Good morning and Happy Wednesday.
I recently read an interesting essay from someone who, as a native Californian, had moved his family to Texas, following a trend that we hear a lot about in the media, who refers to the whole experience as a very expensive mistake.
He discusses particular issues such as the community culture, the school systems and a host of hidden costs to living there that made their initial move end up being a bad decision.
As is common on the internet, the comments on the essay are fairly brutal, with about half calling him an idiot for not loving Texas, and the other half calling him an idiot for leaving California in the first place.
I know about a dozen people who have bugged out for other states in the past 10 years, and then I have my own peer group I grew up here with, who have lived in various places. About half the folks I know who’ve left in the last 10 years came back. About 80% of my peers who went out to see the world, ended up back here as well.
I’ve written extensively about how California in general and Sonoma County in specific feels like home to me. I’ve lived in other places, but this one is pretty well tattooed on my soul, and I don’t think I could live elsewhere.
It doesn’t mean I don’t get that it’s hard. The taxes suck, the housing prices suck and the fires really, really suck. But in the realm of things that make a place home, those are actually pretty minor.
I lived in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., for 13 years. I was happy in my life there, had good friends, work I enjoyed and made a tidy little life for myself. But California never stopped being home for me. I missed it every day. And at night when I dreamed, I dreamt of waves on Bodega Bay, of Spanish moss dripping off valley oaks and the smell of summer sage crushed underfoot.
Thus, it in no way surprises me that many of these refugees find themselves suddenly really homesick.
Don’t mistake me, I think it’s actually really important and healthy for people to leave home and live in other places. But there’s also no shame in knowing where you belong and knowing what place is really, truly home.
—Heather Bailey, Newsletter Editor
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