Why I Left the Bay Area

"Why I Left the Bay Area"

Two years ago this month, my husband and I were preparing to put our little Pleasant Hill home on the market. I lived in the Bay Area for most of my 41 years. I was born and raised in Walnut Creek. I went away for college and adventures and travel, but I always had a home in the Bay. My parents lived there, my babies were born there, and the little home we just let go of was ours for a decade. I had deep, deep roots in the Bay. I still do.

But two years ago, I felt a call deep in my cells to leave. It was like a nudge or a whisper or an ache; something in me told me it was time to go. 

But the call to leave didn’t make any practical sense. My husband and I had a good life there. We had amazing friends, family, and neighbors. Our kids could climb our fence and play with their best friends next door. Our home had my children’s footprints stamped in the cement on the front porch. Our home felt like home. It smelled like home. It looked like home. It was home.

How could I leave all that? My mind would struggle and fight and go to battle with this call. I could list all the good reasons to stay, but there was this steady nudge, like a drum beat in my cells, that would not ease up. The drum beat told me to go. The drum beat told me it was time. The drum beat told me there was something for me in another place, that my soul needed to grow. It told me that the growth and healing I needed could not happen among the hills that held me since I was born. I needed to expand and stretch beyond the familiarity and comfort of this rooted home.

And it was hard as hell.

I said goodbye. I lifted my roots, wrapped them around me like a blanket, and bowed in humble grace. Thank you, home, for holding me so well. Thank you for raising me. Thank you for loving me. And now I must go.

Into the unknown. I took a leap. I honored the call. I followed her voice. And I moved my little family to a new home in a new state for a new beginning.

The path I’ve taken these last two years has been winding and messy. It’s been full of tears and expansion, love and grace. It’s been the full range. There are moments where I am in deep raging grief, missing my old home and my old life, and moments where I am stunned by the beauty and possibilities of the new life in front me. 

I moved because my soul was calling me forward. I’m still learning why, and each day unravels more understanding.

A teacher once told me that the moment a woman stops listening to that deep inner voice, to that call, to that ache, to that beating drum, is the moment she begins to die.

I share this story because the more women I talk to, especially after this difficult year, the more I realize that I am not alone. This year has shattered our norms in profound ways. Many of us are hearing the call to step forward into a different life, to take a leap of faith and make a change we never would have imagined before. Maybe it’s moving, maybe is closing or starting a business, maybe it’s ending a relationship. Maybe it’s stepping more into who you are and finally putting down the mask you’ve been hiding behind. Maybe…

I am now feeling the call to bring together a small counsel of women where we practice listening to that call, wherever it’s wanting to take us, and supporting each other to cross the bridge into a new way of being. I am feeling the call to help women choose to fully live.

I am looking for 6 women who want private mentorship, sisterhood, and support to help them find the courage to step out of the old way and into the new. This will be a tight-knit circle where we dive deep together for four months and emerge from this difficult year more aligned and ready to build a new future.

I will share my process, my grief, my explorations, the tools I’ve found, and lots of love to help you walk over the bridge that’s in front of you. Together with the women in this group, I will cheer you on and help you listen to your truth. You will find the clarity and the grace to do what’s been nudging you for so long.

If this sounds like you, I am offering a free live workshop on Zoom, Thursday, April 22, at 12 pm PST. The workshop is titled: How to Redesign your Life Post Pandemic.

Register for the free workshop here.

You will receive an email with the Zoom link. If you can’t make it, register anyway. I will provide a recording after.

If you feel like this mentorship opportunity is for you, and you are already feeling the buzz, hit reply and I will send you more information personally, otherwise join us at the workshop. It will be juicy and inspiring for all, even if the mentorship is not your thing.

Sending hugs, 

Michelle Long, MA


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