San Francisco. A city I was fortunate enough to call home for the past 10+ years. I left for my freshman year of college on my eighteenth birthday, and made the 8 hour drive from my small southern California town. I felt like a big fish in a small pond, so surely this big city would suit me much better. I loved the diversity the city had to offer, and the anonymity of it all. I was outgoing, social, and craved to be a part of the subculture. Unfortunately for whatever rhyme or reason I turned into this shy, small town girl. I partied a lot in high school so decided I was going to take my undergrad seriously. Sure I participated in festivals and outings here and there, but I was mostly a homebody who only left to attend class or go to work. Boring. It didn’t help that my boyfriend at the time was sort of an introvert and didn’t make friends easily. So there I was, letting life pass me by.
After graduation I moved back to my small desert town for about one year. That year was and in many ways still is a blur. I was going through a bad breakup, working part-time, and figuring out my next step post college. My younger sister decided to attend SFSU which is my Alma Mater, and needed to find a room for the Fall. Not exactly sure how it happened but we found ourselves living together in a tiny studio just outside the city. I was back. Bless her for dealing with my craziness in such small living quarters. This was in 2008 during the global financial crisis, where I found myself with little money and even less time to get my shit together. Then I landed an entry level job in banking with a company I ended up working with for 5+ years. This job provided me the security and stability I so desperately needed. More importantly it introduced me to some amazing people.
San Francisco. Act two. 2008-2014. The first two years were a transition period. I missed my family & desert friends, but still wasn’t really giving the city a chance. Luckily I met some friends through work who shook me up & reintroduced me to the city. I lived in the Sunset District of SF for most of the time I lived there and while that was its own thing, it was only a short Muni ride into downtown. I worked in SoMa, and played mostly in the Mission. Time was passing, but this time I wasn’t letting my life go along with it. I was a yes person. I went to week night Giants games which were walking distance from my work, checked out countless new happy hour/tapas joints, marched in all the parades, and spent Sundays unwinding in my favorite spot at Dolores Park. I fell in love in the city. I fell in love with the city. San Francisco would always hold a special place in my heart.
As happy as I was living, dating, and exploring the city with all it had to offer; I grew dissatisfied with my career path. I knew I had to take a risk and pursue something I felt passionately about, so I enrolled in grad school and moved back to the desert in August of 2014. I lived at home for about 8 months before I moved back to the Bay Area. During the course of that 8 month period I started grad school, developed a chronic illness, and engaged in a long-distance relationship. Again, this chunk of time is blurry. I wasn’t really present while living in the desert. My heart was in the Bay Area, for many reasons, and I was just kind of existing. Going along with the flow, until I could figure out my next move. Cut to April of this year where I found myself in love and on my way back to the Bay Area. I’d be living in the East Bay with the city & all of its offerings only a short Bart ride away.
Well that move didn’t work out so well. My time in the East Bay only lasted two and a half months. Now I am back in the desert living with family. Grateful they’ve taken me back in, but so confused as to how I got here. Heartbroken. A little angry. Mostly disappointed. I’ve realized however that I’ve never really given the desert a chance. Sounds silly, but I’ve never really been a grown-up in the desert. I know what my city identity was but how do I fit in here? Do I pick up tennis? Golf? The biggest thing to happen to this town is the Coachella Music & Arts Festival and that only brings my hipster friends into town two weekends a year. What’s a girl to do? I’m trying to figure that out at the moment. Palm Springs offers the night life, and if I can survive this summer heat then anything is possible. I’m going to try and give it a shot. After all, what do I have to lose…