Trading Cornfields for Palm Trees

A blog post from SOLES MA in Counseling, School Counseling Ambassador, Brianne France:
As I approach one year of living in this fine city of sunshine and saltwater, I have found myself reflecting on what can happen in 365 days.
I would love to say the moving process was simple, but that would be an exaggeration. The stressors were endless (top three: FAFSA, apartment hunting, FAFSA), and would have been impossible without the support I had. So, one year ago to the very day, my dad, boyfriend and I drove here, tag-team, for 36 straight hours from Madison, Wisconsin.
I told myself that, after my support system returned to the Midwest, I would say yes to any experience. I’ve been line-dancing, stuck in rush-hour traffic, and hiking all over. I’ve consumed my weight in artisan donuts, craft beer, and California burritos. I’ve fallen in love with the Ocean, but learned to avoid trying to go between 3 and 7 pm, June through September. I have become obsessed with how to successfully keep succulents alive, beat the brunch rush, and parallel park on the first try.
Things that are different:

  • Referring to the highway by its number (i.e. “oh, just take the eight.)
  • Authentic Mexican food.
  • Cold being 40 degrees, rather than negative 40.

Things that are the same:

  • Complaining about being “cold” in the winter.
  • Majority of complaints being traffic related.
  • Good people.

I have shared my story since moving out here, and I have been told that I was brave to do what I did- something I’m less likely to consider myself. I was scared every day I was “adjusting” to life out here that I’d been foolish. It took exactly the time everyone said it would to see how myself and others, much more so than I, have chosen to be courageous and daring in pursuing a dream.
“Think of how much your life has changed in a year,” a friend said recently. Last year, I was leaving behind the things I love to move somewhere I wouldn’t know a soul (or a place to get coffee). This year, I have more things to love than I can count. I have met the most beautiful souls that I am lucky to call friends and I have found some of the best places to get coffee.
It was always easy, but has been absolutely worth it.

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