Why I Left Jacksonville

St. John's Sunset in Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville has way more to offer the world than just a football team and its physical size. Thanks for everything Jacksonville.

I called Jacksonville home since August of 2000 when I moved down there to attend Jacksonville University. Before Jacksonville I lived in Arizona, California, Virginia, and New Jersey. Jacksonville is the city I’ve spent half my life in and where I’ve discovered who I truly am as a person.

Jacksonville holds a special place in my heart and always will. It’s the place I found my amazing life partner. It’s where I bought my first home. It’s where I found my path as an entrepreneur. It’s where I have the majority of memories with my family.

I can remember the day nearly 16 years ago when my family helped me carry all my possessions into a tiny college dorm room. Most of my clothing and things were packed in two oversized yellow and blue LL Bean duffle bags. Funny enough, those duffle bags have stayed with me over the years and now contain 90% of everything my girlfriend and I own in this world and will be moving to San Diego.

I’m grateful for the friendships I’ve made in Jacksonville. Many have come and gone, but all have helped me become the person I am today. There are too many people to thank and say goodbye to. Plus, it feels weird for me to say “goodbye” because that feels like forever. I don’t know if my life journey will bring me back to Jacksonville, so for now I’ll just say “see ya later.”

Obviously I’ll be back to visit since my Mom and sister live here, but also because I really do love this city and have great friends here. I love the growth I’ve seen over nearly two decades. I’m a Jaguars fan through and through. And I remember a time before the Town Center existed ☺

To my Mom: Thank you so much for supporting me over the years. Thank you for moving your life down here to be closer to me. I know we won’t be .8 miles away anymore, but now I actually have a reason to use FaceTime on my phone! I’m overjoyed for the life you’ve created for yourself and for finding a job and life partner that make you so happy. I love you with all my heart and my 8 year old self was right, I am moving back to San Diego.

To my sister: I know we’ve had our ups and downs, but I’m excited for your new life and the family you are building (fur kids are great!). I have to constantly remind myself that I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life when I was 25 years old and that you have to find your own path at your own pace. Just promise me you won’t give up on your dreams or ambitions. You’re the smart one of the two of us and I know you are destined for great things. I love you Kimbo.

To the people of Jacksonville: Keep pushing forward. Keep making progress. Keeping doing awesome shit. Jacksonville is a special place and there are fantastically talented people who live here. Don’t be ashamed of where you live. Jacksonville has way more to offer the world than just a football team and its physical size. We all have our own way of embracing this city and I’ll continue to sing its praises wherever I go.

This is not a farewell, just a see ya later. Thanks for everything Jacksonville.

(Photo credit: Mark Kortum)