Well, the truth is I never really, truly left. Physically I was here, nestled into my little home in Venice Beach with my husband and our furry daughter. But my heart left for a little bit.
When I first moved to California, I felt like I’d found a piece of me that was missing. Like a soul mate. I fell madly in love with the year round farmers markets, the barefoot wetsuit-wearing fathers in the coffee shop early in the morn, the sunsets that looked like melted Crayolas.
I got kinda grouchy spouting off things like “there’s too much traffic” and “it’s too expensive.” Yeah, those things do kinda suck but I was speaking from a lack rather than an abundance. I had my blinders on to living one mile from the ocean. Blinders to the unbelievable family we have here. Blinders to the fact that we have our windows and doors open all year long.
Then I took a super early yoga class with a few of my closest friends. And we walked on the beach. For several miles in fact. The light was gleaming off of the waves. I had my feet in the sand and in the frigid water. There were seagulls and surfers everywhere. And I remembered:
California, you’re my soul mate.
And sometimes things change. And we might move eventually. But right now, we’re here and rather than bitching and moaning and pretending I’m not hopelessly in love with you, I’m going to soak it on up.
this week my husband is on a juice cleanse.
he’s a 6’4, 230-pound new jersey-bred crossfitter with a beard and tats. not exactly what you’d imagine for a woo-woo juice cleanse.
i however, am a venice beach yoga teacher that tries to eat healthy and practice just about every day, and i cannot last eight hours without eating.
we did our first juice cleanse in january. matt was fine the entire time – worked out every day, eyes sparkling, tons of energy, bouncing around the house. i was laying on the floor, bitching and moaning, running into stuff and could hardly make it through teaching my own yoga class, let alone take one. after that, i said never again. i didn’t feel exceptional afterward and just felt bloated and puffy.
on monday matt came home with his four days of juices and he’d picked me up a one-day juice cleanse. ah, hell. i can do ONE day, right? apparently not. by 4 pm i was texting my friend rachelle and telling her i was on my way to california chicken cafe to get a salad. just not happening.
i do have willpower. my diet is comprised of mostly greens, healthy fats and proteins. i’ve completed whole30 twice (for those that don’t know that’s no gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol and, in our case, caffeine for 30 days) and felt amazing. i can give up things for the week. i can eat vegan even. but i cannot consume only juice. (okay cannot is strong. i’ve done it once. i just strongly disliked it.)
so today is day 3 for my beloved. he’s going strong. i had nachos and wine after yoga with my girlfriend last night.
but i only had one glass.
if there’s anyway to describe life right now it’s full. and it’s most certainly not just mine.
just this morning we got together for a little diner breakfast send-off for ashley who is heading to uganda for the next couple of months.
and the rad part is that all of us are in that space of doing really cool things and the even better part is that we are radically supporting the hell out of one another.
friday night after much vino and sunshine, a few of us sat in my living room talking about just that. i grew up pretty terrified of other girls, and my friends agreed that they felt the same way. being “supportive” was just about as foreign to me as the ocean in small town iowa, and when i look back at that, it makes me sad. when i got to college, i was surprised at how nice girls could be, but definitely still scared and very unwilling to make myself vulnerable to anyone that could hurt me. you can imagine just how much fun that was..! it took up so much precious energy too.
turning thirty in just a few months has made me look back at these different stages of my life, of myself, and i feel almost jumpupanddown grateful to be where i am. yes, of course, i still feel weird tinges of jealously or bitchiness for no apparent reason, but now i check myself. “what the hell is this about?” on some days and other days i ask myself more compassionately. and then i work to take a big leap in the direction of vulnerability. that’s where all the juiciness lives. that’s where my friendships are flourishing.
at one point a few months ago a friend of mine and i had a big ol’ ah-ha moment where we both realized that we had completely different stories about one another playing in our heads. those stories were creating this almost hilariously huge wall between us – i couldn’t see her; she couldn’t see me. hell, we couldn’t even shout over it. once we figured that out, and uncovered it, the darkness of it all just sort of vanished. it almost became funny and is especially funny now, that we have become extremely close and collaborative.
if something or someone scares you, good! dig in. get juicy. have a cry. uncover the story. and then have a hell of a good laugh over it, and perhaps a glass of wine. all we can hope for is to become more and more ourselves in this lifetime and be surrounded by those who support it.
(thanks to all of my inspiring friends who love my light and dark, laugh and cry with me, and share many good bottles of wine. i love you.)
i fall more in love with this state every passing day/month/year. pure gorgeousness. pure sunshine.
sunshine + saltwater + sand between my toes = california girl bliss. as my friend nicole says, if i get in the ocean in the morning i will be happy with myself for the rest of the day. planning on putting my super thick wet suit to use this winter!
“the cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”
- isak dinesen