“Welcome back,” you might say.

It has been a scant seven weeks since I moved out of Minneapolis, not enough time to judge if it was a good decision. Honestly, I’m just as torn as (if not more than) I was before I moved.

Of course, the four-day cross-country move was somewhat exhausting. Some of the scenery was spectacular, and some was not. [Spectacular: the Rockies, the Sierras, the Gateway Arch. Spectacularly depressing: Illinois, eastern Colorado, western Utah.]

My first few weeks in California were mostly spent floundering. Four days after arriving, I went on a quick, expensive, unplanned trip to San Diego that was not joyous at all times. Nick had left his car down there on a previous trip for repairs, and he asked if I’d like to go along to pick it up… after buying me a one-way plane ticket. (Under ideal circumstances, of course, I might have had the opportunity to say, “Perhaps we could go after I’ve recovered from the four-day cross-country move,” but I had no such option. I could have said no, but the fact he had already bought the ticket made that option awkward.)

I freely admit that I mostly wanted to go, since I hadn’t previously been to Southern California. I’m glad now that I’ve seen some of San Diego and L.A., if only to confirm I don’t have any desire to live there. I was blown away by the often ruggedly scenic Pacific Coast Highway on our trip north. Still, the combination of having nowhere quiet to sleep the first night (long story), sun-sickness the second day, and car sickness at a few points going up Highway 1 made the trip less than entirely pleasant. Oh, and my camera broke during the trip, so I don’t even have pictures.

When we got back to Oakland, I continued to live in the living room, which is obviously not as appropriate a situation as the English language might imply. My computer was on a very low table, making working on my portfolio site and finding a job difficult. And, of course, we were actively looking for a new place.

Making things worse, the freelance job that apparently fell in my lap while I was still in Minnesota fell out of my lap on the 10th. [Roughly a week earlier, Nick, Windy, and I signed the lease for the house in Berkeley.] The organization’s board postponed approval until their next meeting, October 15th. (Coincidentally, my next rent check is due the same day.)

I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining, especially not about my roommates. It was gracious of Nick and Windy to share their space with me and to find a new place simply because I was moving out here. I’ve had a pretty good time going to baseball games and movies, playing Madden NFL 2003 for the PS2 (oh, evil time-sucking habit), going out for dinner, and playing nearly genuine Irish pub trivia.

Berkeley seems like a nice enough place to live, and I’ve loved the Bay Area since the first time I visited. Under the right circumstances, I know that I would love living out here.

Right now, though, I really miss the familiar. I miss being around Amber. (Since I am of course eminently missable, it’s unsurprising that she misses me as well.) I miss my friends in Minneapolis and Madison (still more numerous there than in Minneapolis), not to mention my friends in scattered regions of the country. Of course, it’s great seeing Kim & Dave, Tree, and Nick & Windy—I would never have been able to move out here without knowing a few people. And I miss my parents. Perhaps I underestimated how much I’d rather be nearer to them—at least close enough to drop by more than once a year.

I don’t think that I’m inordinately negative, in general; I usually fall somewhere between realistic and optimistic. However, maybe my feeling lost, stressed, and homesick is understandable, considering I turned my life upside down.

My decision to move might turn out for the best. At the very least, it certainly has helped me determine—or made me admit to myself—what I think is really important.