Monday Motivation: People first.

Admin Featured, Monday Motivation 41 Comments

If you’ve been following my blog, podcast, Facebook page or tweets, you have probably heard that I’m moving to New Jersey this week.

I’ve lived in San Francisco for nearly seven years now, which I consider to be the majority of my independent adult life. The idea of leaving this city has literally been gut wrenching. I liken it to the ending of a romantic relationship when you know that you are still in love, but the timing just isn’t right. And you have to make the right choice and move on. I’m still in love with San Francisco, but right now isn’t the time for us.

So I have this quote swirling around my head lately that I’ve heard many times watching the Suze Ormon show:

“People first, then money, then things.” – Suze Ormon

Wow, if that doesn’t just say it all right there, I don’t know what does.

I came to San Francisco at a time in my life when my happiness seemed to revolve around simply putting myself into a new environment, filled with opportunity and the chance to create a life for myself that was not pre-planned. A life that was off-track from what most would have considered typical or desirable. I did not have a grand plan for myself other than to just get out to California and live. For the first couple of years, I felt like I lived on vacation. The allure and sheer beauty of San Francisco created a great romance in my life to which my small hometown in New Jersey couldn’t hold a candle.

It’s funny how things change, in time, when your priorities begin to shift.

Perhaps it’s having a job that I can do from literally any place that has an internet connection.

Perhaps it’s just getting older, and a bit tired of the scene in the city where people stumble home several nights a week slightly incoherent if not completely obliterated. 

Perhaps I have been living in the wrong neighborhood for the lifestyle I lead.

I think it boils down to this: I have realized that right now I want to put people first.

My family is in a place where my physical presence and support is helpful beyond anything my emotional presence and support alone can bring. I’ve been back and forth so many times in the last several months, each time feeling like the PEOPLE there are what made me say each time I was heading back to San Francisco that I wasn’t ready to come back. I actually wanted to STAY in New Jersey. Go figure.

So, here goes… “People first, then money, then things.” I’ve never been much for putting money or things first anyhow, but somehow putting the need to be around the people who make me feel grounded first just feels SO right.

I will leave San Francisco with a heavy heart for the life I’ve lived here, but I am beyond thrilled for the life, and mostly the PEOPLE, who await my arrival on the east coast.

  • Laura Lee

    Way to follow your heart, both on the move here and the return home! A life well lived requires action based on principles, and yours are dy-noh-mite. Safe travels!

    • Tony K


    • admin

      Thanks for the kind words.

  • Rachel

    I was in almost the exact same situation a year and a half ago. Moving back home (from Reno, NV to small town Coopersville, MI)was the BEST decision I ever made, although at the time I was fearful I may regret it. It has actually been great in ways I did not expect. Good luck, and I am sure you are headed in the right direction!

    • admin

      Thanks lady! And good luck with the new one… (you’re pregnant right now, right?!).

    • Primal Toad

      You live in Coopersville, MI? I think I kind of remember you saying this somewhere a long time ago… I’m here in Grand Rapids, MI but may live with my bro in Chicago from Thanksgiving to just before Christmas.

      I started a Grand Rapids Primal Tribe meetup group but can’t afford the fee so it may go extinct until I start it again next Spring! Keep your eyes out for it in April, May or Juneish next year!!

  • Jenny

    Thank you very much for this article. I felt and still feel the exact same way. I left Boston two years ago to move to Salt Lake City (not my home town). I felt the need to be closer to my family. A year ago, they all ended up moving to Salt Lake City as well (go figure) and it’s been a much easier transition now that we are all in the same place. I still struggle with the culture and lifestyle in SLC and miss my life and friends in Boston, but your article was very much needed wisdom for me. Thank you. I will resolve to make this experience a much more exciting one.

    • admin

      Wow, I wish my family and friends had all up and moved to SF 😉

  • Stanley Fishman

    You made the right decision. People should come first, especially the people who are dear to us. Best of luck on your move, and I hope all goes well for you and yours.

    • admin


  • Irene @ H.E.S.H.

    I agree! People should always be the first but you know I believe unconsciously all people know ad have this desire. Think about it, why do we do the things we normally do everyday? Isn’t it because for our self or for our love ones?

    • admin

      Yep. I think self-love is the reason why putting people first is what matters… relationships and love are really what make life worth living, in my opinion.

  • Barb

    You will never regret this decision. You have a long life to live and the memories you will be making over the next several years you will have for the remainder of your life. Personal sacrifice can be scary sometimes, but your family and friends will be there for you. Besides….you can blaze a trail in New Jersey as well as San Francisco! I know I’m one of your biggest fans. Good for you!

    • admin

      Thanks, Barb. I’m ready to blaze trails where ever I may land :)

  • Mary

    I love this post, Diane, and it really resonated with me. Thanks for sharing! Keep us posted please on how your move goes. And best wishes!

    • admin

      Thanks, Mary! SO glad to know you’re still with me as one of my FIRST followers back in the day. xo

  • Lucia

    Wow Diane, I’ve had similar thoughts running through my head the past few months. I hope the move goes well for you, seems like you’re at a positive place with the move and have a really open mind. I wanted to let you know that I can do a write-up on gluten-free primal/paleo friendly restaurants in Minneapolis, MN, if you’d like!

    • admin

      If you have a list of at least 5 to use in a post, that would work. Submit a question to the site on the contact page about it if you do- thanks!

