Where are you from? Where did you grow up? Where are you now? Where do you want to be?

Where I live, it's surprising to find people who grew up here. In the past month alone I've met people from Pennsylvania, Germany, New York, Georgia, and Iowa. I think that's what attracts me so much to the people here. We all have something in common: we're not from around here. But something pulled us here. Be it a job or family or just the pull of living by the ocean. We're all connected because we choose to be here rather than stay planted where we started out. 

I think there's a lot of power in that. In the choices we make about where we live. While it may seem out of your control, you always have a choice. The alternatives may be less than ideal, but you make that decision yourself. 

I'm from Ohio. I was born in Virginia outside of Washington, D.C. I went to school in Pittsburgh then southern Indiana. I moved to Florida right after college then back to Ohio for a hot minute then to California. When I first got to California I didn't put down any roots. I thought it was all temporary (and, being the wife of an active duty Marine, it was supposed to be). But when we decided to stay in California, I never made it my home. I never put down roots. I lived in the same place for my entire childhood and never really learned how to move. How to find my place in a new area. Do you know I didn't have a single friend in the 6 months I lived in Florida? Brad and I would go to dinner or something with his friends and their wives but it was always like that. I never saw any of the women one-on-one, without our husbands setting things up. Not a single friend. The closest I came was the cashier at my local Publix who was from Middletown, Ohio. We talked about how much we missed Fall and pumpkin picking and hay rides and that Ohio October chill. 

Our first time in California I refused to put down roots. I had opportunities, but whether it was the depression or the unwillingness to let go of the idea of Ohio being home, I never did. This time it's different. It goes against everything in my being but I'm determined to be planted here. Planted deep. Rooted in this sandy, rocky, dirty Southern California earth so far down that they'll have to use some industrial-sized machinery to dig me up. I don't doubt that we'll move again. I can also see my family here for a long long time. Whatever our future holds, I know that this time, if and when we leave where we are, I'll have some hard goodbyes. Thanks to those roots I've planted so deep within this community.