I seem to go through a pattern, moving cities every 3-4 years (not sure if that’ll continue!), blogging consistently for the first 2 years. I wonder why…
And now I’m 5 months into San Francisco. I do think I love the city, I have so much more to explore.
2016 was epic and hectic.
Work wise, it was fulfilling, I climbed the corporate ladder, got more exposure to management, my boss in 2016 was truly a mentor and one that made the most impact on me, growing me in a way I hadn’t expected to grow. I travelled a ton for work, worked with a ton of our other offices in Europe and India, and established a ton of relationships globally. This is something I love and that I thrive on: travel, continuous improvement and meaningful relationships.
Travel wise, I visited 7 new countries: Costa Rica, Bahamas, Denmark, South Africa, Tanzania, Greece and Japan. Bahamas, South Africa and Tanzania were highlights, having adventures with my dear friends and exploring the unknown together. Ah friendship and the unknown… I LOVE that.
Living in NH became tougher for me personally. I did enjoy the first few years exploring and making the best of it, but at the end of the day, it didn’t mesh well with my personality. I’m one who loves city vibes, culture, art, music and NH did not have it to the extent of other cities I’d lived in (KL, Philadelphia and London). I was ready to leave. It was somewhat bittersweet because I was sad to leave the office that felt like home.
I also spent an early part of 2016 recovering from the end of a relationship. I somewhat remember the intensity of the pain I went through. It was a beautiful kind of pain, one mainly from sentimental reasons: we had a lot of things in common, our passion for travel, our discomfort with NH, our passion for exploring together. Yet we both knew deep down it wasn’t going to last. The pain I felt was one from losing something that was once good and someone I did care deeply about.
Another challenging part was my boss from 2016 leaving the company. He’s one I’d truly call a mentor. He grew me in a way I’d never expected to grow and I overcame certain ingrained challenges with his guidance. I smile remembering that day he pulled me aside to tell me he was leaving. I remember having my best poker face on. I remember very quickly finding a way to excuse myself after some polite chatter about the why and when. And I remember giving in to tears and sadness as soon as I was alone. And I remember telling him the truth of how hard it had hit me, us joking about how we are so shitty dealing with these things. Today I look back on the last few months, and I can very tangibly see how he grew me to be self sufficient and hold my own ground in the role I’m in today. And for that I am so thankful.
And now I am in San Francisco…no challenges yet but lots of getting acquainted with my new home!
In the last few months, I have had city type moments I used to have that I dearly missed in NH. Those moments I used to have in London, NYC (I’d drive down 4-5 times a year in NH to see my best friends) where I felt carefree, sheer happiness and passion about life, swept up in experiences that a beautiful city like San Francisco has to offer.
There’s the usual stuff, but I wanted to share a random yet beautiful moment that occurred. My friend/colleague E was in town. She had heard about a Diego Rivera mural at the San Francisco Art Institute. I didn’t know about it but was familiar with Rivera having been to Mexico City and seen his house and other murals, so I was excited to go! We stepped into a beautiful courtyard at the Institute and walked around in circles trying to find the mural. We finally found the big room, stepped into it with loud haunting folk music in the background with this beautiful 15feet mural in front of us. The only reason the music was on was because a worker had left it there while doing some maintenance work in the room. The music were songs from Dark Dark Dark, and while I was unfamiliar with them at the time, it’s exactly the type of music I loved (think Daughter or Phosphorescent).
We went to the back of the room and sat on the floors for ages staring at the mural in front of us listening to the beautiful music in the background and being present in the moment.
The music ended when this cool chick came in to grab her speakers and pack up. That in itself was another moment we observed in fascination. She was one of those interesting feminist type chicks, unshaven armpits, bra-less, huge gaping sleeveless top, boots.
At some point in this room, we look at each other and go “wow, that felt that a scene from a movie”.