I can't believe it's already October! September was the first month this blog was live, and while it was challenging, it was also super exciting. I was looking for a new creative outlet, and realized that I really missed writing. I went to journalism school, but wound up working in marketing at an SF architecture firm. My job offers creativity in lots of ways, but the writing aspect was missing. That's when the blog was born!
I've lived in SF for about eight years now, and want to share what I've learned, what I love, and even what I think needs to be improved. Our city is home to people from all walks of life and from all over the world. The City is changing quickly, but I believe the independent spirit and inspirational atmosphere that has drawn people here for hundreds of years is still alive. People argue every day that the spirit, the very essence of what makes SF special is lost, dying or dead. I firmly believe it's still here. It's not perfect, and never has been, but it's here.
It's not easy to be here. When you first get here, The City will fuck you. You'll be blindsided by stressors you never even imagined. You won't be able to find a place to live, let alone afford it, and then after some miracle when you do find a place, you'll realize you've moved in with some sort of psycho. If you dare to have a car, it will rack up hundreds of dollars in tickets. It will get broken into. If you're lucky it won't get stolen or towed. You'll have no money. Even if you make good money, even if you have a job, even if you have a tech job--you'll have no money. Everything is expensive here, and everyone acts like they can afford it. You'll see the worst in people, and the best. You'll be scared and amazed, and won't understand anything or anyone. You'll feel lost.
The secret is everyone is pretending. We're pretending SF is Neverland. We're pretending we love our jobs. We're pretending that we're proud to live with four roommates. We're pretending that we can afford it, and that artisan everything is a must. And we're pretending we get it. That we've seen everything before.
What we're not pretending at is loving The City. Even when I'm having a rough day, or a rough few days, I manage to be awestruck by the beauty, ingenuity and creativity here. "Only in San Francisco," is a resounding phrase. It's good. It's full of pride. If you're here, if you're really present here, eventually you'll catch a break.
Our tiny peninsula on the edge of the continent will slowly reveal its magic. Not everyone can, or will, or will want to stay here forever. Not everyone should. But if you feel drawn to this place, and if you can hustle, you'll find yourself at home. The City is special that way. You'll begin to know it, and it will begin to know you. It's an entity all by itself. You'll feel prideful, angry, happy, loving, manic, and deep sadness, all for or because of a city. That doesn't happen other places. It's special, and if you're lucky enough to have that here, or anywhere for that matter, don't take it for granted.
Don't ever stop feeling lucky to be here. Don't forget how much you had to struggle. It isn't easy. It's never been easy. But, as the adage goes, nothing is worthwhile is ever easy. It really does take blood, sweat and tears to be here. You have to actively want it. You have to nurture and pursue it. You have to put it out there, in the Universe, that SF is for you. If you don't, you'll find you'll find yourself in exile.
Respect The City, and she'll open her arms to you. She will show you wonders beyond your wildest dreams. She'll offer guidance, and teach lessons. She will show you humanity in every one of its forms. She will teach you to be kind, and to be hard. She will make you feel like a place can be both big and small, full of strangers and full of friends. She will make you believe in things like karma and miracles. She'll make you wild, and offer compassion when you need it most. She will teach you to love yourself, and to have an open mind.
San Francisco really is a magical place, a Neverland, where anything can happen.
San Francisco is Limitless.