My time in San Francisco was a romance. I moved to the city in 2012 after nearly a decade of constant relocation. When I had the chance to take a job in SF, I thought, Why not give it a try?
I had no idea how I would fall in love. The flavors and music. The breathtaking views of my walking commute. The countless costumed holidays I never knew existed. Swoon. As much as the the city itself charmed me, it was the people, of course, who stole my heart.
To leave a place when you're unhappy is one thing. Leaving a place you love is more complicated. How does one decide between a feeling of home and the thrilling unknown? There's probably no one-size-fits-all answer. Here are the things I thought about.
- Everyday is a choice.
It's hard to remember this when I've set up a lifestyle. Moving through days, weeks, and years, it's easy to feel like momentum is fate, but staying on a path is just as much a choice as deviating from it. If I don't like an outcome, that's okay too. It's a chance to make another choice. It sounds basic, but I need this reminder often.
- The people who belong in your life will always have a place in it.
Distance doesn't mean relationships disappear. It takes intent to stay close, but that's true even for friends who live in the same city. Let me just say it; I would love for all of my family and friends to be nearby. In another reality, we're all neighbors in a groovy tree-house village or on some beautiful island. Reality is pretty sweet too, though: having loved ones in so many fabulous places, sharing stories from afar, traveling to meet up, and the joy of reuniting.
- I take home with me.
I'm not talking about a moving van. What's valuable about a home is not the wallpaper or drawers full of favorite kitchen gadgets. The thing of value is being in one's element. In times of transition, don't forget to ask yourself, What helps me to feel comfortable? Energized? Empowered? Then make it happen. The confidence that you can be at home anywhere is powerful.
With that in mind, I said goodbye to San Francisco at the close of February. More on why and how in my next post :) That's all for now except to send a thank you to all of the friends, near and mostly far, who've sent me on my way with love. I'll be thinking of you.