Question: On a scale of 1 to 10... how annoying would it be if I swapped out NYC for San Fran as my city move?
Haha. I'm not serious about it. But, the thought has definitely crossed my mind the past week.
What a week! Here I am sitting on my own bed in Ventura, feeling rather exhausted, and also, pretty speechless. I feel like I just woke up from a dream. There are not enough high fives I can give myself for making this last minute decision to journey up North for the week. I have loved and been to San Francisco many times, but this last time was by far the best. Whether is was because it was a spontaneous decision or because I had a whole collection of spectacular souls waiting to meet me there, it was just what the doctor ordered for this stressed out lady: a breath of fresh air+some whiskey+the world's finest artisan pastries. Holy whoah. I finally had myself some of those fancy macaroons that errbody be postin' up on pinterest and I didn't think it was possible, but they do in fact, taste even better than they look. Absolutely DELISH.
As for the details of this trip, what can I say and where do I begin? It's always the loveliest of times being beside my best friend. Don't you feel the same way about your best pals? I am fortunate to have many close friends in my life. All of which currently live pretty far away. But Bailey is the best-est of them all, despite the fact she lives the furthest away. We've been keepin' it cheeky and real since the seventh grade where we first met in church youth group, a time we often reflect on with laughter and shame. Ever since then we've been the best of friends, even if we sometimes go months without talking. We just do our individual things and no matter where or when we meet up in our lives, we just pick up wherever we last left off. It's never weird and it's always awesome. And pretty much I just love her to pieces. I mean, what's not to dig about this Courtney Love sort of attitude? You tell me.
We totally had some drinks and got silly. And our beautiful friend Eva (who is also a fellow Ventura native livin' in the San Fransss) joined us which was delightful and sweet.
As if those girls weren't enough to put a smile on my face, there was also Alexandra and Rebekka who greeted me with warm hugs and hand shakes. I've been reading these girls blogs for awhile now and singing their praises on the double. So naturally, when the opportunity came to meet them in real life, I jumped allll over it! And I'm so glad I did. Both of those ladies are just as amazing and beautiful in person as I imagined them to be, and I continue to feel so grateful for this blogging community that we all belong to. I have been introduced to so many wonderful people here and I can't wait to meet every single one of you someday! (Please if you are EVER in Ventura/LA/Santa Barbara or NYC/New Jersey area starting in August... let me know! I would be tickled to exchange some high fives over coffee with you!)
Sadly, I was too shy to demand a photo or five when we were chillin' with Alexandra and her crew, and was so disappointed about it after the fact, that when Rebekka and I got together for part duex of our meet up, I said, "LET'S TAKE SOME PICS!!!!" So we dids. And then we hung out at Delores Park, which is probably one of my most favorite spots in all of San Francisco. In fact the photo in the last post is one I took of it several years ago. Gorgeous park sitting on top of the city--always filled with colorful characters laying out or picnicing or making music, and dogs! I love all the different dogs that come running through. Sometimes I feel like that park alone is reason enough to want to move to San Francisco. I mentioned this to Rebekka, and she was kind enough to remind me that NY has some pretty amazing parks too. Having just moved to SF from NYC not even a month ago, she would probably know. So that made me THAT much more excited for the move.
In general, this whole time spent in this magical city made me feel much more relaxed and pumped for New York. It definitely confirmed my suspicions of being a city a girl at heart, and I cannot wait to get lost in it all. It's so backwards to what I'm used to--I mean between California and Brazil, I'm used to the laid back, beachy kind of scene. Suburbia to the max. But on water. And I do love the calm of it all, I love the small town vibe that comes with it, the t-shirt+sandals look, the In and Out Burger, the many collections of palm trees in a row and shoes filled with sand. This is what I've grown up with. And I know that there is a part of me that will miss it. But. It doesn't even begin to compare to the excitement I feel when I'm carrying my feet along a crowded street, even if there is homeless people yelling and/or following me. The excitement that comes with riding public transportation. Haha, I got so excited every time Bailey said that words, "We'll just take BART." I love getting on those trains, maybe because, in part it reminds me of riding the subway trains in NY, or maybe just because it's fun. You experience so many different kinds of faces sitting in those things, and it's just exciting to be getting from one part of the city to another. Even if you are getting completely lost in the process. I actually had to get on a couple of buses all on my own this week, and it was kind of nerve-racking because I wasn't sure if I was going the right way, or if I was for sure on the right bus even. But then when I did get where I was trying to go, it was like, TRIUMPH. I did it! I got to where I was trying to go! You feel so much pride and accomplishment. Just from taking the right bus somewhere.
