So I was just returning from happy hour, thinking about how amazing it is coming home to my own little studio, everything just the way I left it and noone to answer to but myself...
And this is what I walk into: shattered glass all over the floor. A picture had inexplicably fallen off the wall, a picture that has hung happily for four months with no issues, now suddenly on the ground. I stood there staring at it for about two minutes, and came up with three possible explanations:
1. There was an earthquake. This is San Francisco, its totally possible. 2. My upstairs neighbor, who has a penchant for stomping around, usually between the hours of 6:00 am and 7:00 am, got a little overzealous doing...whatever it is he does up there. Zumba? Capoiera? 3. I have a ghost. I'm not really ok with this explanation, and I don't have any sage or psychics handy so lets consider this a highly unlikely explanation.
Now I have a fucking empty space on the wall, which is totally noticeable and annoying. Also, even though I did the best job I could sweeping the floor in 4 inch heels and with 3 drinks in my system, I'm not entirely confident that I got every single shard. So what if I get up in the middle of the night to pee and step on glass, fall down bleeding, and my cries for help are not heard for days? Will anyone even wonder where I was?
I've really loved living alone thus far...I can watch Hannah Montana and order pizza and play dress up and sing dramatic renditions of "Careless Whisper" as much as I want. Not that I do any of those things. I'm just saying, they are things that I could do if I wanted. My point is, I've never felt scared or lonely once since I moved in in March.
I'm not going to let this strange little incident change that. All I'll say is, to my friends, if you haven't heard from me in a few days...just call me, k? And if I don't answer, come check on me? K thanks!!!
One of my friends, who is 24 years old like me, saw a financial adviser yesterday to go over all that boring crap like her 401 k and the status bank accounts. She emailed me this afterward
"My goal was to own a condo by the time I am 30. I was informed that it would be virtually impossible unless I experience a drastic increase in income.
She said that I could aggressively save 10-12 more years and hope its enough to put a down payment on a condo in that market. She said that she did not want to discourage my dreams, even though they are not feasible. She paused and then suggested, 'or you can get married in the next 5 years and you would definitely have enough!'"
(In case you were wondering...yes she really writes like that in casual emails to friends. Love it.)
If I were Carrie Bradshaw (just saw SATC2 by the way...meh), my commentary would go something like this:
"We're taught as little girls that we don't need a man, and we can achieve our goals all by ourselves. But what happens when we really do need a man to achieve those goals? Was woman's lib...just one big fib?"
Well Carrie Bradshaw I am not...so I say:
What a fucking bitch!!! If my financial adviser told me that I would spit on her. then I would tell her that I am a lesbian and this state doesn't ALLOW me to get married and make her feel really awful. I mean seriously, is suggesting that a 24 year old woman get married within 5 years in order to afford a condo really considered best practices in financial advising?
I would respect this woman more if she had told my friend to fly to Columbia, smuggle a package home, cut it with some baking powder and head to 16th and Valencia to sell that shit. Or whatever the fastest way to make 100K is these days.
So, to my girl, here's to you for not being a gold digger and I'm sure we can find you a better financial adviser on yelp or something.
Have you ever wanted something so badly that you NEED it? You are going about your daily, mundane life, accepting all of the things that bother you but you know you can tolerate because you've been doing it for so long, and all of a sudden this THING presents itself to you, this THING that will change everything, that will make things possible that you haven't even dared to dream of because you are so jaded and beat down and resigned to the mediocre?
I understand why people stay in bad situations for so long. Even if the situation is bad, at least it's familiar. Nothing is scarier than putting it all on the line, admitting you aren't happy and you can do better for yourself. The second you try, you open yourself up for failure. The second you try, you openly admit that your everyday reality is not good enough. What are you supposed to do then, if this opportunity, whatever it may be, doesn't work out? Just go back to your subpar existence and pretend you don't know what else is out there?
When you want something to this degree, every single breath feels like it could be your last. Or your first. Your entire being is consumed by it. You CAN'T pretend that everything is normal, because it's not. Once you've seen what you are missing, what life could be like if only this one thing could just work out for you this one freaking time, the status quo just doesn't cut it.
Or maybe you are making too much of this. Maybe nothing can change your reality until you can change your way of thinking. Maybe all you really need is air and water. Maybe you are certifiably fucking insane and if this one thing doesn't work out for you you are going to be even crazier, and the world better watch out if it doesn't because there will be hell to pay.
This has got to be the most unbearable state of existence. At the same time though, it is the most alive I've felt in a while. I apologize profusely for this post. Also: I am slightly intoxicated. I'll follow up when I'm sober and sane again.
I think I've found the love of my life. It's a city...San Francisco, specifically. I realized this yesterday while lounging in the sun at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park. Hippie Hill is exactly what it sounds like...a hill full of hippies...but what makes it amazing is the drum circle. I've only been on sunny days, but each time I've been there is a communal drum circle at the bottom of the hill that anyone can join, and it never stops. Yesterday the drumming continued without pause for the entire 3 hours I was there. How amazing is that?
My romance with San Francisco began over ten years ago. I was growing up two hours north in the dreaded Ukiah, a small Northern California town where nothing ever happens...at least nothing good. My oldest sister lived in San Francisco, and since she was an adult already, I was allowed to visit her for entire weekends with no parental supervision. She lived in Bernal Heights, and I remember walking fascinated through the bustling Mission district, perusing the discount clothing stores and eating delicious Mexican food. I would beg her to play 94.9 on the radio, which at that time focused mainly on dance music (remember this?). When my dad picked me up and drove me back across the Golden Gate Bridge to hell, I would silently cry in the back seat (we've already established that I'm overly dramatic at times).
My senior year of high school, I got the idea that I needed to move to Southern California. It seemed so glamorous and idyllic, like a movie. I ended up at UC Santa Barbara. It was everything a party school promises to be, and I was satisfied. For a couple years. Then I started feeling claustrophobic, like I was surrounded by clones in Juicy Coutoure and Chanel sunglasses (which is strange, because that is an exact description of myself at that time...go figure).
I missed Northern California. Not Ukiah, but San Francisco. How is it possible that I missed a place I had never lived? I don't really know, but every time I drove home for a visit and passed through the city, something about the air here just comforted me. I decided to transfer to UC Berkeley. I didn't get in. I appealed the rejection, and prayed every night. I was finally accepted.
Six years later, here I am. Looking out the window on a foggy Sunday morning, pronouncing my love for this city. I think what I like most about San Francisco is that it is so open-minded and accepting. There is always someone weirder than you, and there is a place for everyone. It's a city that embraces music, food, art, progress, innovation. And it's freaking beautiful...I can walk to three different beaches from my house, all of which take my breath away every single time.
The one drawback about San Francisco is that it's small...avoiding someone, or even the memory of someone here is difficult. Walking down the street you will suddenly stumble across a place that reminds you of a time that reminds you of a person...but that is also a beautiful aspect of this city. I may never leave.