It’s been TWO YEARS since I left my life in Arizona and moved to the beach. For those of you who don’t know the story, it’s a page turner. And it’s full of lessons for me about faith and letting go and giving up control.
Now, two years later, I am learning the same things, on a deeper level. And re-reading about how I did it inspires me as I begin to manifest my new next dream.
I hope it inspires you somehow, too.
If you like it, please let me know. This is the book I am writing….
“Change comes when your deepest WHY is bolstered with courage, faith and the love and support of friends and family.”
I have been dreaming of living at the beach for more than 15 years. In September, 2010, while working with a high level business coach, I set the intention and began a two year plan to make it happen. I made big changes in my Mac training business so that I could offer virtual training products and services to Mac lovers all over the world.
My original vision had me moving my life and my things from Phoenix to Morro Bay, finding a house with a yard and settling into the community. But, like with most things in life, this transition has been anything but the clear, straight line that I imagined.
I am just back from a week in Morro Bay, looking for my new home to rent. I had contacted several property management places beforehand, but none of them had a listing for my ideal home. They implied that finding a house that accepted dogs might be a challenge, but I didn’t let that dissuade me. I knew there was a house there, ready and waiting for me.
I had written a list of everything I wanted in my new home:
2+ bedrooms, bathtub, stove, fridge, washer/driver hookups, lots of light, a dog friendly yard….
I was looking for a bungalow, but it couldn’t be a dump. And I thought for sure I was wanting to live in North Morro Bay, close to the dog beach.
But when I stood on the beach, waves rolling, dogs romping, I was overwhelmed with sadness and doubt. The place was filled with too many memories of the past. And I wondered if I was really ready for this big leap.
I cried most of that first day. I wrote to friends and was bolstered by their confidence and their love. “…You are there, you are meant to be there, of course you’re gonna cry….You will find your perfect place….Let go, lean in…stay open…BREATHE.”
I talked with the women at the indie bookstore. I had lunch at the vegan restaurant in town and talked with other diners. I asked everyone I met if they knew of a house for rent.
One woman said her neighbors were renters and were moving out next month, that she’d check with them about their rent. Another man said he lived in Los Osos, on the bay side of town, and loved the laid back vibe more than the city feel of Morro Bay.
I was staying in a Casita in Los Osos and I knew what he meant. I too, loved the quiet, sidewalk-less streets, the friendly people, the dog friendly trails along the bay.
That afternoon I called all of the property management places again and still, there was nothing. I was panicking, feeling desperate. I kept checking Craigslist, expanding my search area to include Los Osos, and I even looked at a few houses. But they were too small, or no yard or NO DOGS ALLOWED.
I drove down to the bay and walked along the sand, the air so still and quiet that I could hear the ducks splashing in the water. I watched a man paddle in on his kayak and load it onto a makeshift stroller.
That evening I sat on the deck of the Casita, overlooking the blue bay and listening to the sparrows and ravens calling me to the present moment.
I didn’t know WHERE I was going to live, but I knew it was someplace HERE.
I woke up to a light rain on Wednesday morning. My plan was to NOT house hunt, but to walk, to be out in nature, to let go of the HOW, the WHEN the WHERE and reconnect with my deepest WHY of this big move.
I drove to Montaña de Oro, a wild state park with a beautiful two mile bluff trail overlooking the ocean. I got there just as the drizzle stopped and everything was bursting with color–the bright yellow wildflowers, the greens of the trees, the whitecaps of the waves below.
Other walkers were bundled in fleece and sweatshirts and I was so comfortable in just a shirt and jeans. More important, my lungs were happy. I walked the entire loop, stopping often to just breathe it all in.
I sat outside at a garden cafe and ate a too big a lunch WITH a piece of pecan pie, then came back to the Casita where I wrote for a bit, then had to take a nap outside on the chaise lounge.
Around six I took a walk through the neighborhood, down to the bay. The streets are narrow, the homes a hodge podge of architecture and landscaping. I found a trail around the cuesta inlet, private property where folks rest their kayaks on the pickleweeded shores for easy access into the bay. The trail was right out of my dream. It meandered along the water’s edge, small sanded beach inlets led down to the calm water.
I met several folks walking with their dogs, off leash. Of course, I said hello, chatted, asked if they knew of anything for rent. We talked about how glorious a place this was.
And just when I was wishing for a log to sit on and just look around, there was a picnic bench and several plastic chairs set up, facing Morro Rock in the distance.
I imagined how happy Laddy would be, walking with me here, sniffing, wandering, casually greeting the other dogs, without the frenzy of the ocean.
I felt the cool, moist air on my arms, the slight breeze coming in off the water. My whole being felt alive and happy.
On the walk back to my Casita a man was standing by his truck on the street and I said hello. He said, “This is Paradise, isn’t it?” We talked about the weather, how he wrote his first book on a Mac Classic and that he taught at the high school Steve Jobs attended a few years after he was there. And of course, I asked him if he knew of anything for rent in the neighborhood. He said, “Well, I might.”
Turns out he owns a second house a few blocks down and he doesn’t NEED to rent it, but he might. He drove me over there and we looked inside.
It’s not a pretty house, but it’s big enough. No real yard, but there is a nice deck in the back. It’s on a busy corner but in this dream neighborhood. And the rent is HALF of what I’d been looking at because he would keep his workshop and motorcycle in the garage and I’d just park on the dirt pad in front. Still, he wasn’t ready to commit, he just kept saying that if I need a backup plan, I have one.
I slept great that night, the first full night of deep sleep since I’d been there. Just knowing I had a backup plan took all of the stress off. It opened me up again.
The next day I saw three houses. And when I walked into the third place, I knew.
It’s funky, spacious and filled with natural light. It has three big bedrooms (yes, I will have a guest room for visitors!), and there’s a big yard for Laddy with a deck and everything else on my wish list.
There’s a huge master bedroom and bathroom upstairs with a deck and a view of Morro Rock and the sand spit, but it’s too great a space to waste on sleeping and getting dressed so it will be my new work room-office-writing space-art studio.
It’s a short mile to the bay and fifteen minutes to the dog beach.
The rent is a little more than I originally planned to spend, but it offers so much room to grow into. And other houses in this price range were so much smaller.
I thought about the man’s backup house, which was just big enough and, in many ways, just like what I am living now, but in a new place.
And I thought about my WHY, and how, sometimes you have to take a risk, a leap.
Sometimes you have to give up the good for great.
This three bedroom house pushes me to my edge, to grow, to expand, to really claim this as my new life. It offers the space to make art, to write, to do bigger work. And visualizing where I will put my furniture, how I will move and live in this space, how Laddy and I will explore the trails and meet new friends makes my whole heart sing.
The day after I mailed my deposit check, the realtor called to tell me that the current tenants of the dream house had decided not to move.
Now I really DID need a back up plan.
I knew Mr. Back Up Man was on vacation in Texas and wouldn’t be back until the 17th of May, so I just let it go. I shifted my attention to just being in the present moment–working, getting together with friends, just hanging loose since I wouldn’t have an answer for at least three weeks.
I played with the floor plans of his house that I had sketched, imagining my art table in the middle of the oversized master bedroom. My supplies would fill the wall of closets and my iMac would work on the desk in front of the corner window. My bed would be fine in the smaller front room since I only sleep and get dressed in there. And it was almost half the price of the dream house.
This would give me a bigger financial cushion so that I could take a little more time to build up the local Mac business. It seemed like the perfect starter place.
And so I waited to hear.
Click here to read Finding Home, Part 2
What dreams are YOU holding onto? Where can you let go, open up and create space so that it can manifest as it is truly meant to be?