About 6 years ago, I fell deeply, euphorically, head-over-heels in love with California. I vowed on that trip that I would find my way back as often as I possibly could and I wouldn’t be that person continually saying “in the next 3 years when I’ve done this and this has happened, I’ll make the move.” I promised to move as soon as I could.
And then 6 years passed.
I am nowhere near moving to California. I have accomplished many other things I wanted to do and have been encountered with other obstacles, challenges, and joys that have stopped me from the “big move.”
Every time I hear of someone that I know either presently or in the past moving to California, I experience soul-crushing sadness. Deep disappointment. Melancholic jealousy.
Why them and not me? California is MY dream.
When will my time come? I’m already 30.
Will I be stuck here forever?
California is where I belong.
Can I be truly happy here if I’m not in California?
This feeling is so intense that it is often hard for me to keep a straight face when the “We’re moving to California!” announcement gets shared. I flinch, I flinch every time.
My mindful-zen-yogi-namaste mind knows that each of our individual paths will unfold as they are meant to. And that timing isn’t everything. And that California may be a lot of people’s dreams…but somehow, I’ve become possessive (and subsequently not very mindful) about this.
Each time this strikes, I am not present because I’m thinking about how I’m not in California. I am not present because I am focused on other people living out my dream while I’m seemingly stuck in my half-baked one.
I put California on a pedestal. A pedestal that is a dangerous, for as the Buddhists so wisely remind us: desire is the root of all suffering. By focusing our attentions on the possibility of a seemingly impossible dream, are we, ultimately either in a state of disappointment or setting ourselves up for disappointment? Is this one singular dream, really, truly, the single most important key to my happiness?
Guess what? When I ask myself that question, I am met with a clear answer. That soul-crushing sadness turns into a smile and I am able to sigh a deep relaxing breath because I am able to acnkowledge the love, happiness, and light that surrounds my life today, right now–palm trees or no palm trees.
One thought on “I’m Always California Dreamin’”
You are blooming where you were planted.