Room With A View

Yes, that’s right, I made a literary reference to a book written in 1908. BEHOLD MY LITERARY GENIUS. But really, let’s talk about me more, and not oppressed women in Edwardian England. Boor-ing.

Guess what I did this weekend? In a whirlwind of apartment viewing, decision making, and money spending, kamel and I have signed a lease for our very own apartment! I feel like one of those people who need to take photos of herself holding her keys. But I won’t. Instead let me show you the amazing view from EVERY WINDOW IN THE PLACE.

Oh yes. I live right by the beach, on a hill, overlooking the beachy parts of San Francisco. You want to come over, and drink wine, and watch the sunset in my happy apartment now, don’t you? I will make you nachos and we’ll have a grand time.

That funny little kitchen window thingy will be where I serve you food. And where I eat my cereal and gaze out onto the ocean as the fog lifts and the sun peeks out, starting its day too. It’s so cute, you could spit right? Just not on the hardwoods.

This is the dining zone, where my childhood dinner table will reside. It’s round and seats four. My grandmother has been storing it for me since I was 19 and now it will finally have a resting place. Huzzah! Behind where I am taking this photo is the living zone where kamel will store his TV and his couch (which I think has an ugly cover on it – hopefully soon to be rectified) and his DVD collection and his original star wars, epsidoe idon’tcare movie poster that’s signed by the artist. Somewhere in the apartment will be a lightsaber, and a clone trooper helmet, side by side with my art purchased in france. Isn’t combining lives fun?

More pictures will come in a few weeks once we are packed and then unpacked and set up.

So many highfives were exchanged about this apartment. We totally win.


(Imagine the title being sung out fiddler style)

Now that that’s been clarified… hello friends! Sorry I have been absent. There was the packing and the driving and then the deep breath taking and all of that took about a week. But here I am! In San Francisco! Again! It feels like yesterday! Because it practically was!

The drive started out bleak. Except for Kamel who was a ball of excitement.

He was such a trooper with packing up the car. He Tetris-ed the shit out of it. And my poor little car was weighed down with all my clothes, and most of my room accoutrement. We were victorious! But like I said day one was bleak:

I was sleepy and crabby and Kamel did most of the driving and all of the cheerleading because really? I was moving back? And leaving all my people? And heading into the unknown? And wait a second didn’t I have time to slow down and take a breath? No. Push ahead, grab life by the horns and all that. Let’s do this thing.

After a lovely night at the Shilo Inn and some surprising great small town food thanks to the recommendation of our amazing Shilo Inn front desk lady … things began to look up.

The bleakness turned into sunshine turned into excitement at my do-over. I get a do-over at San Francisco. Not that my first try was bad. It was a huge learning experience, it was about getting my master’s degree, about figuring out how to balance work and life and learning. It was really fucking hard.

So far I’ve been applying for more work, had an interview for a job I don’t want, have had time to edit other peoples’ work, trying to finish a book so I can start another, and will be continuing work on my next novel.

I know, right? I’ll keep you posted.

Seattle to San Francisco and Back Again

Here is the news: I’m moving back to San Francisco. Some people – including grad school friends – were all “about time!” and other people were all “WHY?!” And here is my explanation… It all has to do with hindsight my friends. Hindsight is funny because in the moment it means nothing. When you are making decisions it is no where to be found it is only AFTER you’ve spent thousands moving, spent time and stress trying to re-establish yourself in a new apartment, different city, different job, that hindsight is all “dude, you messed that up.”

I’ve never really made a mistake in the process of my life before. I look back on decisions I’ve made, things I’ve done and sometimes I think “If I were to do that over again this is what I’d do”, but most things happen for a reason, and it all works out in the end, right? I guess in your early twenties those two cliches become a mantra. This time, though, I feel like I did make a mistake. It’s not unfixable, it’s not the end of the world, but I’m calling it how I see it.

Here’s what happened: I wanted to take a break from scrambling for what I wanted, from filling out applications, from running the race. My last semester/year of grad school I was exhausted from working full time and going to school full time. Exhausted through every cell in my body. Eternally tired. You get the idea. So I decided to not fill out all those applications all over the country for composition professors and to move home, get a food service job and write. I wanted to focus on being a writer and publish. Well it didn’t exactly work out that way. Writing didn’t happen like I thought it would for various reasons (no desk, no space, no motivation, and again that tired thing), I ended up working long hours in a very physical way which made my days off about scrambling to get my life errands done and trying to work out a routine that took 6 months to only 1/2 figure out. Plus I was just becoming more and more broke with the threat of my expensive loan looming in the future. Future meaning due in March. Realizing that I needed to get a job that paid more I started hunting on craigslist, on company’s websites, etc etc. Nothing I saw inspired me. I want to use my education, I want to do something I’m interested in, passionate about, something relevant to what I know and how I am. And the best I could do in seattle was an admin at an insurance company? To say the least there have been tears of frustration over this. There were very very few opportunities in the writing section of craigslist. Nothing really relevant. Blog from home? I already do that. Translate Japanese? No. So on a whim, just to see what other cities were like in this category, I checked out the writing section in San Francisco’s craigslist. And the comparison had me floored. And mad at myself. Here is a side by side comparison:

Not only were there more jobs, they were relevant. Publishing, marketing, editing, the list goes on. I had a full on what the fuck have I done moment. Why wasn’t I more patient after graduating? Why didn’t I look around longer? I left a writing community, a support system of professors with connections, and apparently a wealth of job opportunities. So I’m moving back. I don’t have all the answers and I’m lucky that I don’t have children or real responsibilities so that I can make mistakes and fix them without a lot of repercussions. I’m moving without a job lined up – though I am applying all the time, and without a lot of money. But thankfully I have people there who will help me. And it’s all an adventure, right? Take the plunge and see what happens. It’s San Francisco – Take Two.