Monday, November 23, 2015


I went to an art exhibit this weekend. It was a huge series of exhibits with lots of little gems. 
This was painted on a wall. It struck a chord. I've gained a lot of clarity in the last few months, and I'm working hard to keep the momentum going. I'm also working hard to keep the holiday blues at bay. Or maybe I'm just heading to The Bay to beat them. I'll be home for Christmas. I am gleeful that I will be in San Francisco in about a month. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Marking time

I've lived here eight months. I've been in my job for one month. Posey is eight months old. This blog will celebrate its 10th birthday on the 16th.

Wait, what? I've been recording stories on my little slice of the Internet for a decade. A DECADE.

Dudes, that is a loooong time. I've lived in four apartments in two states since I started writing here. I've had seven jobs, logged thousands of miles and countless bad dates. I have lived a lot in the past 10 years, and I'm really grateful to all of you who have joined me along the way. This blog has brought me so much - friends, community, and even the launching point for my current career. That's a lot to come out of a little online journal started to chronicle my crazy post-grad school temp jobs.

Most of my original blogging community is gone now. And I'll be honest, I have wondered if this might be the right time to close up shop over here. This is a San Francisco blog, and my current decidedly un-San Francisco life just doesn't lend itself to the same adventures. And while my SF expat status won't be permanent, I just don't feel called to the same illustration of the sublime and ridiculous as I once did.  But that might be because there is no ridiculous here, or at least nothing that can compare to the over-the-top awesomeness of my city by the Bay.

But, but, but... every time I think of logging off for good something stops me. It's the little voice that points our that I will always have words to write, and I still have stories to tell. I'm not telling them for my mom anymore, or for the east coast friends I was trying to keep in touch with from afar, for the imaginary-friends-on-the-internet who were here at the beginning. I'm telling them for myself, and I'm thankful for anybody who wants to stop by to join me on this wild ride.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

And we're back

The past couple of weeks have been consumed by my new job. It's excellent, but I am exhausted. Starting a fulltime routine after five months of being routine-less has kicked my ass. But the job is going well and I think I'll be a very good fit. 

Given my last job disaster, I spent the first few days at this place very uneasy. But as I've met some coworkers and observed lots of civility, I've relaxed a little. It's a big job, but I think it's a good place. I'm very thankful to be part of it. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

On the hunt for gratitude

I work really hard to live my life with a sense of gratitude - for the people in it, for the experiences I've had, and really just for the privilege to exist on this planet. Over the past few years especially, I have kept gratitude at the forefront during some rough times, and I have perservered because of it.

Lately, though, I have lost sight of that. My San Francisco cohort was similarly minded, but the people I'm surrounded by here are not. And as my influences change and as I've lost (and am working on finding) a lot of my own balance over the last six months, I have lost a lot of the sense of gratitude that propelled me here. And I don't like it.

I've found myself being snarky and selfish and a version of myself that I don't really like. So I'm taking stock and reversing the trend. I'm hunting down the gratitude and giving it a hug at every opportunity. Starting right now, with this little list:
  • I'm grateful for Posey. I have always wanted a dog of my own, and having her is a constant blessing, even when she's chewing up (or peeing on) the carpet.
  • I'm grateful for all of the experiences that have brought me to this place. I'm not happy here, but I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to move here so that I could figure out that I don't belong. 
  • I'm grateful for my family and friends, and for all the people who supported my move, and support my plan to go home. 
  • I am grateful for my health, and for the resources to improve it this year. 
  • I am grateful for the job I will be starting soon. Immensely grateful for the coworkers, for the paycheck, and for the opportunity to be the best employee I can be. 
The balance I lost in my move is hard to find again, but I think I'm on the right track.

Monday, September 28, 2015


My friend was standing over her salad, mixing the dressing and trying to keep lettuce from falling out the sides of the slightly-too-small bowl.

"That looks excellent," I commented.

"Can you guess what it's dressed with?" she asked.

The dressing was green, so it was pretty obvious.

"It's avocado. Why are you even asking?"

"Oh, right. You're a California girl," she said. "You wouldn't believe how many people I've had to explain this salad to."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Just as a refresher

"I walk my dog a lot," I told my mental health professional as we talked about activity and exercise. "I live off of the Four Mile Run trail, and we walk there a lot."

"Please be careful there. That trail is not safe for women," she replied.

"I know. I don't feel safe there. I really don't feel safe here at all. I've never wanted to carry pepper spray before, and I used to take public transit and walk around San Francisco late at night all the time."

"Do we need to find you a self-defense class, just as a safety refresher?" she asked.

I bought pepper spray today - the gender neutral kind in a black case - not the (more expensive) pink or silver rhinestone cases the shop clerk pointed me to. There's a level of misogyny here I was not at all prepared for, but that's a story for another day. Or maybe it's part of the same story. The attitudes toward women are different here, and not in good ways. I'm looking for a self-defense class, because I do not have a vicious-looking dog.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Six months of soul searching

I've been here six months now, and some things are becoming very clear to me:
  • Summer weather, with its really bad air quality and heat index of 100+, means I can't be outside for weeks on end. This is a problem. A big one. 
  • I seem to be unqualified to work here, and, judging by my last application-interview-design a website before we decline you fiasco, I may be unemployed for the long haul. I may have to go back to school in order to get a job here.
  • I thought I might want to buy a condo. I don't. I actually have no interest in the responsibilities of homeowner-ship. 
  • I do want to live near my sister and brother, but more than I want that I want a life that I can comfortably live in. 
I think it's fair to say at the six-month mark that this might not be the place for me. I have done a lot of soul searching in the last six months, and I  have come to realize that my concepts of home, neighborhood, and community are very well defined, and just not at all the same here as in SF. Is San Francisco the end-all? Maybe not, but it's the only place I've ever lived that really felt like home - for good and bad - and unless I can recreate that here (which is looking unlikely) I have no interest in bopping around the country trying to find another place that's the right fit.

I'm not making a beeline for the next plane west. I have some things to achieve while I'm here, and some work to do personally and professionally. And I'm going to be an aunt (!!) in February. I am definitely sticking around for awhile.

I turn 40 in about 20 months. I think returning to San Francisco for my 40th year is a great goal.