What's Your CA Dream?

Julie Lim's Captive Dream

In this installment of "What's Your CA Dream?", Julie Lim explains that the dream is holding her captive.

The dream is holding me captive.

My California dream came to me when I was living in Cambridge, MA. I grew up in LA but moved east for school and ended up staying because I LOVED east coast life. I had no love for sandy beaches or blond-haired surfers. I loved Boston weather, public transportation, Dunkin Donuts coffee. It was all good.

But as I got older, I realized if I didn't act decisively, I'd most likely end up marrying and putting down roots on the east coast. Having grown up entirely without extended family, I didn't like that prospect for my own children so I moved back to LA about 6 years ago.

My husband and I are very fortunate. Our families live close by and we're able to see them regularly. Family is the greatest source of blessing for us and for our two children. So it's difficult to think about leaving for someplace more affordable despite the staggering cost of living.

Pardon me for whining, but it's amazing how much money we make but how little we can afford. It's amazing how modest a million dollar home can be in LA and even then, you might need to consider private schools for your children. It's amazing that my immigrant parents put 3 children though private universities and even grad school but my husband and I (both of whom attended private universities and grad school) don't think we can afford to have more than two children.

My husband and I make good money but our lifestyle is very modest. Most of our wealth is tied up in our home and we continue to ask ourselves whether the benefits of staying in Los Angeles outweigh the costs. So far, the answer is yes.

If you'd like to share your California Dream, use the contact page provided here.

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