Back in Chicago, Ang and I worked jobs that we absolutely despised. Dragging myself out of bed every morning was a tireless struggle. In fact, everything felt like a struggle. Angela worked about three jobs making only $8/hour as a physical therapy aide with a hard-earned master's degree. I'm not trying to sound entitled, but she deserved much better. Angela lived in an apartment with three boys, two stinky dogs and a rabbit. She had one tiny little bedroom with an almost non-existent closet. Neither of us had cars; we relied solely on public transit. Winters were brutal and we hated every minute spent outside waiting for buses and trains. With temperatures in the negative degrees, it was just plain painful!
|My old Chicago neighborhood: Bucktown|
|Although more often than not, it looked like this.|
Basically, we were ready for a major change. Mid-life crisis style.
So what did we do? We quit those miserable jobs. We packed up our lives into five suitcases and flew to California with our one-way plane tickets. Destination: San Diego. Neither of us had ever visited. Neither of us knew a soul there. It would be an adventure. We didn't have much in savings, just a tax return. We didn't have a car, jobs or even a place to live but we'd figure it out. We were resourceful.
|Our lives in 5 suitcases.|
I will admit, those first couple of weeks were stressful and trying times. Luckily, we found an apartment complex willing to take a chance on two jobless young girls, and we got ourselves a home.
|Our first San Diego apartment. A whopping 600 square feet. :)|
I quickly found a non-profit job and Ang started personal training at a commercial gym. Both of our jobs were walking distance from our new apartment, and now I realize just how impossible that is in San Diego. Nobody lives within walking distance of their job. Angela's dad shipped us her bikes and we had wheels. We were movin' on up.
I started to really find myself, as cliche as that sounds. I fell passionately in love with running and eventually, I fell in love with life. Cheesy, I know, but I swear it is true. Every weekend, we get out and enjoy. Every second, minute, hour. Here in this "new life", we can cycle along the coast, run on breathtaking trails, surf in the ocean, and get outside every single day. We experience new things constantly and get away to see new places as often as possible.
|beautiful friends. beautiful life.|