San Francisco, I Love You, But I’m Leaving You

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Celso Diniz / (Shutterstock.com)
Celso Diniz / (Shutterstock.com)

San Francisco, I have loved you long and I have loved you well, but the time has finally come for us to part ways. In 2.5 weeks, I’ll have a new city to call home.

It’s bittersweet to think of all the things I need to pack away in preparation for this move. Beyond my clothes, my journals, my furniture, and my appliances, there are many other intangible parts of my life to walk away from, routines and traditions and acquaintances to shelve. Remnants of a previous life.

In the four years I’ve been here, I have seen and tasted so much of what this city has to offer—I’ve explored continents of food within city blocks. I’ve spent cold afternoons holed up in cafes, reading and writing in Japantown, the Mission, the Castro, and Lower Pac Heights. I’ve let the sun bend down and kiss my skin in the Marina, in North Beach, and on the rare occasion, even in the Richmond. I’ve let the rays embrace my pigments and leave them a deeper, caramel tone.

I’ll miss the bits of my life that I’ve shared with random strangers—the man in the halfway house across from my bus stop who nicknamed me “Boots.” The impoverished man with three kids who sold incense in front of my office building and who inadvertently taught me humility. The regulars in my yoga classes. Even the lascivious 94-year-old WWII vet who hit on me twice while on my way to the gym.

It would be fruitless to try and catalog every notable experience that I’ve had in San Francisco; there are too many. I’ve stomped around this city for years, littering it with memories. Concerts and dinner dates and festivals and happy hours and questionable decisions, one after the other. It’s difficult to walk away from a city that I feel has taught me so much about myself, that taught me generosity, autonomy, strength, and spontaneity.

I feel like these words aren’t even enough, they don’t do this city justice. How much more can I convey that I fucking love this city?

San Francisco, I would hate to call this the end, so let’s just call it a new beginning to a different chapter in a story that will feature you again soon. I can’t wait until we meet again. TC mark

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