I can’t believe that it has almost been 10 years! When I moved here it seemed like everything was in place for me to live a better version of my life and it was, except for one thing, I brought the old mindset with me. It took me a while to process what I actually had done and I‘ve had many moments of “What the hell was I thinking!” I realized that you can move but until you decide to embrace the change and see it for all that it has to offer, all you did was just move. For a while I found myself slipping back into my old routine, coming home from work and sitting in front of the TV. It took a visit from my mother for me to see what a great transition this was. She stayed with me for a month and had me going all day every day on an endless pursuit of daily adventures and we still didn’t come anywhere near doing all of the things on her to-do list! Before she left she told me that I had a wonderful opportunity placed at my feet and to take advantage of all that I had access to. It wasn’t until then that I was able to SEE what I had access to; I finally lived in a place that offered me the recipe for what would be my perfect version of the life I desired at that moment. That’s when I fell in love! From that moment on, I was in love with California, in love with San Francisco, in love with Lake Merritt Oakland…just absolutely head over heels in love! I loved the fact that I could rent a car, get on the train, or ride the bus a short distance and do any and everything I wanted to. I could go skiing, white water rafting, zip-lining, wine tasting, partake in the art scene, eat at a ridiculous amount of restaurants, be a tourist, hang out at the beach, relax by the lake, go sailing, I mean the options of what I could do here are unlimited and trust me, I've done most of them! My mother helped me push past my old mindset and into what was my new life sitting in front of me, waiting for me to embrace it and accept it as my own, therefore creating a new mindset along with new memories. Because of this, I have been very fortunate. I can't imagine spending 2020 anywhere but here. Living here was my saving grace that got me through the toughest of times, not only then but previous years before. I now know that moving here was necessary. I needed to move here to find myself and to express parts of me that were left unattended. For the first time in my life, I am able to see all of the things that I want out of life and it actually looks obtainable which excites me to no end! It’s been a journey of working through my past emotions and views on how I see myself and my life, but I have finally gotten to a place where I can see all the great things that are laid out before me. I am now participating in life instead of sitting on the sidelines watching others live it. I just needed to find a place that allowed me to grow and build without hindrance nor judgment. I've never been one to follow the script of how society says life should unfold, so I'm willing to take big risks for big dreams. It may take me longer but what can I say, I’m a late bloomer anyway. It is better to bloom late than to not bloom at all. I‘m finally loving life! Until next time beautiful people! -FLL

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