And the best part of being in the city? The rich mix of different cultures and the on-going celebration of individuality. I have a hard time putting it into words, but there's a very free-ing feeling that greets you on a crowded city sidewalk. You feel like you can just go outside wearing whatever you like and just be yourself, and people don't just accept that of you, they celebrate it. It's an amazing thing, and an amazing feeling. It's a feeling that in 24 years of living in Southern California, I have struggled to match. Even in LA, where I lived for a good year, I didn't completely feel it the way I have in SF and in NY. It's a different kind of energy filling your lungs, one made up of creativity and unconditional love. And I want more of it. All of it.
After all the adventures with friends, there was one more person who unexpectedly made his mark in this random journey. He's someone who may never again be mentioned, but in my heart of secrets, I pray that that is not the case. I swear I am a champion at small and peculiar affairs. I have had many of them in my short lifetime, each one worth writing a play about. And the struggle to understand and appreciate them goes on and on. I could easily go on and on about how so and what I mean by that, but that's for another time perhaps. For now, I will just say that I was introduced to a very dashing and interesting man via Bailey's boyfriend, Will. Of all things he was Russian, which to me was very interesting since I know basically nothing about Russia. Except that they are responsible for those little babushka dolls that are always still very amusing. Anyway, we hit it off surprisingly well my second night in SF and that led to hanging out the third night, and then spending the fourth night together. Yeah, I was suppose to come home Thursday. Instead, I gave my work shift away and came back Friday. All his fault.
But it was worth it. My favorite kind of people are the kinds I can sit around and philosophize with.... and also make out with. You know what I mean? He lived on the other side of the bay, in a little Italian inspired town called, Sausalito. What was suppose to just be a quick lunch before I hit the road, turned into an entire day spent lounging, walking around his town, exchanging lists of our favorite authors and musicians, films that we both wanted each other to watch. He even took me out to a nice sushi dinner. And I knew he was definitely my kind of guy when the bill came and he asked me if he should tip more than ten dollars on a forty-four dollar bill. God, I love a generous tipper. I would have had sex with him right there.
Don't worry. I didn't. Not there at the restaurant anyway.
And in all of this, I know what you are thinking "uh, so much for your platonic pledge, Jen" and you are right. But sometimes, in the moment of things, something feels right, and damn me if I don't act on those feelings. So I acted on them, and I feel no shame. Maybe a little confusion now, as I try to understand fate and all of its mysterious ways of working. Six days ago, I had no business with any kind of romance, and now there is a Russian in the world who is being missed. I don't know what to make up of what occurred. All I can say is that it was something very nice and special that happened, and I didn't take a moment of it for granted as it was happening.
I think the overall lesson learned this week is just that: To live in the moment and take every ounce of it in. Even if the future has you going somewhere far away. You can't depend or even consider the future all the time in everything you do. Because really, all you have is right now. Five days ago, all I had was a couple hundred dollars and a longing desire to get away for a few days. I was reluctant because it didn't seem like the wisest or the most practical of decisions, but I said, "fuck it" and I went for it anyway.
And in a nutshell, that's how I came to experience my best time in San Francisco to date.
How has your week been? Have you guys ever been to San Francisco? Ever had a short term romantic affair?
P.S. I'm a thousand years behind on e-mails! I'm working this whole weekend, but will be back in reply action this week! love you alls.