I’ve been going through a lot of my old writing recently, something I’m apt to do when faced with a big life transition. I tend to return to previous periods of evolution, searching for guidance on how to feel, how to react. It’s been an odd experience, to pour through years of writing and suddenly notice how the dreams I had once crafted with striking detail now seem so absent from my life.
Growing up I always thought that I would live with a pen tucked behind my ear, a life on the run. I thought I would live in a perpetual state of travel and transition, a life of total impermanence, traversing languages and time zones and existing without an address. I imagined that love would come in waves, break with the current, and get washed out to shore. I never thought or expected that love would be my sun, a star around which my entire life revolved.
I used to write about so many things, about the cities I would conquer with my words and the bodies I would break beneath me. I had so much passion, I thought it would scorch everything and everyone around me, destroy all of my relationships.
Yet here I am. I look back and notice how the practicality of reality has weighed on my decisions. Boxes packed around me, on the cusp of a brand new life.
Since moving out of my family’s house, I haven’t decorated anywhere that I’ve lived or anywhere that I’ve worked. My reasoning was always that this apartment, this desk, this space was transient - I would exist here for a certain period of time, and then I would move on. This was also the case in some of the flings I had while in an open relationship: I always saw the expiration date. What was the point in investing my money, my time, my energy, my love in anything that I knew would inevitably end?
This next move is different, though; there is no end date. And it’s strange, because I’ve spent my entire life thinking about my next move, about the future that existed right around the corner, and I feel very removed from that line of thinking now. While I’ve had to bury a few dreams to get to this point, I now have nothing but roots to dig into the ground.
First time trying visvamitrasana today in class. Damn, I love yoga.
San Francisco, I Love You, But I’m Leaving You -
My last post is now on Thought Catalog! (I didn’t choose the picture, but how appropriate, considering the Painted Ladies are a block away from my apartment)
San Francisco, I have loved you long and I have loved you well, but the time has finally come for us to part ways. In 2.5 weeks, I’ll have a new city to call home.
It’s bittersweet to think of all the things I need to pack away in preparation for this move. Beyond my clothes, my journals, my furniture, my appliances, there are many other, intangible parts of my life to walk away from, routines and traditions and acquaintances to shelve. Remnants of a previous life.
In the 4 years that I’ve been here, I have seen and tasted so much of what this city has to offer - I’ve explored continents of food within city blocks. I’ve spent cold afternoons holed up in cafes, reading and writing in Japantown, the Mission, the Castro and Lower Pac Heights. I’ve let the sun bend down and kiss my skin in the Marina, in North Beach, and on the rare occasion, even in the Richmond. I’ve let the rays embrace my pigments and depart them a deeper, caramel tone.
I’ll miss the bits of my life that I’ve shared with random strangers - the man in the halfway house across from my bus stop who nicknamed me “Boots.” The impoverished man with three kids who sold incense in front of my office building and who inadvertently taught me humility. The regulars in my yoga classes. Even the lascivious 94-year old WWII vet who hit on me twice while on my way to the gym.
It would be fruitless to try and catalog every notable experience that I’ve had in San Francisco; there are too many. I’ve stomped around this city for years, littering it with memories. Concerts and dinner dates and festivals and happy hours and questionable decisions, one after the other. It’s difficult to walk away from a city that I feel has taught me so much about myself, that taught me generosity, autonomy, strength and spontaneity.
I feel like these words aren’t even enough, they don’t do this city justice. How much more can I convey that I fucking love this city.
San Francisco, I would hate to call this the end, so let’s just call it a new beginning. A new beginning to a different chapter, in a story that will feature you again soon. I can’t wait until we meet again.
Well, I’m pretty certain I got E. coli poisoning last week. From some fucking kale salad from fucking Mixt Greens, which needless to fucking say, I WILL NEVER FUCKING GO TO AGAIN. It was awful. For almost 72 hours straight, I could feel my intestines writhing, twisting, crunching, as if trying to rip apart my skin and escape my body through terrifying, aggressive force. Like someone had punched their hands through my stomach, grabbed my intestines and were wringing them out like wet towels. For days I was doubled over in constant, unyielding pain, agonizingly waiting for even some small hint of relief that no pain medication, no water, no sleep, nothing would bring.
Today is the first day that I finally feel alive again. Today, I ate the first meal I’ve eaten since Tuesday. I have no lessons learned, no advice to bequeath to any unlucky readers who may be unfortunate enough to also experience E. coli poisoning. I have a fairly high threshold for pain and discomfort, and I feel like I only barely survived this. It was the worst, most intense, most persistent pain I have ever experienced. I find it hard to imagine that any other pain, short of childbirth, could be worse.
This is what I looked like 2 months ago. Shot for Tailored Salon's first hair collection.
(PS. Get your hair cut at Tailored. Schedule with Todd. You won’t regret it.)
One of the consequences of keeping a journal for 15+ years is that I tend to get headaches when I don’t write for extended periods of time. Memories pile on top of each other until my head feels as if it’s about to burst; often, I’ll write just to quiet the many sentences and paragraphs that rush, almost screaming, through my thoughts.
I haven’t really written anything of substance in months. My journal collects dust; almost all of its most recent entries open with an apology about my extended absences of writing. I’ve just been so busy, so depressed, so anxious, so tired. I have been everywhere and felt everything, enjoying only very few occasions of perfect, refreshing solitude where I can collect myself, my thoughts my feelings my internal and external pressures, and process them all. Since this is one of those rare moments of quiet solitude, I thought I’d take the time to write about some of the shit going on in my life.
Work has been crazy. It weighs on me heavily, all hours of the day, waking or otherwise. I’m not complaining, so much as I am continually bewildered by the state of my “career” (an already odd enough thing for me to say). It’s been almost 4 years since I graduated from college, and I often think about how I could have never predicted the trajectory of my life since graduation. I always envisioned myself starving, writing, barely making ends meet, pursuing the vaguest shapes of dreams. I’m caught off guard by the stability of my life. I question if I deserve it, or worse, if I’ll someday lose it.
And then there’s Chris, who I, for the most part, try to avoid talking about too much in any real or personal terms. But I’m making an exception tonight.
Anyone who knows me or who has followed my writing knows that Chris’ and my relationship tends to go through chapters of evolution. We’ve traversed “breaks” and “break-ups” and being in an open relationship and being in a monogamous relationship; we’ve explored mountains and valleys of emotions together. If my recent posts are any indication, Chris and I have been going through one such chapter of evolution recently.
I sometimes think I give off the impression that my love is effortless, that it flows out of me with ease, that it knows no jealousy. In reality, my love is fucking crazy. It seeks to possess and to control and to manipulate, and it’s a constant effort for me to manage my love, to reign it in, to teach it to be rational.
I once wrote that it’s easy to become defined by a long-term relationship. But I’ve since then discovered that when you’re in an long-distance relationship, it’s surprisingly easy to redefine yourself outside of it. It’s an uncomfortable push and pull, to reflect on the people you were at the beginning of the relationship, to the people you’ve become outside of the relationship, and then to determine how these new versions of yourselves will continue to fit into the other’s life. It’s an odd experience, to have to rediscover a foundation for something that you feel has been growing for so long and shouldn’t need rebuilding.
All in all, I’ve had a challenging past few months, with the next few gearing up to be just as challenging, if not more. Amidst all this, I remain hopeful, bracing myself in anticipation of easier days.