(post originally written on February 3, 2019)
A year ago today I came to this city for the first time in my life.
I had just spent two days on the train from Denver where I woke up to the sun rising over the canyons of Nevada. Whenever I think of this day, I think of the overwhelming sense of serenity that had fully encompassed me. Nothing mattered except the way the sun glistened on the flowing water in a land I wasn’t even sure was real. In those three days I had seen more peace and beauty than I knew could possibly exist. I wanted to lay in the desert where the only noise you could hear was the beat of your heart and count every star. One thing became crystal clear to me: I needed to be a part of this place.
When I got off the train and traveled over the Bay bridge, I had no expectations. I hopped off the bus and called and Uber to bring me to my AirBnB, which was in the Marina (similar to Glover Park/Georgetown for all my DC friends). I felt like I was in a movie just staring out the windows, full of curiosity and the itch to explore every part of this city. When I woke up in the morning, on East Coast time and so exhausted, I threw on cut off jeans and walked to Crissy Field. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to wake up to this view every morning. To run to the water and just sit and stare. I’ve spent so many mornings doing that since I’ve lived here, and it never ever gets old. The sun was shining on my face and I could hear the water ever so slightly crashing on the shoreline. On that walk back to the neighborhood, I knew so deeply that this was a place I needed to get to know. A place where I wanted to start a life. A place that I could call home.
Seven months is how long it took me to feel fully settled. It’s taken late night conversations, day trips chasing the sun, hundreds of miles walked, rainy days in Carmel, jaw-dropping views of Big Sur, a 79 degree beach day in November, purchasing and returning a LOT of throw pillows, $20 avocado toasts, 18 plants, countless concerts, deep laughter, moments of pure uncertainty, falling in love, self-doubt, curiosity, panic, meditation, understanding, patience, euphoria, but most of all, amazing humans who I am so lucky to have in my life in such a sort time.
On those days when I don’t feel settled and have those moments of doubt, I go to the water. I take a moment to remember how I felt that morning. I think back on who I was in that moment and hold onto it, oh so tightly.
Isn’t that why we move? To find ourselves somewhere else?