Back to the Bay
As Elton would say,
The B*tch is Back!
Oh, it feels so good to be back.
Thirteen months ago, I was cheerfully packing up everything I owned and moving out of my beloved Nob Hill apartment. The rubbery stretch of the packing tape squeaked as I extended it over bulging boxes of my shoes, stationary, and books, trying to preserve my life exactly as I had it. I love San Francisco- to me it means running into friends while running errands, Sunday walks through Pac Heights, book club, Bob's Donuts, and farmers markets right on the water. Despite it all, it wasn't tough to leave because I knew I'd return. I kept telling myself nothing would really change here and I'd slide right back into my 'real life' like nothing happened.
But that's not how things work. Friends moved, some across town and some across the country. Friendships and relationships were made and broken; people got new jobs. I won't be coming back to my wonderful apartment, nor will I be in the neighborhood I've lived in since I moved to SF. For heaven's sake, the skyline is different! I believe I detest Salesforce tower because (1) it's taller than the Transamerica building, and (2) it was erected in my absence.
Actually, I wasn't sure if I was going to move back so soon. I had already done the hard part- leave SF- and toyed with the idea of living in Colorado or SoCal for a spell. Those options were very much on the table when I flew home from Berlin last October, the official end of my international travel for the year. I was barely back in San Clemente for enough time to pet my cat before hopping on a last-minute flight up to the Bay. I just can't stay away for long.
It took me all of ten minutes to decide I was moving back here as soon as I could. It was 2 p.m. and sunny, a clear gorgeous autumn day that only the Bay Area can deliver. As we whipped around those familiar curves on the 101 coming into the city, that magical skyline came into view like Oz in the distance. To the right, you see the skyscrapers downtown (including Salesforce tower, ugh), the low earth-tone mosaic of homes rising and falling to the whims of the hills to your left, and a little peek at the Golden Gate if you know where to look. It's the view I was privileged to see every evening as I came home from work down in the peninsula, and after four years it never fails to spark wonder and excitement in some visceral place within me. There's so much promise of what's to come when you're poised on this highway looking into San Francisco. It's a state of heightened anticipation.
For two short days, I walked those familiar streets, visited the museum where my membership has lapsed, ate at my favorite salad shop, and saw as many close friends as I could. I may have grown up elsewhere, but I've never belonged the way I do here. It's so obvious to me that this is my home.
Once Dain and I decided to make the move back in January, we came up again in December for a hectic week of job interviews and apartment showings. I even got to co-host the 4th annual cookie exchange with my closest friends- it's almost like I never skipped a beat, much less skipped town. I found a great place in the Design District, the only apartment that hasn't made me intensely miss my old one, and are nearly done moving in. I start a new job tomorrow at a company about which I'm really excited, and I get to attend my best friend's birthday dinner this week. Life in SF is not the same, but all the important parts are. I have my boyfriend, my cat, my friends, and my city again, and I don't think I could be any happier.