Sunday, July 25, 2010

Things I have learned in San Diego

This is not an exhaustive list and I'm sure there are many things I've forgotten, but I thought I would record for posterity a list of things I've learned in San Diego.

Each year (except for 2008--just lazy I suspect) Leo and I make a list of goals. Many of those goals and some extra's I have accomplished while living the last couple of years in SoCal.

In no apparent order, here's what I've learned:

  • Spanish (I've always wanted to learn this but when your husband/significant other/etc speaks it as a first language it always gives you the boost to learn it. Most Americans don't speak another language (neither do most Brits--a benefit of having your language the universal language) and while this is unfortunate, most Americans simply don't have anyone to practice with. For example, while I think learning Spanish has changed my life, if it weren't for my husband, I wouldn't be assed with Spanish. Who would I practice with? As it is, Leo switches back to English before I do. I would like to learn German, but who am I going to talk with? Maybe I can infiltrate some Amish community in Ohio.....
  • Self-confidence in public speaking. This comes from Toastmasters--a wonderful organization that I just can't say enough about.
  • A business Master's degree (in Management and Leadership thank you very much)
  • How to make stained glass. See entry here about the stained glass mafia I encountered.
  • More of a world view. California is a very diverse place and I met a lot of people from all over the globe (I also taught English as a Second Language for a year and this may have contributed). Even though I had lived in Atlanta, Philly and Boston (all big cities) I met more people from Europe/Asia/etc in CA than I had previously.
  • To value myself more. I've always been of the type (unfortunately) to downplay my achievements, skills, etc. Because my boss and I are so close, she let me in on the hiring process for my replacement. I vetted resumes and was in on the interview process. I learned so much during this time. I saw how other people sold themselves and talked big and I need to do more of that. I also saw how much people bullshitted....
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters. A great organization and I'm so happy I got involved in it!
  • That hillbillies exist everywhere. I used to think that hillbillies were an East Coast thing until we went to our office Christmas party 2 years ago. The receptionist and her husband brought a cooler of beer that they kept guard over the whole night. Everyone else had brought a bottle of wine to share but they were like eagles over that Budweiser. They also wore blue jeans and sweats while everyone else was dressed up. As soon as we left, Leo was like, "That''s the CA version of a redneck" and he was right.
  • That it's ok to be different. In other cities I've lived in, the people who look different are the weirdos. Here in SoCal, the people who look normal are the weirdos. And there's nothing wrong with that.


  1. Brilliant! I am in the middle of putting together a similar type of list, which was actually inspired by your last post comparing your pros and cons of San Diego. I had a similar list made about a year ago of Holland life, and I feel it's time to update it. It will be up soon, but for now this was a great laugh! California hillbillies and stained glass mafia. You are hilarious :-)

  2. Once I got past my fear of that photo, I thought...

    What a great list! So cool that you can look back and keep track of all the great things you've learned.

  3. This is more of a list of things you've accomplished! You're a rockstar who can do anything! :D :D: :D Proud to know ya.

    Oh, and California certainly has its share of hillbillies. Did you ever make it up to Hemet?!

  4. Jul-hahaha. I Know! That photo is horrible. Google "California hillbilly" and that's what comes up. Scary. It is always nice to sit back and take stock.

  5. Isabella-
    Yes please! i would love to see a list of pro's and cons of living in Holland!

  6. Hey Danielle-

    You're the best! Maybe it's more a "taking stock of..." kinda post. Can't wait to see yoU!

  7. great list! Did you take a Spanish class or did you just learn on your own?

  8. Hey Mrs. Carioca-
    I took classes at a school for about 7 months and then "poached" one of the teachers to give me lessons at her house. I also found a great teacher on Craigslist of all places. I don't think I'm motivated enough to learn on my own =(

  9. Your posts are just getting beter & better each time :) The main photo is just a merveille ! :)
    And, well, most of the people who " do absolutely great" on interviews prove crappy when they reilly have to work....

  10. I like your goals to learn Spanish and to learn to appreciate your achievements more. The latter one has always been a problem for me too. I know that I'm smart but I tend to downplay it a lot. Sometimes I think it's good but then sometimes I think I should be better at recognizing my strengths and selling myself.

  11. Hey Rosabell, thanks! That photo is crazy (and no, it's nobody I actually know lol).

    Sara-Anyone who can do an MBA program IS smart! I work for a university and it's our biggest program and the classes are crazy! Kudos to you ;D

  12. Hey, I work with the CheapOair travel blog ( and we're interested in having you guest blog for us. Please contact me if you're interested. Thanks! Aldo.

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