"It’s just a kicker, dude."
"It’s just a kicker, dude."
I live in San Diego now.
Lately, I’ve been feeling extremely nostalgic for San Francisco. I never intended for my stay in the city to be so short. A few weeks before I moved, my dad said to me on the phone “I always imagined I’d be visiting my grandkids in San Francisco”, and so did I. As friends and classmates have either stayed in the city or moved on to more glamorous (I guess?) cities, it has been hard for me not to feel inferior by ending up where I began. Though it’s not like it wasn’t my choice.
I was lucky (and am currently lucky) to have grown up in a world-class region. During my last “I’m leaving San Francisco” meltdown, my mom said to me "For God’s sake, Emily. It’s not like you’re moving back to rural Iowa." And it’s true. There were many reasons that resulted in my move back to San Diego. One that ended up not being a valid reason, though is a reason regardless, was my hope to patch things up with a long distance thing that had ended. Though reconciliation was not an impossibility in the weeks leading up to my move, nothing materialized when I came back. Lesson learned. The larger reason was my frustration at the job prospects for a graduate in my field, and the ever increasing renters market. At the start of each month I was paying around $930 to live in a closet in the Outer Richmond with an awful roommate. With no end in sight to the (slightly above) minimum wage lifestyle, the sheer exhaustion of making ends meet, and looming student loan payments, San Francisco just didn’t seem like the right place to start my life as a newly minted B.A. graduate.
Despite that, my life in San Francisco was nothing short of wonderful. I really felt like I was a part of my community and it made leaving terribly hard. Friends who had moved there to be with me were staying. I feared the family I made at work would never be attainable again. For the first few months I had a hard time letting go of my SF identity. Every time I saw San Francisco on a commercial or as the backdrop for some TV show or movie I begin to miss it even more (ie, emotional drunk times watching Full House). I delighted each time I saw my San Francisco address on my drivers license or checks. When I came up to the city for Ethan’s birthday, people I hadn’t seen in a while had no idea I left and thought I was just busy with work. I have clung to all those little bits of the city, but at the same time, I’m really starting to appreciate San Diego.
When I really think about it, San Diego is highly relevant to my interests. I just swam in 74 degree ocean water at the end of September. I had fish tacos for lunch. I went to a baseball game the other night in 75 degree weather. I have access to some of the best beer in the country. I get to wear flip-flops without judgement! There is a Toronado here! And while San Francisco is also highly relevant to my interests, living in San Diego is easier. The guy I’m dating lives in a two bedroom cottage with a courtyard and fenced in front yard in a walkable, fun neighborhood for $1240 a month. The complex next door has a two bedroom going for $1400, and there doesn’t seem to be a bidding war over it, even with a taqueria that stays open until 3am merely blocks away. And cool bars. And good restaurants. It’s not San Francisco or New York, but it’s fun.
I’ve also started my career in education. Though it is not the publishing job I always wanted, I feel like it’s a good fit and I’m making a difference. My students seem to like me and we get to read The Great Gatsby and talk about it. Living in San Diego while starting this new career path seems smarter than if I were to start in San Francisco.
Despite my newfound love for San Diego, San Francisco will always have a special place in my heart. I will always love the Giants. I will always prefer Mission burritos to San Diego ones (sorry, San Diego). I will always have a warm feeling when thinking about the Bay Bridge. And the Ferry Building. And Dolores Park. And my little flower shop on Chestnut. And my little pink apartment on 28th Avenue. And the Golden Gate Bridge. And Sutro Baths. And nice nights at El Rio. The list goes on and on and on. And who knows, maybe there will be another San Francisco chapter in my life. But for now, I’m a San Diegan again, and it feels alright.
Bowie v. Reed. Thursday 2/27/14, 3-4:30 PST. KUSF.org!
The night of Korey’s 21st birthday, a couple randomly called us over to settle a dispute about whether or not Ginuwine was common knowledge. After “Pony” was discussed they ended up buying us drinks all night.