Nearly 20 years ago a woman I’d hired as an entertainer for festivals back home in Canada told me I was going to end up living in the South West.
“Phoenix maybe. Or no, I’m thinking more Southern California. Yeah, that’s where you’ll end up. Way South in California, but not LA. No, you’ll be living in San Diego.”
I was living from contract to contract, one festival at a time. I had nothing but a small 300 square-foot basement apartment. My reaction was similar to Princess Bride’s famous words “It’s inconceivable!”
There was no way in my mind that I, living in Ottawa Canada, having pretty much never worked in any other language than my own, could see myself living and working in Southern California. I’d never even been to Cali. The most South I’d been by then was Toronto. Hmm. Or maybe by then I’d been to Florida once. Not sure. Doesn’t matter.
And here I am. I kind of want to connect the dots on how I ended up here. Happenstance is awesome. One of my favorite words…
This story begins about 5 years after the entertaining woman’s predictions.
- I was going through my first divorce (was hoping it would be the first and only, sigh) and this woman I worked with (I was at that time working for an agency developing career management initiatives) said I had to go to Ragbrai with her. “Ragbrai is what every divorced woman needs!” Of course, it makes sense, get a divorce and peddle your way through 600 miles of endless rolling hills of Iowa under a straining and humid 105 degrees!
- Halfway through this unbelievable bike ride I met Leonard. This was in Oskaloosa Iowa – home of a sprint car dirt track. Leonard was helping a friend race the very same night we stayed there. “Leonard, you HAVE to go check out Ragbrai! It’s here in town tonight!” his friend told him. So he went.
- It also happens that halfway through Ragbrai, after going straight to bed every night after dinner, I finally decided to go out and have some fun. And fun I had! I met two college students, a friend of my friend’s daughter and her friend, and we hit the town. We danced and had margaritas until we thought the last bar had shut down. Then we heard more music, and followed it.
- Are you following me so far?
- Down the stairs I went, and started walking towards the dance floor as some cute guy was walking away from the bunch of dancers and walked straight towards me to greet me as though he was expecting me. This so far would be the perfect setting for a John Cusack romantic comedy, but we all know how this love story ends: divorce #2. I’ll spare you the details, but yeah… rockets soared, the universe collided into itself, and the earth stopped spinning. It was one of those encounters.
- Boy meets girl, boy convinces girl to leave her maple leafs behind and join him to become a race car mechanic with the World of Outlaws tour. A total fairy tale I tell ya!
- Then in 2010 the boy and girl’s racing world comes to an end when they lose their major national sponsorship. And the boy and girl look at each other and say “Road trip?” We packed his red pickup truck and headed for the hills. First stop wasn’t the hills but the Colorado mountains to get some serious snowboarding under our feet… until a blizzard hit the town. “Let’s get out of here and head South!”
- We drove until it was no longer cold. We stayed in San Juan Capistrano and hit Dana Point for 2 weeks. We got bored, and kept going South, all the way to San Diego “Let’s go visit Bud!” Bud is one of Leonard’s best friend. And we hit the road again.
- We weren’t two days in San Diego when Leonard turned to me and said “Let’s go look at boats!” We spent one week doing some serious boat shopping which brought us back in the LA area and found our new home in the OC.
- Boy and girl moved into the boat, called it their home, literally calling it Mi Casa and sailed it to San Diego.
And the rest is history…
Up until last week I was still unsure about moving out from my current home with 5 other roommates. That and from living on a boat to renting a furnished room I pretty much had zero furniture. And today? My future apartment is confirmed – it’s between the beach and the bay. I have found an amazing bed, a much needed armoire (the room doesn’t have a closet), a desk & file cabinet, and a potential dresser. My future roommate is awesome, and so is her perfect dog!
I’m in paradise…
p.s. I’ll be living under that oddly positioned glowy dot on the image above.