California Lovin’

California Lovin'

A question I’m asked quite frequently is, how my boyfriend Joel and I got together, along with, “How did you guys end up in California?”  Today I’m going to share those answers with you in one swoop, as they pretty much blend together in a “stars aligned” type of story.  But as a little precursor to this story, you have to know that I’m totally a believer in “everything happens for a reason”, “blessings in disguise” and that if a big change in your life is really suppose to happen, everything will fall into place.  When things fall into place so effortlessly, you can’t help but feel that you are EXACTLY where you are suppose to be in life at that moment.  Like ” YES, I’m meant to be here, I’m on the right track!” and it feels AMAZING!  So on that note, here’s my story!

Joel and I met a lot earlier in life than many people expect.  I was 17, he was 19 and we met at what I like to call a “Best Buy Party”.  Yes that’s right, like the electronics store, Best Buy.  These gatherings weren’t AT Best Buy, but they were occupied by and thrown by several Best Buy employees.  I had a close girlfriend who worked there and I would always accompany her to these shindigs.  Joel also worked at this Best Buy and these events just so happened to be thrown at his house that he shared with a few other employees.  Sooooo that’s basically how we met!  But there’s more to the story than just that. When I was in high school, I was SUPER shy around people I didn’t know, so these gatherings were kind of torture for me, but I really wanted to break myself of this shyness so I continued to go.  Right away I thought Joel was sooooo cute with his super bleached, almost white hair, pierced ears, and the fact that he played drums.  I’ve always been a sucker for the alternative, tattooed, pierced guys, that at first glanced seem a bit hard and bad boy-ish, but in real life are total sweet hearts…you know the type right? Well Joel totally fit the bill in my eyes, minus the tattoos.  Being that I was so shy though, it would take all courage I had to just just say HI to him!  He would always say hi back maybe a “good to see you” and then continue on his way.  And that’s it!  I always hoped he would strike up a conversation with me, but it just never happened.

After I graduated high school I moved away for college.  After about a semester I realized that particular college just wasn’t for me, and I moved back to my home town to figure things out.  And guess what, when I got back, those old Best Buy parties were still happening…. so I went, and all of a sudden Joel started talking to me! (I came to find out that the reason he didn’t really talk to me before was that, even though he thought I was super cute, I was still in high school, and he didn’t want to seem like “that guy” who dated younger chicks in high school.  This made me go “awwwwww” in my head.  I thought that was pretty respectable of him, and also pretty sweet.)  Pretty quickly we started dating, but two weeks later we stopped because he was moving away… 7 HOURS away, to finish school at a University and in my eyes our new relationship just would survive.  I mean come on, I was 19, he was 21! We were YOUNG!  The decision was mutual and we stayed friends.  Fast forward a few years, we both dated other people, and when Joel finished university he moved to Orange County, California to play music.

Now you’re probably thinking, “How the heck did you guys reconnect?!”  Well it just so happened a really close friend of mine was getting married in Dana Point, Ca.  There was no way I was going to miss this wedding and once I realized that Dana Point was in Orange County, I thought of Joel.  During my early twenties I shook a lot of my shyness away, so when I realized that this wedding was near where Joel was living, I just simply called him up and asked him if he’d like to my “plus one”.  We ended up having a great time together at the wedding and also hit up Disneyland while I was there.  So much fun!  About a week later after arriving back home in Seattle I received a call from Joel, saying that he had been looking at plane tickets to Washington and was wondering if he could come visit me.  Of course I said yes, and once again we had a really nice long weekend together.  A few days later we were texting and I flat out said “I want you to you to be my boyfriend!”  Lucky for me he responded with, “I want you to be my girlfriend!”  And that was that, we were officially a couple.

We spent the next year dating long distance.  Every month either I would fly down for a long weekend or he would fly up, and we would chat on the phone for hours every night as well as watch tv shows together via cell phone.  About 6 months into our relationship Joel asked me if I would move to California.  At that time, I just wasn’t ready.  It wasn’t that I didn’t feel ready in our relationship, but rather that I wasn’t ready to leave my life in Seattle.  I lived in a hip area in a studio condo of my own and just absolutely loved my independent life in the city.  In the following month though, that all changed.  All my girlfriend started getting engaged or in serious relationships and suddenly not many of them wanted to hang out anymore, they just wanted to be with their men.  Which I totally understood, being young and in love can do that!  But at the same time it kind of sucked for me with my guy being in a different state and now no girlfriends to hang out with.

Next, I started being really disappointed my job, for MANY reasons that I won’t get into, but I was simply no longer happy there.  In early October I  had decided that I would stay until after Christmas and then I would move to California.  Although about a week after making this decision I actually decided that I had had enough and that instead of waiting, I was going to put in my two weeks notice at the end of the week.  This was a Monday, on Tuesday my boss called me in his office and explained to me that things with the business weren’t going well and he had made the decision to cut out my position and shuffle employees and hours around to cut costs. He said that he was very sorry, but would give me 3 weeks severance pay and write me a very good recommendation letter.  Normally this would have been devastating news, but considering I had planned on giving my two weeks notice just days later, it was the best news EVER!  Not only did I not have to have that awkward conversation of putting my two weeks notice in, but I was also getting paid for 3 weeks after I left, which I of course I would not have received if I had left on my own.

My next step was to break the news to my parents.  We are a pretty close family and I thought for sure they were going to FREAK!  Except that didn’t happen, they were very supportive and said that it would be an amazing experience for me. On top of that my dad said he was going to drive my car down for me, so I could just fly down and get settled in.  So I packed up the biggest suitcase I owned, stuffed everything else that would fit into my car, and off to California I went!  I remember landing and going to the outdoor baggage claim, the amazingly warm breeze blowing against my skin, and seeing Joel waiting for me in the distance….this was now MY LIFE, and I couldn’t have been more excited!!!

As you can see through this story things really did fall into place time and time again for me, and there’s even more!!  Once I was settled, about a week and a half in, I decided to start sending out my resume and cover letter.  This particular day I put my resume up onto a sight where employers go to look for employees.  2 hours later I received a call asking me if I could come in for an interview the next day.  Within the next couple days I started working from them and I’ve been there ever since.  BOOM!  And there you have it my friends my (possibly painfully long, but hopefully enjoyable) story of how Joel and I met, how we ended up in California, and how when somethings are meant to be, the universe will just MAKE THEM HAPPEN!  I know I have seriously been blessed through these experiences and I’m incredibly grateful.

To those of you who made it through my whole story, HIGH FIVE!  You rock!  And for those of you who had always been curious, I hope you had fun reading our story!  Until next time…

Cheers!

Traci

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