Holy Mendocino

By Jen Lewis

This is a weird post to start writing, because I'm not really sure where I want to go with it. I haven't written on this blog (except for Mikayla's birthday posts) in forever, and it's 2:30am. 

I'm going to go with it and see what happens. 


I moved to Mendocino County one month ago tomorrow. I'm clocking in at thirty days in a new town, a new state, a new job, new friends, new room, new LIFE.

And it's amazing. 

Change is crazy. It's beautiful, it's terrifying, and I cried TWICE in front of people before I left - which might actually be more times that I've ever cried in front of anyone ever. 

But once it happened... it was perfect. As soon as I hit Hwy 97, headed straight out of Oregon, it just felt right. 

As I passed the sign welcoming me to California, I knew for a fact I was headed in the right direction. I knew for a fact, and I know for a fact, that I'm exactly where I need to be right now. And right now could mean SO MANY THINGS. Maybe I'll be here for a year, and move along. Maybe I'll be here for five years before I head out of Mendocino. Maybe this is where my ashes will be strewn, after I've spent sixty years on this gorgeous cliffside civilization. 

I don't know. All I know, is that I am 100% in the right place.

I went to an event last week called Coastal Storytellers. In the style of the Moth Radio Hour, random community members got up on stage to tell a story - any story. I laughed, I came close to tears, I met new friends, it was lovely. 

The first man that got on stage had moved here in the late sixties, and he had one very important thing to say: 

Mendocino either wants you here or it doesn't. If you're supposed to be here, if the Mendocino Coast wants you here, everything will fall into place. The job will come, the house will come, the friends, the money, the life will come. If Mendocino doesn't want you here - if you weren't meant to make your home on this coast, it will SPIT YOU OUT. 

I've heard the term "Mendocino Magic" many times since moving here. The term refers to the same thing that the first speaker talked about on stage, the fact that if you're meant to be here, things will magically work out in your favor. 

I applied for the marketing coordinator position at Thanksgiving Coffee on July 21. I hadn't given notice at my current position, but my time in Bend was coming to an end, and I knew it. I got a reply back five days later, giving me some details on what the position entailed, and what they expected from their Marketing and Program Coordinator. I couldn't have been more excited - everything about the job was what I had aligned myself with over the past three years, and I could envision myself in that role so easily. 

We set a date for me to travel down and meet the team, and on August 11, I drove into Fort Bragg for the first time. I didn't get in until 9pm, and it was foggy and terrifying. My hotel room was the Harbor Lite Lodge - overlooking the Noyo Harbor and Thanksgiving Coffee, where I would start work two months later. 

My interview was at 9am, and I stayed in the offices until noon. 

Everything about it felt so right. 


I did a few other job interviews before taking the position at Thanksgiving, and I left no other office with the feeling of euphoria that came over me as I left the building on South Harbor Drive. I walked through the orchard with Paul as he reassured me I did well in the interview, and explained his goals for the position, and the direction the company was headed. 

I drove for four hours after that interview, and ended up in Eureka for the night. I called my sister and gushed about the interview and the company. I grabbed a six pack of local beers and fell asleep in my tent before I could even finish my second. 

Everything felt right. Everything feels right. 

I didn't think I could feel so content with such a big change, but that Mendocino Magic is no joke. 

When I stood on the Mendocino Headlands after my interview on August 12, I felt this crazy feeling like this was where I was supposed to be. Like I was going to end up here, no matter what. 

When I was offered the job in the middle of September, I took the phone call outside my current position at Nashelle, and paced back and forth, until I heard Joan offer me the position. I probably gushed a little too much, and then ran inside the building, jumping up and down and hugging everyone. 

When I visited Mendocino at the end of September, I visited a lot of really cute houses, and met a lot of really great people, but only one home stood out to me, and that was the apartment in Caspar, with two gorgeous blondes and a stunning black cat. I visited them just as the sun was setting, and the ocean view from the living room was astonishing. I don't know how long it took me to tell them I desperately wanted to live with them, but I'm now typing this out inside my little blue and white room just off the kitchen. 

I later found out that this apartment had once been home to a former CEO of Thanksgiving Coffee, and that our Vice President had spent many days growing up here. The Caspar Beach, just a three minute drive from my house was where the co-founders of Thanksgiving Coffee met. 

When Joan told me which day they'd like me to start at Thanksgiving Coffee, it coincided with my move-in date at the apartment perfectly. 

When I found out I lived five minutes away from a lighthouse, I immediately emailed and was given the Saturday afternoon shift, manning the gift shop, looking over some of the most stunning scenery on the planet. A couple nights after I moved in, I realized I could see the shine from the brilliant third order fresnel lens from the roof off the front of my apartment. 

. . .

Mendocino Magic has me firmly in its grasp, and I can't imagine this move or this life turning out any other way. 

I am so excited to see where this story goes. 







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