Nine years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I moved to San Francisco, sight unseen, with a tenuous job and a temporary apartment. Through perseverance and luck, I was able to parlay a series of complications into a stable life in one of the most idyllic places in this country, although that last opinion is firmly in the camp of liberal conjecture.
My relationship with San Francisco has not been without blemish. I certainly war with the notion of personal freedom winning out over common decency, and I hardly take advantage of some of the city’s more striking features. (Somehow, my presence at the multitudinous Web 2.0 happy hours, bondage dungeons, and Burning Man fundraisers has not been missed.) Regardless, I visit her beaches and parks, wander her curious little neighborhoods, and spend each workday in her beating, bleeding heart. I have come to know her somewhat well, and come to love her.
Yet I am not a native, and will never be. Those who were born here are rather clear on this fact. I stopped worrying about it a few years ago when I was gently told that no matter how long I’ve lived here, I am not a San Franciscan. Most people aren’t. In such a transient city, no one much cares. Except I do, because I want to belong to the place I call home. It might seem like such a silly little care to have, especially since I have been embraced for the time being by such loveliness.
San Francisco, to me, is the beautiful, enthralling, emotionally-distant lover I know I will one day leave, all the while never regretting one second spent in love.
(This entry is part of one month of gratitude.)