"You Don't Come Back From California, Man. It Changes You."

That's not a "Heather Molina" bit of wisdom. Though, I can understand why you would think it was an original bit from me.

No, the bit was from an episode of Gilmore Girls, in season four. I had it on in the background this morning, while getting some things done around the house, when I heard it. I laughed. I'm not sure if it's true about not "coming back from California," but I can vouch that it certainly changes you.

I realized earlier this month that I had now lived here for a full year. In fact, next week will be a year that I closed on my house and began the renovations. It's flown by.

A year. As a Californian.

I never would have imagined.

At least, not three years ago. I knew I wanted to move back West, but didn't see how that was possible in my situation at the time... Married to someone who didn't even like the city he had to live in, but liked his work and the money, so therefore was adamant about not imagining a life that was warmer in every sense... But I figured that if I ever did get the chance to have a place out West (I figured it would be as a second home), that it would be in Arizona.

The desert is warm. And comfortable. But familiar.

I don't know that I will always live full time in California. I will own my house for a long time though, because it's in a great town and just a quick drive to the beach. And the people are nice. And usually march to the their own beat. Most people know exactly what ayahuasca is when I tell them about it here... I've learned that quite a few of my neighbors have their medical marijuana ID cards... And nearly all of them have children.

People are relaxed here. They are chilled out. Those are two things I am still learning how to properly do. But I am getting better at it.

California has changed me. Just two years ago I was a brunette, pale, living for work, and walking or cabbing everywhere.  Now, I am almost blonde, slightly tan, am good at work but don't live for it, and I drive everywhere.

So I probably won't always live in California... But the old me isn't coming back from here.