1 Year San Francisco-versary

Sunday, March 19, 2017

When I moved to Monterey Bay in the Summer of 2013, I used to make frequent trips to San Francisco. The next Summer, if I wasn't working I was in San Francisco almost every weekend.

Every time I left, it was like a sad goodbye because I was in a long distance relationship with San Francisco.

I didn't mind the chaotic driving. Or how no matter how many times I walked the hill on California street, I was still going to be out of breath. In rain, sun, or fog, I've always loved San Francisco.

So, here I am 1 full year later on my San Francisco-versary in a full on cohabitation relationship with San Francisco.

I still get butterflies when I drive in and see the skyline from bridge to bridge. Or when I go to Twin peaks at night and the city lights makes it feel like Christmas in March. Currently I drive around my neighborhood and see all the wild flowers in bloom from the rain storms that eliminated our severe drought. I feel the love from the community I have created from Los Angeles through the San Francisco county line.

I love the little cafe's sprinkled in every district with its own best dish or drink & personality.

And just like any relationship, although my honeymoon phase is over, I still think it's worth the effort.

The cost of everything. The long lines. The traffic. All worth it to live in a place where I don't have to choose between city or nature. Or 1 type of food, music, sport, or social group...Because we legitimately, have it all.

I always say it's amazing what can happen in a year.

A year ago, I quit my job I had been at for almost 3 years because I needed to re-make my life from the inside out. A year ago, I was crying in the elephant bar parking lot over a failed relationship where my new work place was right across from his (Shout out to C and A...for letting me be a miserable mess at dinner). A year ago, I was living with a family of strangers commuting into a job that I adored, but couldn't survive on in the most expensive city in the U.S....and to be honest, a little bored at.

And as I have been re-making my life from the inside - out, there are some things that will never change. I may never catch my breath when walking up the hills on California street. I may never learn to parallel park on the first try. I will never own a home here and my bank account will likely always be a joke and make any other person feel good about their life, you're welcome!

But it feels damn good to be creating my own art, living in my dream city, surrounded by hustlers, dreamers, artists, students, activists, and anyone who has dared to live outside everything we've been socialized on how to earn, live, and create.

I know in my heart, this phase doesn't last forever, but best believe I am going to soak in everything San Francisco still has to offer in rain, shine, or our beloved fog.

This is not a phase

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Oakland's First Fridays Unity Wall
Note: This is not my view on the Church I attend, my Pastor, or the select people I've connected with on a real level. This is solely part of my journey of Christ, church, and my sense of belonging...and this post has been sitting in my inbox for almost 2 years.

10 years ago I sat in my parents living room and told them that I would respect their wishes to attend church until I was 18, then I wanted to seek my own relationship with God and explore my spiritual life.

You must know, as a Midwesterner who grew up in the Heartland, where there are more or equal amounts of churches than bars, this was not a popular sentiment.

But, I have always been a searcher...and searchers question, seek, and find. Which is exactly what I wanted to do with my faith in Christ.

Let me start off by saying, to me, God = very real to me. But this is about my struggles with how I experience and understand God and how others respond to my struggles within my spiritual life.

Organized religion, although important for so many of my loved ones who love Jesus, has always been difficult for me.

For me, I experience Christ in the small moments. While brushing my teeth saying my prayers for all the people I love. Or when I am driving in the car with a friend listening to music. Or in deep conversation about purpose, identity, and real life ish - that is when I feel closest to God.

And this is okay. This is what is so rich in my relationship with the Lord. This is what makes my spirit bright, my heart full, and my soul feel alive. But it took me a long time to get there...

Growing up I was the only public school kid while all the other kids went to the Christian church at our church. I was told that I'd likely be in prison as an adult because that is how public school kids ended up. As angry as I get from these hurtful moments, I know that God serves justice best.

In college, I was too liberal to belong to conservative church America. Apparently my belief that the church should love people in the Lesbian, Gay, BiSexual, Trans, Queer (LGBTQ+) community was too much for people to handle. I was vocal anyway, even though that value was also not popular...

And now? In adulthood, my thoughts are so different that it scares other Christians. Even though doubts, questions, and thinking shouldn't scare people...because my doubts don't invalidate someone else's belief in Christ...But unfortunately that has been my repeated experience.

Then, when I moved to California whether it be Southern, Central, or Northern, I wasn't hipster enough or I definitely didn't make enough money or have the right career to fall into the churches where I believed in their vision, their pastor, and a select group of people within those communities...but was considered not in the "cool" circle at church...

And honestly, it baffles me that in all my niches, I've always felt like I belonged to all my niches, but church?

I've never felt more like an outsider, an impostor.

And when history has a problem with repeating itself in my experiences, to me, church is a place that rewards those who fit in, even the churches that are considered not the social norm in the church world.

And if you know me, social norms aren't my thing. Endorsing systems that reward people for fitting the mold are also not my thing. If it was, I'd have a very different life.

I am not walking away from God, church, or from those who attend it, although many have walked away from me when I start to question organized religion.

And truthfully, I am accepting that is okay. Most of my friends who are Christian I never met in church anyway...

And no, this is not the case where I think there is something wrong with any church I go to, I am attending a great church and I've been to many solid churches. But I also can't deny my challenges to feel like I belong to any or one.

I am a searcher and I am a norm breaker.

This is not a phase. A decade is a long time to be in a phase.

Dating in San Francisco: Stranger Danger

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dolores Park on a rare empty day.

Its been a minute since I talked about modern dating in San Francisco. And since I am not dating in 2017, I figured I'd tell you some of my most awkward and embarrassing dating stories from the year as promised.

This past June, I went to my first Pride parade in San Francisco. Hours of celebrating the significance of this gathering and little did I know I was about to watch life do its thing.

During the parade, a major tech company float had stopped in front of us and I looked at this guy and I thought, where do I know him from?...We made eye contact, started pointing to each other, and then we started mouthing, "How do I know you?!" and after exchanging an ah-ha moment while literally thousands are lined up and down the street, it's basically a rave but above ground...he pointed to his phone and told me to check mine because his float started moving forward and I wouldn't get a chance to solve this mystery.

Turns out we were snapchat friends. On snapchat, I read his name and quickly realized a couple of things...

1) Turns out parade guy actually tried getting me to hang out for 2 months...but I didn't really care because I wanted to make friends versus go on dates when I moved to San Francisco.

2) He then tried hanging out again with me 2 weeks prior to Pride (5 mos after we started talking), but I declined because I wanted to go skydiving and I didn't want to invite a new person to the group that was already going.

What is life.

We decided to do an impromptu date at Dolores Park after the parade....and I pulled every rookie move in the book!

I took a pre-made drink from a stranger, my phone was almost dead, and I didn't update my friends to tell them which park I was headed to. I thought this was going to be the next lifetime movie, but I went anyway.

To make it worse, after some very sweet compliments, you want to know what my compliments to him were?

His sock game. Hey, they were colorful.
His eye lashes. I don't think it's fair when guys have long pretty lashes.

I'm not sure it gets more awkward than this people.

Luckily, he does sales in tech and is used to schmoozing, so he was able to brush off the social awkwardness that is me and we ended up having a lot in common - I'm going to spare the details, partly because my family reads this...but turns out an impromptu date wasn't so bad after all. And overly planned, calculated me, actually had a good time....

So, stranger danger maybe wasn't so dangerous after all. 
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