I'm going home.
I've been in New York for exactly one year. For me, one year is plenty.
I'm going back to San Francisco. I'm moving to California on December 1.
New York is a lot. For this gal, it's too much. Did you know that I hate crowds? Oh, yes, I really dislike crowds.
As I write this I struggle to think over the stabbing sounds of horns outside my windows. I'm sitting as high as clouds, and I can see all the way to Brooklyn through the haze. The view here is spectacular, but the view I miss is that of San Francisco as it spills out at 360 degrees from atop Bernal Hill.
I've discussed this with another former San Franciscan, and together we agreed: there is something miraculous about being able to pull back and take in your city from high above. San Francisco allows this at every turn. Each next climb is a new look at the splendor that is San Francisco, so beautifully nestled between the stark sea to the west and the placid bay to the east. It's the most gorgeous city I've ever stepped foot in, and I want to go back. So, I am going back.
There is so much to do here. There is too much to do here. It overwhelms me. It makes me spend money I don't have. I can't climb a hill and pull back and take it all in. If I lived here all my life I'd never scratch the surface of all that this vibrant city has to offer.
I feel like I can handle San Francisco. It's my size.
I got lost in the vertical horizon of New York City. I couldn't find my way. I grew stronger as a result of the struggle, but it sucked me dry down to my bones.
It's hard to live here. If you can handle the hard, it has to be worth it. My God, the place is crawling with world class everything. If you can stand the snow and the summers and the crowds and the expense and the grind of commuting and the non-stop jostle that is living in New York, then the payoff is tremendous. But I don't need world class everything. I don't need the best ballet in the word. Just having a ballet to go to suits me just fine.
I miss the nature that San Francisco provided. It's a big city in the midst of some of the world's grandest scenery. When people talk about being in San Francisco and being able to be at the ocean one day and skiing the mountains the next, you've heard it a hundred times before. But until you've lived in that kind of paradise, it's hard to comprehend. San Francisco is splendid. New York is splendid, too, but in a grittier, harder, more concrete way.
I'm going back to San Francisco a different woman. New York City is a spanking, and I've learned many a lesson. So many that I know I won't know the breadth of them for a long, long time.
I miss San Francisco so much that I am going back without a job. I've secured housing, but I have yet to find work in the city by the bay. I've been looking, but it's difficult to get hired from 2,500 miles away. I don't care. I can temp, I can wait tables, I can stock shelves, I can work three jobs if need be. I will make it work.
My job at Modest Needs Foundation was incredibly fulfilling and the skills and experience I gained there will carry me far. I am grateful for my time there, but that job requires that I be in New York. And as great is New York is, it isn't great for me.
I'm selling everything I own to afford to move back. I'm bringing my cats, my clothes and a few other valuables, and heading west. What lies next, I have no clue, but I'm up for what ever adventure may await.
San Francisco makes me happy. I did an important thing in coming to New York, but it's time to go home.
Thirty days and counting.