Farewell California

Dear California,

It’s weird to think about the series of events that led me to you so quickly, and the ones taking me away just as fast.

Back in high school and college, I used to hate when girls would say “everything happens for a reason” just as they spewed out every other regurgitated Sex-and-the-City-esque quote they could think of. They were just immature girls, with barely any life experience to shake a stick at. How could they know? However, the older I get, the more I realize how true that cliched statement really is.

You see, because if I never fell madly in love back in college with a boy who decided to attend medical school here, I never would have moved to the base of your beautiful San Bernardino mountains.

San Bernardino Mountains

I never would have gotten the job I did, and I might never have found a career I’m passionate about.

I never would have experienced your 90º weather in the fall.

I never would have met some amazing people.

I never would have spent my summer weekends on your beautiful beaches.

Hermosa Beach

I never would have shared an awesome road trip with my mom up your scenic coastline.

Pacific Coast Highway Pacific Coast Highway

Pacific Coast Highway

I never would have hiked your mountains.

Mt. Baldy  The Claremont 5 Mile Loop

I never would have experienced LA…

Los Angeles

…or Santa Monica

Santa Monica Pier

…or Newport Beach

Newport Beach

…or Hermosa Beach on the Fourth of July

Fireworks in Hermosa Beach

…or a Labor Day Weekend trip to Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu, AZ

…or Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara, CA

I’d never be able to say that I had fresh squeezed OJ from the tree in my backyard.

 Fresh Squeezed OJ

I might have never learned how to recognize when it is time to make a change and might have never had the nerve to make it happen.

But don’t get offended, dear California. I assure you I’m not leaving because that college love didn’t last. In fact, I’m very glad it didn’t.

If that love worked out, I might have never started my own website to keep myself busy and distracted from the break up. I might have never filled my new-found free time with industry-related reading. I might have never became laser-focused on what it was that I truly wanted. I might have never given myself permission to spend time on furthering my own career. And I might never have landed the amazing career opportunity that is bringing me back to the east coast.

But there’s no use postulating about the way this course of events has shaped the last year of my life, because everything really does happen for a reason. I am so happy about where my next move is taking me, and grateful for the time we’ve spent together, California. But for now I’m headed across the country for the second time in eleven months, to Philadelphia, to start a whole new adventure.

Thanks Cali. ‘Til next time.

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8 Responses to Farewell California

  1. Emma –

    I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet you out in California and it’s been really fun getting to know you and watch your career begin. For those of us that are just starting out, it’s really valuable to stick together and work through the many learning curves that we have in front of us.

    While your spot out in California was awesome in a lot of ways, I know there’s bigger things waiting for you back East (and you’ve earned every bit of it). Best of luck and I can’t wait for the next few years.


    • Emma Still says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Ry. It’s been great to have someone to share all of this with, I really value the friendship we’ve formed. I also appreciate your help lately during my pre-interview nervous breakdowns and embarrassing post-interview recaps 😉 I’m looking forward to seeing where our careers take us in the next few years as well. To 2013! Cheers!

  2. Jen says:

    Congratulations on the new job and your new adventures! It was such a pleasure to have worked with you, though it may have been short-lived. And I’m glad that you’re leaving with such awesome memories of California :)

  3. Elana says:

    Emma! I hate saying goodbye…which is why I never do! My eyes got a bit teary reading this. From the fairly short time we’ve gotten to know one another, I’ve gained nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for you. You got the talent, the killer style, and a sense of authenticity that is rare to find among friends (Maybe it’s the New Yorker in ya…haha..)

    And yes, I do believe in that cliche. I sorta hate to believe in it, but it’s so true that I can’t front :-) Life is a journey, with twists and turns that help you grow.


  4. Mike Wilton says:

    Just as I posted on Twitter after you broke the news to me, your departure is bittersweet. I told SEER you were an all star in that tweet, and I stand by that. It’s the all star quality in you that lead me to circle back around and hire you earlier this year. It was the growth potential, the passion, the spark that will make you valuable to any team you join from here on out. And it’s bittersweet because I’m losing a talent that is just starting to bloom, but I see that you are going on to work for an amazing company that will give you 100 times what this company ever could.

    As a manager I couldn’t be prouder to see you go on to do what you love with a company who is going to appreciate you for it and give you numerous opportunities to grow moving forward. You’re going to be missed, but I hope that we’ll stay in touch and continue to learn from one another the way we have thus far.

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