One Year Ago

I know I usually post recipes and light anecdotes, but I wanted to take a little break from that to do some self-reflection. I hope some of you will be able to relate to this post.

Around this same time last year, I was living on the total opposite end of the continent. I thought moving to San Francisco would fix all of my problems. I’d find a fulfilling career, make new friends, do something adventurous with my husband, and leave behind the cold, snowy Boston winters that seemed to last forever. I had visions of visiting wine country on the weekends, taking my dog for runs along the marina, and eating ridiculously good, local food.

San Francisco Fog

When I think back to my mindset before we made that giant move, I can’t even really connect with what I was thinking at the time. Sure, I visited wine country, was in awe of the breathtaking Bay area views, and ate some of the best vegan food of my life. But day-to-day living in SF was also really.freaking.hard. Moving your life to any new city is hard, especially when you expect the move to be a cure-all. Life simply doesn’t work that way.

I wanted a way out of my life in Boston so badly that I focused solely on the negatives, and most of them were more a product of my own perspective than anything else. I was disillusioned with my job, and I let this bleed into every aspect of my personal life. I felt stagnant, but didn’t have a solid plan of what I wanted to do. The only thing I felt sure about was that I would be devastated if I turned 30 and hadn’t made a change.

Amanda Washington DC July 2011

Over the course of this past year, I went through a roller coaster of emotions. My relationships, bank account, and sense of self were tested and strained. And I won’t lie, it felt awful and draining. But sometimes it takes a little bit (or a lot) of seemingly falling apart to gain clarity on what needs to happen moving forward. Leaving my comfort zone allowed me to re-assess what’s important to me and what I want my life to look like as a whole. I don’t have all of the details figured out, but I try to stay in touch with what feels bad and what feels good, and determine next steps based on that.


I have such an appreciation for the things in my life – for my husband, my family and friends, the fact that I’m freelancing part-time and blogging the rest of the day. I can even appreciate the cold Boston winters, since I know a hot summer is just around the corner. But aside from leaving my full-time job, none of these things have concretely changed. What has changed is my attitude, because I consciously chose to be here, and I choose to do the things I love every day. Yes, it’s work, and at times it can be scary and stressful. However, simply taking a moment to recognize that I have the ability to create the life I want is empowering and soul-satisfying on the deepest level.