Whale’s Vagina


When I moved to San Diego seven years ago I uprooted everything I knew
to be home. My family, my lifelong friends, my home, my
job…everything. I knew not a soul nor did I have a job, but I knew
it was something I had to do; a calling I just couldn’t explain.
Unfortunately, my first year in I wanted nothing but to return to the
comforts of “home”. I never knew Loneliness like I did those first
few months in America’s Finest City. I thought I had…you know those
Friday nights when the phone stays quiet and you think that none of
your friends like you anymore because they are all out having fun
without you and didn’t think to call you (when the reality is that
they are all at home staring at the phone as well). No, that wasn’t
Loneliness, just his pansy-ass sidekick . No, Loneliness envelops you
and pins you down, smothering you with his darkness so you can’t
breath, can’t move. Loneliness and I tangoed constantly and after
about 7 months into it I called “uncle” and told my family I was
coming home. Loneliness won. However, after a long conversation with
a very wise woman, my mom, we both decided that I needed to give it at
least a full year. My mom is probably kicking her own as—butt about
that conversation, but it was one of the best pieces of advice she
has given me…I grew to love San Diego as my home and the growth I made
personally and professionally was astounding. Now seven years later
I’m moving on again.


Between battling with loneliness that first year, getting myself into
a financial hole and a “not-so-fun” break-up, one might think that my
thoughts about leaving would have been “GOOD RIDDANCE” as I flipped SD
the bird while watching the downtown skyline shrink in my rearview
mirror as I headed north on the 5, gleeful to have this phase of my
life finally behind me. On the contrary, my years in San Diego have
been nothing short of wonderful. The hardships I endured only made me
stronger and I am grateful for the support and love provided by those
near and far. When I think back seven years ago, I realize that
leaving Reno was not difficult…leaving my loved ones was killer, but
Reno itself? No biggie. Saying good-bye to SD was more difficult that
I could have possibly imagined. Those last few weeks were spent
berating myself for not grasping every opportunity possible. I wanted
to spend more time at the coffee shop down the street, go to more
farmer’s markets, take a surfing lesson, paddleboard more often, run
on the beach, have a crepe at Café Madeline’s, invite my friends over
for wine and snacks, participate in a triathlon, make my own beer,
swim in the ocean, start road-biking…I could go on and on. And to
think I stayed quite busy most of the time already! I left part of my
soul in San Diego and I know in my hearts of hearts that someday I
will be back…we are connected.


Ironically enough my battle with Loneliness that first year dealt
mainly with the fact that I had such a difficult time meeting people.
Since I grew up in Reno, most of my friends were childhood friends;
we had history and that network of friends just continued to grow as
we all got older. However, when I moved to SD I didn’t have that
network anymore…I had to start from scratch. But the people here sure
had their networks dialed down and let me tell you, trying to get in
with no connections is not an easy task! Fortunately for me it was a
task I accomplished and one I accomplished very well…I have been so
blessed with the friendships I have made and will miss so many people
as I embark on this new endeavor. I know that many will stay in my
life for years to come and I can’t express how truly grateful I am.


So thank you Whale’s Vagina; thank you for the life lessons learned
while residing in your beauty, thank you for the laughs, smiles and
love from your people, thank you for the 15 extra pounds from having a
bit too much fun most of the time, thank you for year-round sunshine
(ok except maybe May and June), thank you for the fresh ocean air and
thank you for giving me the courage to leave you…



2 thoughts on “Whale’s Vagina

  1. Karena, What you’ve said here is so beautiful. It makes me miss you and sad that we didn’t have more kid-free time to hang out while you were here. Julie and I love you so much and are SO glad that we’ve gotten to know you. You are an amazing, funny, endearing person. I’m so happy that you’re on another adventure and that we get to follow you through it on your blog. ❤ June

  2. Thank you, June! I’ll never forget that you and Julie were my first friends in San Diego and I hope to always stay in touch. You have a beautiful family and I am grateful that I was able to be a part of that. Another adventure indeed!! xoxo

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