3 y 3 ars

Before I arrived in the Tri-Cities three years ago, I lived in Monterey, California and was miserable.

* but it’s such a beautiful place and the beach and the aquarium and carmel and big sur and bill murray in town for pebble beach and … *

I can see why some people would be confused that I was so incredibly unhappy in a place that many would consider a gem of a vacation spot in the Golden State.  The area has an esthetic appeal that artists and photographers can’t resist.

But still. I hated living there.  I couldn’t wait to get out.  I probably drove my husband nuts with my own mini-insanities that I finally recognized as a full-blown depression. The only up side of this was that I finally watched all 5 seasons of Lost, marathon style.

I WAS lost, and didn’t understand how things had gotten so far out of hand.  I worked from home, ate at restaurants on Lighthouse Ave, bought fresh produce year-round at one of the three farmers markets near my house, and gawked at the otters in the bay occasionally.  Well, I did these things until the depression started eating at me and I stopped doing just about everything except the minimal things one does to get to the next day.

* what the heck how can someone get depressed it just sounds like a funk and a good dose of vitamin d or exercise or cute kitty pics or …. *

Depression doesn’t really make sense. It just doesn’t. You can’t apply logic to it.  This has been described elsewhere in greater detail, so I won’t go into that.

Now, three years later in another city, I find myself interested in what specifically might have contributed to such a state.  It evidently wasn’t simply moving, because then I’d be due for another fabulous bout of depression as it’s been three years for me in the Tri-Cities.

What does the Tri-Cities hold for me that Monterey didn’t?

* let me guess is it sage brush or bald hills or bland food or no place to go out or being super far from anywhere with a drop of culture… *

STOP. Close your ears to the critics!  Ears are meant for hearing the positive things. They’re meant for hearing what prompts the slow smile. They’re meant for hearing what makes your pulse race with excitement and your heart pound with emotion. Close your ears to the drone of banality, and free them up for serving as an input for fabulousness.

Three years in the Tri-Cities has meant so much more to me than three years in Monterey.  Here, I’ve connected with people who will affect me for the rest of my life.  Here, I’ve found new excitement in my career and found new paths that I didn’t even know were open to me as I watched others doing such amazing things.  If you look in the right places, you’ll see awesomeness booming out in all directions.  And all of it is driven by people.  People with hope and inspiration and daring. These are some amazing people, and that’s something I never found in Monterey.

Three years in the Tri-Cities and three years in Monterey.  I’d take another three years here over Monterey any day.  But my time has come to move on, as I’ll be joining my husband in Seattle for a new phase in his career. If I leave no other mark, then let it be this:

The Tri-Cities’ best asset is the People who make up this community.

Invest your time and passion in those People.

Find new People, like I used to be and see what they have to offer.

Grow those connections and this place will flourish even more strongly.

I will greatly miss you all and I thank you for what you’ve done for me. I no longer fear moving to a new community because I remember how to connect, how to “Find My People.” Much more important than any mark I’ve left in this place that has been my home is the mark you’ve all left on me.  It’s a happy tattoo on my heart, and I’m grateful to you all for crafting it.

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Shenoa Lawrence

Shenoa has traveled in 17 countries, eaten a meal hanging from the side of a cliff, and been cursed at in Creole. She's prone to skinned knees, goofy comments, and big ideas. Shenoa is a designer of web sites, drinker of coffee, and seeker of adventures. She thinks writing her own bios are really weird and awkward.

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