I have news for you.
Before you get too anxious or excited, NO, I’m not pregnant or engaged, I didn’t win the lottery, and my book is not (yet) on the New York Times bestseller list.
The news is — I’m moving from Portland, Oregon to Santa Barbara, California at the end of this week.
Why? Well, this side-by-side weather comparison for this week kinda speaks for itself.
But there are a few other reasons, too.
The past six years I’ve lived in Portland, I’ve changed and grown and learned so much. I arrived here as a broken, bald, bruised girl who’d just survived 18 months of surgeries, chemo and radiation for breast cancer, and then almost died of pneumonia. My first year in Portland, I took three antibiotics every day, plus got infusions every three weeks, got an injection every three months and took an anti-breast cancer pill every day.
Fast-forward six years to the present moment. I’m still taking meds every day to keep the cancer from coming back, but I’m also working (more than) full time, contracted with one of the Big Six publishers, and traveling and speaking about a book I wrote in 2013 called The Invisible Girls. I’ve been part of a great church for 5 ½ years, made dozens of new friends, set up a college fund for the Somali girls I wrote about in my book. I’ve gone hiking and camping, I’ve tried new restaurants, and I’ve spent a lot of time flying into and out of Portland International Airport. And, most importantly, I know God better and I love him more than I did when I first moved here.
I’ve realized over the past few years that my real gifts and passion lie in my writing and speaking, and it became clear that since those are my priorities, I need to orient the rest of my life to support those pursuits. I’ve also realized that my soul doesn’t do well under the dreary grey skies of Portland, and I realized I needed to move to a sunnier climate for the sake of my emotional and spiritual health.
In January I had the opportunity to interview for four jobs in four days in Southern California. I was hired to work at an urgent care clinic in Santa Barbara, California, where I can enjoy the sunshine, work 2-3 days/week, and have the rest of the time to write, travel and speak.
So….that’s the latest update on my life! I’m packing boxes and arranging moving logistics this week, but there will be more to come soon!