Catapult

CATAPULT; to thrust, move suddenly or quickly

I first came to Atlanta in 1999, July. Moved here from San Francisco, which always surprises people. WHY would you move from San Francisco to Atlanta? It’s not an easy thing to explain, but I will try….see if you can follow along. 🙂

I had been to Atlanta twice before moving and had spent time here and LOVED it. The landscape is unlike anything out west. A bounty of trees, so damn lush and gorgeous. Maybe like a drop dead gorgeous woman so that when you see her, you just stop and stare. Soak her in. That is the Atlanta landscape. (not so much in winter, but you get the picture)

Atlanta is enough Southern so that one does feel it, in a good way. The slower pace, the true Southern Ways. You know..people of all ages addressing one as “ma’am” and “sir”. I find it endearing. People are kind here…and yes, many Southern Charmers. And contrary to popular misconceptions, Atlanta is VERY metropolitan. Very. Even more so now than when i moved here in 1999.

So…that is a little of what DREW me to this Southern City. Looking back, I also believe I needed to leave the Bay Area, which is more accurate to say. I didn’t leave San Francisco. I left the Bay Area. I left the Bay Area that had had so many very difficult memories for me. Very difficult and very painful. If you know my story, you understand. One might say I was “running” away from them, but I don’t see it that way. I really view it as something I needed to do for me. I needed to leave the nest. Surprisingly, it was pretty easy to leave. I was excited for an entire new place, new opportunities and to see what I could do on my own. I am a firm and loud believer in wandering. I think more people should do it. You can discover a lot about yourself while wandering. I, was wandering…

Almost 13 years have now passed. Wow. In many ways, I feel like I really “grew up” here in Atlanta. Became an adult. Been very focused on my career and have enjoyed that process. My running has also truly accelerated here. I did my first BIG RACE in January 1999 (before moving) in San Francisco; The Home Depot Half-Marathon. My finish time was 2:01:43 — a record i am still trying to break! After that race, I was hooked and proceeded to run and run while living in Atlanta. Luckily for me, my living situation/income etc has allowed me to travel for many races. 13 years later. Still very much hooked on the running.

One of the biggest issues of my life has been a constant nagging feeling of feeling like i belong anywhere. I think maybe we all have one or two or three or…nagging issues, don’t we?? Well, this is mine. It’s been huge. It is constant and can be a real freakin’ downer. DOWNER!

Well…I realize that I have a part in perpetuating this feeling. Some of it is real and true and some of it is stuff I create. There are people who know me, who really know me. Who really love me. And I have chosen to be far away from them. Well, that will certainly help me feel like i don’t belong and not connected. Duh!

Throughout my years in Atlanta, I have been unhappy on a deeper, spiritual level. For whatever reason, I have not been able to create the kind of relationships or community that helps sustain me on the inside and I think we all need that as part of our life. I read back to journals from 3, 5 years ago and read where I question why i am still living in Atlanta. Obviously, living here for as long as I have, there have been reasons for me to stay. I have been fulfilled here it some ways, but ultimately, for me, it has been like a spiritual desert. Over these 13 years, I have traveled back to the Bay Area to visit friends and more and more, those visits have provided me with a shot of the best juice i could possibly give myself. And it hasn’t just been my friends…it’s been the place…the San Francisco Bay Area…the water, the culture, the diversity, the abundance of so many good things….I kept going back to visit to get INJECTIONS of all this good stuff. Each time I have been back, over the last 5 years especially, I appreciate the place more and more. There is truly no place like it. I’ve been around the country a few times, so i feel i can legitimacy say those words! Back in October/November, I was having one of the worst times of my life and where did I seek comfort and nourishment…back in the Bay Area with my friends, who are my family. This past year, 2011, I traveled to the Bay Area 4 times. I finally got the message.

Things in my work environment have changed and it’s definitely time for me to leave a situation. It definitely has had good points, but I think when one becomes quiet enough, the message is there in the quiet, inner space. My message has been to leave a situation that no longer suits me. A relationship at work that is no longer serving me. Sometimes, we just have to move on and that’s what it is for me. Time to move on.

So. Yes. I am going home. Finally going home. I’m excited and a bit nervous, but mostly excited. I’ve been thinking about this for a loooong time and finally have gotten the courage to take the leap. As mentioned, 2011 was a tough year. However, it was a spontaneous meeting by the water with a friend with a red rooster in my hand that helped catapult this decision. At that moment, my year changed and ultimately, the direction of my life.

With a deep breath, I look forward to 2012 and all of its challenges and opportunities and adventures. I hope you’ll follow me along the way.

Onward…

p.s. so much more to say, but will save for a later time

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8 Responses to “Catapult”

  1. Wow! And yay! I’m excited for you. And yes, it may be a catapult but it sounds like you have a soft place to land and from what I know, that can make all the difference. 🙂
    Happy New Year!

  2. Love it LW! As usual, you and I seem to be in the same place 🙂

  3. Your description of your journey these past thirteen years is beautifully honest. I am so very happy for you Angie – you have found the path back home. YEAH! A celebration with a Red Rooster is in your future!

  4. Beautiful description of your journey my friend. There is nothing like going to a place where you feel like you really belong. Thank goodness your journey brought you to Atlanta, otherwise we would have never met. I will be sorry to see you go, but believe that one has to do what is right for them. Hey at least now I will have a reason to visit the west coast. Best of luck buddy!!!

  5. I have had the joy of seeing what “home” does for you. So happy that you are going back! You are destined for greatness, Ang.
    No doubt that you will be greeted with joy and love.

  6. afuntanilla Says:

    thank you for the warm, loving comments. Means a lot!

  7. LW – Not sure if you saw this on my FB wall, so decided to send it to you through here. After our conversation on Monday and after reading your blog, it feels so appropriate. Love you!

    “If you have done the best you can do and if you have gotten all you could extract from something, you have given all you had to give, then the time has come when you can do no more than say thank you and move on.” – Maya Angelou

  8. I applaud you for listening to that inner voice, Angie. So many of us don’t do that, and many times even if we do listen, we ignore the wisdom of that voice. Obviously, I’ll be thrilled to have you here, but more importantly, I’m happy for you to be moving in the direction of what you truly want. 🙂

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