Saturday, October 18, 2014

With all the eloquence I haven't been able to muster

I was walking through the Marina last night, strolling from Paxti's (where we had dinner sitting next to Ryan Vogelsong and his family) back to the bus stop. As I waited for the bus I pulled out my phone and scrolled through Twitter, passing the time with the updates of my friends' Friday nights.

This was the first night - Friday or otherwise - that I'd been out with friends in awhile. Most of my inner circle has left the city. The friend I met last night no longer lives here, it was just luck that she was in town. As we said our goodbyes at the bus stop, I tried to bury the pangs of lonliness already creeping up. I miss my friends. I miss easy social time, time together that doesn't involve complicated scheduling and relying on the trips friends take in from out of town.

And then, scrolling through Twitter, I found this. This goodbye letter to San Francisco written by my former classmate. A goodbye letter written by somebody who loves San Francisco the way I do, and who so very eloquently outlined everything that is no longer lovely about living here.

While I've been talking about the same things for the past year or so, I haven't yet been able to put them into intelligible sentences. But my friend did. San Francisco has changed. My friends (and friends-of-friends) are leaving in droves. It's a lonely place to be lately. And maybe it's time for some new adventures of my own.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Not exactly what I'd planned, part II

I got an email on Friday morning with the subject line "Farewell."

I was home, packing for my trip. I don't generally read my work email when I'm away from the office, but with all the recent uncertainty I was keeping an eye on a few things.

A colleague was fired, and four others offered new positions as part of a reorganization. The farewell email came from the fired colleague.

I got no official notice of any changes; no call or email from my boss or HR director. Nothing until I got to work Tuesday morning. And then I was called into a meeting with my boss.

For 20 minutes she explained the changes and their reasoning. Then she alleged that I might be one of the people on staff spreading lies and rumors about her.

I don't lie, or spread rumors. And I won't work with anybody who makes those allegations. And as of Oct. 24, I will no longer be working for this organization.

I have loved this job and my colleagues, and I am very sad to leave.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Not exactly what I'd planned

Clearlake is beautiful.
The course was beautiful. My team made really good time through the first 50 miles. We were on track to be off the course before it closed. And I definitely earned my Konocti Challenge jersey. I conquered the toughest climb of the day. In 100+ degree heat. It was great. Until, all of a sudden, I didn't feel so great.
And then I sat for an hour at a SAG stop. Goose bumps. Chills. Nausea. General wooziness. And a resting heard rate that kept skyrocketing. Pretty sure I was in the very early stages of heat stroke, and I thought a break in the shade, and lots of fluids while waiting for teammates would make everything better.
But after an hour off the bike, two cups of iced pickle juice (holy cow amazing!), a bottle of water, and icing down my head and torso, my heart rate was still crazy and I was still nauseous and woozy.

So I dropped out of the ride at the 100K mark.

One hundred miles may have been my plan, but my day didn't quite work out that way. However, I had a terrific ride, a great day with my friends, and I didn't do anything that put my health at risk. Heat stroke would have been bad news. Instead I'm recovering at home and looking forward to a winter of bike commuting while I plan my next challenge.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Rubber side down

When I threw my hat into the Team in Training ring this spring, I was out to right all the wrongs of my Moab century. To take back a little bit of what was taken from all of us when our teammate crashed.   To get another chance at the distance without the cloud of catastrophe hanging over my story.

It's only coincidence that the team is riding the event that was supposed to be my injured teammate's final ride of last season. But it's weighing on me. Along with some trepidation about climbing 6,000 feet, mostly in the last 40 miles of the ride. In an Indian summer heatwave that promises temps in the 90s. With a still sub-par bike fit. On a body that's been so stressed out the last six weeks that I've seriously considered bailing on the ride all together, or dropping down to the more manageable metric.

But the timing will never be perfect and the stars will never align just right and life is too damn short to wait for someday. So I'm leaving for Clearlake tomorrow morning, and at dawn on Saturday I'll roll over the starting line of the Konocti Challenge. 101 miles later, I will be in the middle of a small northern California downtown celebrating my success (and hopefully a Giants win) with Oktoberfest and refueling with bratwurst and beer.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sometimes the best decision is not to decide

"I wish I lived closer to my sister," I remarked to a co-worker this week.

"Well," she replied, "It's not like you live in a prison."

Oh, right. There's nothing stopping me from packing up and moving back to the East Coast, except for 14 years of friends and roots and building a life here. I am very settled here. The thought of uprooting myself is almost too painful to consider.

But the thought of staying is also getting uncomfortable. Yeah, I'm a little down these days. I'm sad that my awesome job has not remained awesome. I'm more than a little burned out on the current boom in SF, the instability that has created for all of us who haven't rolled in on this wave, and the corresponding good-God-everything-is-so-very-expensive existence that permeates my circles.

But more than that, I'm very seriously wondering if San Francisco is still the right place for me to be. This isn't a new thought, but it's one that's spent a lot of time at the front of my brain this year. I do wish I lived closer to my siblings. And that I didn't have to schlep across the country for holidays we want to spend together. And I'm starting to wonder if it's time to be able to schedule dinners with my sister, and phone conversations with friends, instead of the other way around.

I can't go home again, because home no longer exists. But DC was home for awhile, and there's something to be said (by my mom once, even) about home being where my family is. And most of my family is there, or within a few hours' drive. 

My money would stretch way farther in DC than it does here, and my rent would be cheaper. I have a pretty substantial network there, and it would be nice to be closer to some of my best friends. Life is more stable there in a lot of ways. 

So I'm brooding a little right now, weighing my options and hoping an external force intercedes to help me make a decision I don't really want to make.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Maybe it's time for a break?

Dear San Francisco,
I love you with all my heart, from your fog and low clouds to your calf-burning hills to your crazy boom and bust cycles, to your unexpectedly beautiful days in the middle of winter. My love for you is solid and long-lived, but I have to be honest: my love is waning.

You're beautiful, but are you worth the effort? I can't point to a specific incident, but I feel like our relationship has tarnished a little recently, and I'm not sure that staying here continues to be worth my while. I feel like I'm giving way more than I'm getting - from constant job instability to annual rent hikes to my friends fleeing the city for better lives elsewhere. I want more, San Francisco, and I'm just not sure you can give it to me.

And I'm not sure I have the energy to try any harder. We may be at an impasse, you and I. And I'm not entirely sure what to do next.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Counter balance

About 30 miles into my 70 mile ride from San Rafael to Stinson Beach yesterday, my back tightened up and my neck and shoulders started to ache. I briefly tried to blame my so-so bike fit, or the cold, or the strong headwind into which I was pulling a few friends.

But when we got off our bikes for a quick lunch in Stinson, I had to face the reality. Yes, my bike fit isn't terrific, but I'm not sore and aching because of it. I've spent the past 10 days seizing every moment of fun with friends. And that fun has included a lot of later-than-usual nights, meals eaten out that aren't too healthy, and more booze than is my norm, especially four weeks out from a century.

I'm exhausted. But damn, I'm having a ton of fun. It's intentional, this packing in all the plans, because I'm trying to counter balance the very bad work situation with all in my life that is good and positive. My office is reeling from the awful actions of our new CEO. She is launching nasty personal attacks and questioning our professional credentials. It's a pretty sucky situation.

So while I'm job hunting, and networking, and gearing myself up each morning to spend another day in a really bad environment, I'm also accepting all invitations for anything good, happy, and fun. Because as hard as it is to keep up this momentum, it's keeping away all the sadness and unhappiness over this dramatic change in my formerly-awesome job. I'd rather be exhausted from seeking the joy than because I'm wallowing in the despair.