^Our neighbors new puppy, not ours^
We have lived in California for four months now. The dogs are settling in [Betty just aggressively yawned because she is bored. She’s such a teenager!] and we are too.
When we were looking for houses to rent we started in the Ventura area, but thankfully housing was tough to find because it never felt like the right area for us. Then one weekend we decided to check out houses in the Ojai-Meiners Oaks area and it immediately felt like home. We are off the beaten path as far as proximity to things like Target and Trader Joes, but it is so worth it to be surrounded by the mountains.
Work is wonderful, I love it so much and feel incredibly lucky to have landed at such an awesome company. It’s been pretty easy to make friends and I have had a much busier social life the past four months here than I ever had in South Carolina—grad school sucked the life out of me. Working for an outdoor company where everyone just gets it has made building new friendships as simple as it could be.
I don’t know if it’s the influence of my work environment, Ojai, cultural trends, my age or a combination of all of them—but I have been trying to clean up my life. Everything from what I eat [and drink] to the lotions I use to my shampoo and conditioner to the rate at which I consume. I even kicked my nasty Coke Zero habit and have been soda free for two months! I know that’s gross.
I am far from perfect. Last weekend while backpacking with six girls who are on fairly similar lifestyle pages as myself made me realize how much I still do that could be considered bad. No pressure or getting caught up in comparisons, I like to change things as I feel ready, slowly but surely. In case my family is worried, I can assure you there’s no pachouli oil in my future…
^Tawnee, Briana & Me^
Instead of checking in with social media, I’ve been focused on learning new things. I subscribed to The Skimm to get me started on paying attention to the news on a daily basis. Jared also pushes me to talk about current events more as he’s super engaged in the Presidential campaign. I had to start learning more so I could direct our conversations away from talking about Trump, Hillary and Bernie…
I finally have the mental capacity to expand my knowledge base outside of school and work again. I’m not just reading romance novels anymore [yes, that really happened last summer]. It feels good to get into a good book, a real book. Or even just text back and forth with friends when I have the spare time. To my friends that are up at 5am like me, I love texting back with you while I drink my morning coffee—it’s the best time to reach me and get a response.
I am kind of training right now, but only because I want to be fit enough to explore all of the trails this area has to offer. I’ve also gotten out on some hikes and runs with new friends, it feels good to chat with girlfriends on the trails.
Ultimately, even though I didn’t want to move to California, Ojai is treating US well and we’re really enjoying everything this little town has to offer. And I’m still waiting to spot my first celeb.😉