Friday afternoon I turned in my ID badge at the guard booth as I pulled out of the Adobe garages. “Oh, sorry” said the guard, making the safe assumption that like pretty much everyone else who leaves the ‘country club’ at 600 Townsend Street I just got handed a pink slip. I felt a bit fake in just giving the nod of thanks and not correcting him, but it did little to dent the elation I had that moment, metaphorically passing across the threshold of job security into the unknown.

I spent Saturday morning in penance for the hubris of my prior evening, nursing a hangover and cursing the silence of our empty house. Picking up Desiree and Devin at the airport was the highlight of Saturday, as every other waking moment I wallowed in self-doubt and criticism. By the evening I’d decided I needed a few days to sleep things off, just let myself decompress and catch up with the events of the last month or so. The relative quiet from my phone and email only amplified the emptiness I was feeling inside at the thought of leaving my home behind, my job behind, my security behind. It was time to look ahead.

Sunday morning we woke up, packed a few bags and drove to Carpinteria so we could catch the evening sunset on the beach, and then spend the next few days looking for a place to rent in the area before heading back and renting out our own house in Maxwell Park up north. Even though part of me really just wanted to curl up in a fetal position and sleep for a few days before sorting everything out, I think what I really needed most of all was to force myself forward.

Little guy gets it on in Carpinteria for the first time.

And forward we have gone. I’m typing this now on my iPad in a Carp hotel room while my son sleeps in the bed behind me. As his eyes fluttered asleep a few minutes back, he muttered “this was the best day ever, Dad. I want to live here.” I flashed back a few hours to his shock of red hair coming alight in the sunset as we dodged the waves at Fourth Beach, the gleam in his eyes as he played in the seaweed and foraged for shells and rocks. He felt then what I felt when I first came to this place┬ásome 17 years ago.

This is home.
We just haven’t gotten back down to it quite yet.