Autumn is a time of change. School has started, the leaves are turning from green to gold and the days turn shorter. When the seasons change it seems a good time to start new projects and measure the choices we’ve made to improve our lives. Seaside is a place where I’ve made choices to live a better, richer life. To live in a place where I don’t chase after riches and fame, and to live each day fully and intentionally.
The pace in Seaside is one that I love; it’s away from the traffic, away from the high rises and away from the city. Seaside invites long walks on the beach, warm cups of coffee in cozy cafés and a place where I’m surrounded by a sense of community and friends.
There’s a bend in the road when you’re coming into Seaside. It’s right before you get to Circle Creek Campground. Many years ago I had a life changing moment on that bend of road. I was with my fiancé and we were driving back to Seaside from a dinner in Portland. We had only been engaged for a few months, but had been dating for a few years. We were having a recurring argument and on that bend in the road on an autumn day we broke up.
Even though it was hard at the time, it was the best thing that could have happened to me (though I did have to take many long walks on the beach and cups of coffee with my girlfriends to help me get through the hard parts). I realized (after some time) that I couldn’t be myself in that relationship and was now free to pursue my dreams and be myself. Now, years later I’m in a relationship where I’m encouraged to be myself (how wonderful is that!?!).
As I was driving over that bend in the road recently I thought about how hard it is to make choices that are good for us. Whether it’s choosing to eat well, exercise, save money, etc. it’s funny how the things that are good for us take courage and discipline to do. Seaside is a place where I’ve experienced so many amazing things and even the hard choices I’ve had to make have endeared Seaside to me even more.
Maybe it’s the fresh ocean air or hearing the waves pound on the shore that make us feel a little stronger and see the things that really matter. It’s interesting how being surrounded with natural beauty can inspire us to do great things. How seasons can make us realize it’s time to make some changes- as the autumn winds stir up our soul and bring fresh perspective to our busy minds.
Seaside, as that bend in the road, has made a huge impact in my life. Maybe that’s why it’ll always be home to me. A place where my heart has grown – for the better.