Oh Santa Monica, how I love you so. It was the very first place I called home upon leaving my familiar Bay Area life behind. As a kid I used to sing “All I Wanna Do” by Sheryl Crow and belt out the chorus, “Until the sun comes up over Santa Monibulicabaaaarrrr!”

I’ve never been good with song lyrics. It’s been a running joke ever since and for years after I learned what the actual lyrics were, my mom, sister and I continued to refer to it as “Santa Monibulicabar.”

A few weeks after I moved, my friends and I visited the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica for the first time. I remember being completely overwhelmed and disoriented. The street itself was packed with people and tourists, and I felt a sinking feeling that I was beginning to overstay my welcome with the friends (of friends, of friends’s brother?) I had been staying with. I hadn’t made any solid decisions about what I was doing and had no business being at a shopping mall seeing as I’d spent my last $7 earlier in the day on a sandwich. It was all washing over me at once when I looked up and saw the street corner I was standing on. Santa Monica Boulevard. I’d be lying if I said I had a whimsical Hollywood-style epiphany then and there, although Cher in Clueless also had her lightbulb moment (about Josh) while shopping in Los Angeles…just sayin’. In reality I just took a picture and sent it to my mom, but it did snap me out the fog I was about to slip into and let me enjoy the day.

Shortly thereafter I was earning my own money and had a beautiful place to live just ten blocks from the beach. The seemingly insurmountable hurdles I was facing the week prior were no longer even the faintest of concerns. In hindsight, so much could have gone wrong when I decided to move across the state rather abruptly, but I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t made that decision. I’m so thankful that I did. Props to 2010 Dimitra! 2016 Dimitra forgives you for the 15 pounds you gained and the 17 parking tickets you racked up. It all worked out in the end. 🙂

xo Dimitra

| Hat: Small shop in Rome (similar) | Sunglasses: Mall kiosk (no shame) (similar, similar) | Necklace: Forever 21 | Sweater: Forever 21 | Dress: ANGL | Shoes: Nordstrom | Bag: Free People |