than anywhere else. If I could afford it, it’s where I would put roots down. I can’t fully describe why I feel that way, but it has everything that Jax and I love. Little hiking trails everywhere, super quiet and safe, cool temps every night, and for most of the year during the day too, just warm enough in the summer, beautiful rolling hills and nature everywhere. It’s a shame only the truly wealthy get to live comfortably there.
Maybe that will be a goal of mine. Until I can afford a house in Marin, I’ll be on the hunt for something similar. Cheaper. And to be honest, maybe Madrid wouldn’t have been it. Everything happens for a reason and things work out the way they’re supposed to. My hope is that at the end of this year I have some clarity and direction so that I don’t continue to second guess all my decisions, and feel like I have something to work towards instead of feeling as though I’m wandering aimlessly through life. Travel and fun are taking the backseat for a while but it’s important for me to save as much money as I can and develop some habits that will benefit me in the long run. And as usual, I’ll update this as much as possible.