  • Liz

    Friend, I can’t wait to have you here. New chapters are thrilling, and I know this one will be full of wonderful things (and, if I have anything to do with it, many ridiculous antics)!

    • admin

      Thank you for being so amazing. Antics had BETTER be a part of this move or I’m going to have to complain! 😉

  • Shelly Good

    I enjoyed reading some insight into your move and the choice to do so. I wish you the best. I’m glad that you have the ability to work wherever you are basically and can get back to New Jersey where your family obviously needs you. I imagine that is going to give you great peace. Best of luck!

  • heidi

    great post! thanks for sharing and all the best on your move back east!! love your blog btw :)

  • Gary Appuhn

    I traveled all over the country for over 30 years, many times back East. Though I live in San Diego now, I have learned through all that travel that every place in this beautiful country of ours is special in its own ways. You will discover wonders there and a quality in the people you meet there that are unique to that region, and you will love it! You will also find basically people are all the same everywhere — decent, loving and special.

    I attended college up there in Hayward, so I know what you are leaving. But, family IS everything. You just cannot recover the lost moments with your family. You will never regret it once they are gone….believe me! And I grew up in a small town of 6800 in So. Illinois…small towns are the best!

    Keep up the writing…I just recently found you and love your site and your articles in Paleo Mag.

    • admin

      Thanks Gary. The nice thing about the internet is that even when I move, I’m always still “here.” :)

  • Laura

    Hi Diane,

    Oh, I wish I could go with you! I left NJ for CA (Orange County) when I was 10, but NJ is really where my heart is. My mom moved back in 93, and although I really want to move, we live with my MIL, because my 2 sibling in laws live across the country…

    I keep praying I’ll move back one day.. I took hubby back 2 years ago and he really likes it (and he is a CA boy lol).

    Good Luck on your move and enjoy your new “life” with your family :-)

  • Primal Toad

    Good luck on your new adventure! It sounds like you are going somewhere that has people you deeply love.

    It’s tough for me… I have lived in Michigan my entire life of 23 years but am not at all a fan of the winter – all of December through February. At times its absolutely brutal. I mean, for someone like me who does no winter sports, how can a blizzard that tosses 18 inches in as many hours not be brutal? The zero degree wind chills are unbareable too.

    With all this being said, I freaking LOVE my family and close friends. They may not be as primal as me, but I have inspired them to get closer – they eat less bread, don’t toss out the yolks, etc.

    To add to that… the best holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas – are almost in the heart of the worst part of Winter.

    I’m thinking of following the sun for the next decade but we will see… that would mean I can easily be here in the midwest for 6-8 months of the year if I want and be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.

    Good luck! The Chicago Primal meetup group continues to grow at about 110 members right now so I’m sure we will be able to put together a Chicago seminar next spring at one of the 5 crossfit gyms! I met the owner of one of them during a potluck meetup.

    Live well.

  • Justin

    This post could not have possibly come at a better time for me. I JUST decided yesterday to make the move back to my hometown in New York from beautiful, sunny San Diego. I love this city so much, but if it’s choosing between the sun and the people I love most, it’s really a no brainer. I’ve been struggling so much with this decision for months and it’s very comforting to read this at a time when I’ve been so torn and uncertain that this is the right decision. Ultimately, I really believe in a previous reply, you can’t get back time with family and will never regret coming back to be with them after they’re gone. BEST of luck back in New Jersey and thanks for the timing of this post, as a reader I truly needed it.

  • Kate

    Sounds like your next adventure will be one of the heart. Those are, at least in my life, the most fulfilling adventures possible!

  • Ann Wendel

    I hope that your transition goes smoothly. I was born and raised in NJ, too. I went to college at 18 yo and never moved back b/c of work, etc. My entire family lives in the same small town I grew up in, and it’s hard to miss all of the events that happen on a day to day basis. There is so much to love about NJ, especially in the summer! And, you will be driving distance to NY, which is awesome!

  • KellyC

    Living in the middle of Canada all my life, I can’t imagine anyone moving away from California . . . but I get the reasons. Best of luck in the new adventure!

  • Linda

    I love that you are following your heart.

    • admin

      Thanks, Linda :)

  • caitlin

    I am people too! SF is not the same without you!

  • Patricia

    Aww…just read this, Diane! I am kind of going through the same thing right now being so far from my family. But for now, I’m happy that we’re a bit closer geographically! Always here in Boston in case you wanna visit. :) Love ya!

  • mlsweet11

    This is so true! I recently came to terms with this myself. You’re awesome!

    • admin

      YOU are awesome, Megan :) xo

  • Daniel

    Hey great stuff, I like the blog. However, please let that be the only advice you ever take from Suze Orman. Good luck!

  • Jenny

    Hi D,

    Sometimes we have to make hard decisions, but the ones made out of love and desire to be there for those that we care for are always worth it. I wish you all the best in this transition! Plus, you’ll be close to NYC… how i love NYC!!! I’m sure your family and friends are as thrilled to have you near as you are to be coming back home to them :)

  • Sarah @ RunSingTeach

    Good for you! Family always comes first! I made the same decision when leaving San Diego and coming back to Maryland. You’ll find you miss little things, but the big things are more important! Safe travels and happy landing.

  • christine elsdon

    You will never look back with regrets! All the best! and thanks for your inspirations, btw :)

  • Pingback: 21 Day Sugar Detox: Day 16 | Running Sugarfree()