Depressed in SoCal

How is this possible, you ask? SoCal has endless summer weather, in the winter you can truly surf and ski in the same day, etc. Well, a trip to Oregon ruined it. SoCal has downfalls for me:

1) It is very dry. After visiting Oregon, everything looks orange-ish, like the place is covered in dust. It’s probably smog, and it is August, so things are more dry than normal, but, still, it’s pretty dreary looking by contrast.

2) It is fairly expensive – and crowded. You pay a lot to live hear and most housing is medium to high density – all stacked on top of one another. I don’t like most people, so this is a problem with noise, barking dogs, generally rude behavior.

3) More to the point on crowded: the traffic is very stressful. Lately I have also been driving pretty aggressively as my mood sours and patience wanes. It’s pretty dangerous… and I only drive 10 miles to work, 7 on the crowded 405. I could not take a real commute.

4) Compared to Oregon, the place now seems really flat. Look, I found parts of Central Oregon very similar in nature – around Eugene or Medford and further in the East were dusty, flat farm land, too… but the rolling, tree-covered hills seems usually within view.

So, I came back and thought “Yeah, I really hate living here.” I basically feel tied to making money, I guess, plus a couple family members and friends – but it’s just not making me happy anymore. I want to downsize, too – I am tired of dusting a bunch of crap and maintaining our 1600 sq ft townhome. I want a small cabin in the wood near rushing water where neighbors are limited. I want to enjoy life, rather than be a slave to work. I am looking for balance, and making plans accordingly. I don’t want to wait to retire to relax, that seems silly. Time will tell!