A Tale of Two Cities


Happy Tuesday! I hope all of you had fantastic Labor Day weekends. Ours was a great mix of relaxation, delicious food and last summer indulgences! This is the first day of the Blogtember challenge and I’m excited to share with you “where or what I come from, the people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who I am.”

There are many life lessons that could not have been learned without the help of my large, immediate and extended family but I’m choosing to share with you how two very distinct cities have played a role in who I am, because I grew up in both.

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I’ve always been bi-coastal my entire life. Having parents that lived on both coasts was challenging but also allowed me to live in two very different places throughout various points in my life. I spent many summers traveling from east to west coast, but my high school years were spent with my dad in a small suburb outside of San Francisco called Lafayette. It was an affluent neighborhood that I feel very fortunate to have had called home. My very loving immediate family (on both coasts) undeniably helped shape me into the person that I am today, but I also received a little help from the community itself. The school district my father lived in was amazing. Filled with teachers that had heart, kids that new how important having an education actually was and the worldly perception that I had only every known adults to have. Imagine teenagers exposed to a level of prosperity and culture that only a few percent of our nation are lucky enough to obtain, but with the mindset of college kids seeking humanitarian and political endeavors. These kids were fortunate but had parents that were smart enough to have engrained hard work and appreciation into their lives, thereby eliminating attitude and replacing it with perspective. Between passing the football and mini guitar sessions on blankets during lunch, the classroom was a serious place, where I watched what I thought would be the future master minds of our world develop, with enthusiasm and sweat. It wasn’t until being surrounded by that kind of influence that I too started to take my future more seriously and without it, I might find myself in a very different place than I’m in today. I am forever grateful for the role the community played during that formidable time in my life and for the tone it set for my future.


After graduation I moved back east (more southeast) to Charlotte to attend college. This was the second move that would prove invaluable. It was in Charlotte that I spent 10 years of my life, the longest period of time I’ve spent in any city. Up until then I was a little bit of a nomad and desperately sought comfortability in my surroundings. Charlotte was the first time I lived on my own and therefore was able to control how long I wanted to stay. It was in Charlotte that I would obtain a college education, meet my future husband (and now father of my child) and continue to grow as an individual. Spending pretty much the entirety of my twenties in that city left for a barrage of experiences, some good/some bad, but all necessary in order to grow. I came in one person and left another. My 20-year old self was armed with self-esteem and ideals from the west coast and may have taken a few hits from life as any 20-something I was a bit naive. But Charlotte was a safe place where my mistakes proved to be futile in the bigger picture and rendered beneficial as I go into my thirties. I can honestly say that I feel equipped and lucky to have had the experiences I’ve had and where I’ve had them in order to tackle this next endeavor…


If you already follow this blog you know that recently my husband and I relocated to Minneapolis, MN. A decidingly new adventure for us and one I hope to prove as beneficial as the time spent in the two cities I grew up in. Based upon my past a new city means new challenges and lasting memories, I can only hope that this new chapter: wife, mother, 30-something can be accentuated by our leap to Minnesota.

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  • Reply Kairen

    I am just in awe and soo jealous. I know its one of the wonders of the internet to be able to ‘meet’ people from all around the world but it doesn’t half make some of us wish we could visit all these places that people describe. Have a lovely day.

    September 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    • Reply clairecilip

      I agree! It is fun to be able to meet people across the world so easily!

      September 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm
  • Reply Sunday

    Wow! Beautiful post :) I’m heading to San Francisco in December for a holiday so any tips about where to visit would be much appreciated! x Sunday

    September 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm
    • Reply clairecilip

      Hi there! Yes, I would have tons of tips…what’s the best email address to message you?

      September 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm
  • Reply Shannon

    You probably have had one of the most cultured upbringings of anyone I “know”. I can only imagine what it was like being able to live on both coats. I remember being in junior high and begging my parents to let me fly on an airplane. Seems so crazy! I am glad you have found a new home in Minneapolis. I venture there about once and month and always find someplace new!

    September 3, 2013 at 10:11 pm
    • Reply clairecilip

      Hi Shannon! Thank you and awesome that you come to Minnie once a month! I checked out your blog as well and was so moved by your post. Loved that you went outside the box and can’t wait to follow more of your posts :)

      September 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm

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