Thoughts on Transition and What’s Next?

Tonight I devote a Pomodoro to writing and reflecting in addition to today’s other posts.  (Edit, I actually spent two pomodoros AND both breaks writing.  Watch out world, I’m out of control!)

As I departed for tonight’s 5 mile run and rounded the corner towards the main road, I took notice of the large Canary Island Date Palm near the entrance of our neighborhood and thought to myself, “These really are beautiful trees, I’m going to miss them when I’m gone…” Then it dawned on me:  I’m preparing to leave.

I began to appreciate the beauty that I am surrounded by just *a little* more at that moment.  Lately, I’ve been complaining about my living situation.  Lots of time spent whining to family and friends about the drama that takes place here.  Yes, I said it.  Nothing more than whining, that’s what it boils down to.

Lately, I found myself ranting about the bizzaro-world HOA environment in which I live.  The neighboorhood is very strange.  The houses are new, large, very similar and very close together.  The lots are very small, and the HOA’s policies likely contribute to the sterility of the neighborhood.  Moreover, there seems to very little interaction with the neighbors between one another.

I could go on and on about all of this, but this is the negative thinking that I am trying to avoid.  The reality is that my current living situation is *precisely* what I need right now.  Financially, it works – the area is nice and challenging for my marathon training.  While I have little in common with my roommates, it is a comfortable environment in a safe neighborhood with a month-to-month lease.

At any rate, I am preparing to leave.  I suppose this marathon training and the SLO Marathon itself in April could be considered as part of the “exit strategy.”  My decision to leave California and head back to Ohio is something that only “crystallized” in my mind as the definitive next step.

The past two years has been filled with an incredible amount of change, beginning with a move out to Southern California in June 2010.  Recently single and “on my own” since June/July 2012 has given me ample opportunity to reflect and do some “soul searching.”  This soul searching is something that has been a recurrent theme in my life with me returning to reflection on the same thing in each of the many states I’ve lived in…

What’s next?

The outcome of this reflection, like several other times in my life has me moving back to Ohio.  Each time I returned to Ohio had a different cause.  This is no different.  Just about 5 years ago, I decided to leave Asheville, North Carolina and return home to help my parents build and develop York Meadow Farm.

While I loved North Carolina, my parents were living the dream.  My parents were building their dream.  My parents took risks and chances most people wouldn’t even consider.  After much thought and discussion, I quit my job at the North Carolina Arboretum and left our wonderful house in West Asheville.   I returned home to work in Ohio and help them build the hobby farm of their dreams.

At that time, original plans didn’t work out as originally expected.  As a result, growth and development of York Meadow Farm slowed down.  In April 2008, I accepted a job as a Utility Forester with Davey Resource Group.  There was room for rapid growth and development and I capitalized on the opportunity.

I worked projects and traveled for several years.  I worked my ass off and paid off my remaining college debt.  Moreover, I worked into management.  After many months of long hours, lots of travel and management of several large accounts, I decided to take my first time off in years.  One of my best friends from Colorado was getting married and I was asked to be a part of the wedding.

After attending the bachelor party in June 2010 and the wedding in September 2010, I realized that relationships and people are very important to me.  Moreover, in the time leading up to the wedding, I was re-united with a mutual friend.  We shared rental vehicle costs, the wedding gift, while not a formal “date” – we got to know each other quite well and hit it off.  The importance of relationships.

During the  next 6 months, we got to know each other and decided to commit to a long-distance relationship.  Understanding that the growth and development of my personal life trumped the growth and development of my career, I made the decision to put my career on hold.  In March 2011, I announced my decision to relocate to California, arriving in June 2011.

Luckily I was able to continue employment with Davey Resource Group on the West Coast.  After managing a short term project, I decided to seek a field position on the SDG&E account and move to Laguna Beach.  The field position with no travel and the ability to live a structured life would maximize time and home with Alicia, it was important to be able to spend time and commit to the relationship.

During this time, we decided to end our relationship and I moved to San Diego County in July 2012.  The end of the relationship and moving to North County San Diego was just one of many transitions this year.  After changing epilepsy medications in April 2012, I feel like I am experiencing clarity in my thought processes for the first time in my adult life.

The latter half of 2012 has given me much opportunity to reflect on life and what is important.  This and many other contributing factors have me in a very similar place where I was exactly 5 years ago, which is contemplating leaving a place that I enjoy living to return home to help my parents grow York Meadow Farm.

Years ago, growth and development of York Meadow Farm was slow in the beginning.  Over the past 5 years, my parents have planted more than 100 blueberry bushes and sold many other fruits and vegetables at the Medina County Farmers Market.

Moreover, Dad makes and sells out of Sourdough Bread each week and my Mom continues to tweak her successful soap recipes.  The past two years York Meadow Farm has been selling at market, they have grown and become more successful.  The opportunity to help them grow the farm is now.  I am returning home – it is now time to begin planning.

Stay tuned.

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