As many of these stories go, what happened was I fell in love. Hard. Upon reflection I must say that I do not apparently do this any other way. But it just so happened that in order to pursue a relationship of any real sort, without resorting to the ever-popular "long distance" type, I was going to have to reckon with my location. That is why I chose to leave that well-worn rut of a life I had made for myself smack in the middle of the continent and move to the edge. I wasn't chasing a dream so much as I was chasing a reality. I needed to move in order to keep from getting psychological bed sores. Along with the newfound love of my life, I was becoming frustrated with all the love that had bound me to the only home I had known for all those thirty years. For my thirtieth birthday, I gave myself a new life.
I came to California as a stranger in a strange land. All the maps that I had in my head were useless in my new urban setting. I had to learn everything. Where were the movie theaters? Where was my job? What the heck is cilantro and why do they want to put it in everything I eat out here? It took me a long time to reckon on this new place, this city by the bay that wasn't the one about which Journey sang. It was the place where I, perish the thought, grew up and settled down.
And now it's been thirty years. I have led half of my life as a Californian. I have bought a house, raised a son, and voted in far more elections here than I ever did back in Colorado. I became a teacher, a job that became a career. By most definitions, I have lived my adult life out here on the edge of the continent, never fully committed to the idea of earthquakes.
I am sixty now. At this point I feel as though there might be another episode ahead of me. While I cannot imagine leaving this house that I have painted and repaired and cleaned and grown up in, I can imagine that there are forces out there that might affect that feeling of stasis. To quote the poet, "What lies ahead I have no way of knowing."
I am old and wise enough now to know that I shouldn't be scared of that feeling. It's part of life. My life.