Just As I Thought

California Misadventure

Let’s look back in time, two and a half years. 2005. Back then we were young and innocent, the war in Iraq had already been won, New Orleans was intact and the real estate market was booming.

Everything looked promising, eh?

Well, I took advantage of that real estate market and leveraged myself out of Washington DC and into Silicon Valley, with high hopes and a plan for a new life.

I gloried in beautiful weather 300 days a year. I found my dream house, a little 1930s bungalow. I luxuriated in the backyard next to my very own orange tree and worked on freelance projects when I wanted to.

I had a heart attack. I paid outrageous sums for a house and then huge bags of cash for taxes. I failed to meet the next love of my life. I learned what a moderate earthquake is really like. I discovered that I do not fit in with Silicon Valley tech society and couldn’t find a job that was right for me.

So much for the grand experiment.

As of January, I’ll be wrapping up this adventure and moving back to DC where I’ve been offered a position I just can’t pass up: managing conferences, a new direction for me but one that I’d been edging toward for years. I’m very excited about this new career but it is a bittersweet excitement, knowing that I’ll be going back to the city that made me crazy and misanthropic to begin with.

But think of how much I’ll save in airfare! My carbon footprint will plummet. And, I suppose, I can take some kind of pride in the fact that I was able to make the move, buy a very expensive house, and live in California for 2 and a half years while driving around in a little convertible roadster. In the future I’ll call it a sabbatical, not a midlife crisis.

Will I be able to keep some vestige of my California less-stress life and attitude? Will I survive temperatures below 50°? Does anyone want to buy a half-million dollar bungalow on the San Jose-Santa Clara line?

Follow along as I go through it all again, this time in reverse. And you know, it is never fun being pulled through anything in reverse.


  • Well, DC at least will be happy to have you back. Are you thinking you’ll live in the city itself, or back in Ole Virginny?

  • Well, DC will be no new cage for you. I only say that because the letters in your name are an anagram for “no new cage.”
    Guess who found an internet anagram generator???

    CONGRATS on the new job!!

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