So it’s been a very long time since I had a “keep it real” kind of post. I’m usually pretty light and upbeat in all of my posts, but I want to tell you guys something that I have encountered over the past 2 years of living in California that I’ve kept kind of quiet about. I usually talk about the highs of living here but I want to talk about just the overall vibe that has been happening on ‘n’ off and I’ve just had it.
My whole goal of me moving and living in California was to have a successful life, career and meet amazing people. It took me a long time to practically “start over” after living in Minnesota for 12 years of professionally working and moving out here at 30. Now I’m 39. When you get to be a certain age, especially as you approach 40 in my opinion, you need to know what you want by now. It slowly but gradually grew and I found myself in a good place, personally and professionally, especially over the past 2 years. It took me a long time and I am proud of myself for it.
Today, I having an amazing full time job all while juggling two freelance careers, I’ve got a great income. Am I tired and frustrated at time? Yes, but gratification overrules. I still think it’s important to have your own at the end of the day. I have great friends. But the mentality level when I listen to others living here is something that I just don’t get anymore. So if you were born and raised here in California, sorry.
When people ask me what I do for a living, it’s obviously a hefty answer. When I started doing better for myself financially over the past 5 years as a single woman, in the last 2 years, instead of getting encouragement from outsiders, I have been called pretentious – basically thinking I am better than everyone else – or being criticized by people that I must work a lot because I “spend too much,” or that I must be using all of my freelance money for traveling and that’s how I can afford to do all of it.
Most of the time I am calm with my answer, but it’s almost like it doesn’t resonate in their brains – or what’s worse is I have to repeat myself when I shouldn’t have to. For the record, I don’t live paycheck to paycheck, I don’t have a low credit score, I don’t have debt, I have my own place and I don’t need a roommate (it’s called a studio people!). I have an emergency savings, a 401K, Roth IRA and insurance – I’ve had it this way even when I was living in Minnesota! I have my shit together, live within my means, and I can’t think of one thing I am missing in my life except getting a house sometime in the future, which it can wait, I’m not desperate for it.
So it’s like I am not considered “normal” in California if I’m not somewhat “failing” and I get the slow California drawl of, “ohhhh….ok” when I explain myself. This is also why you don’t hear me trying to date: finding an equal out here with the same values and passion as I do is almost impossible and people just settle.
Were any of you even taught any life/money values growing up? Even if you didn’t, this is something you need to think about and put into practice.
I know what it takes to make it here and if I found a way to stay one ahead of the curb and not be a typical “statistic” of what you might read in the news happening in the state. It’s not because I think I am better than anybody else, it’s because I found a way to make it work for me and I don’t get why some people don’t have more passion and drive out here. I worked super hard for all of it – being intense and passionate – and I should be proud of myself, this isn’t an easy state to make it in! And if I want to treat myself to a trip every now and then – which I do solely with my full time job BTW, I positioned myself well and grew from years of experience – then I should have a right to do it!
Why the hell would you want to be like everyone else here? I have a right to succeed. YOU have a right to succeed. EVERYONE has a right to succeed and EVERYONE has a right to make more money, expand your mind – or do whatever you have to do! I would never in a gazillion years bash anyone’s betterment, so why come at me and do it to me? Because you like the typical story of people not doing well and you’re envious? It’s so bizarre!
People ask me all the time if I’d ever leave California. Here’s the thing: even with the frustration I typed out above, because most of the time I have learned in the past 2 years to also just stay calm – the wildfires are a great example – the answer is no. I have too much established here and my career has been good to me. So why would I leave and start over?
To those of you in California that do share my values and live here: where the hell are you?!