Happy November! I sometimes feel like November is the forgotten month, stuffed between the sugar high, zombie laden October and tinsel covered, holly jolly stressed out December. The other two get full sections of stores devoted to their commercial marketability, while November gets a few apple scented candles and a table runner decorated with fall leaves. The most expansive commercial display I’ve seen is in Fresh & Easy, an entire endcap pairing cans of sweet potatoes with mini marshmellows and green beans with French onions. But that’s kind of the point of Thanksgiving, isn’t it? It’s not an extravagant holiday hell-bent on showing off, it’s about family and friends and being thankful.
Thankful. I’ve already seen the people ready to post on Facebook what they’re thankful for every single day. I like the idea and was considering trying it but remembered that my Facebook wall is assaulted every single day by my random thoughts, favorite songs, etc. It would just get lost in the clutter. What about a blog? It is NaNoWriMo, and as much as I’d love to celebrate, between a fulltime job, a partime job, volunteering and my training program I have little time for the basics of living, nevermind time to devote to writing 50,000 words in a month. But maybe writing a little bit every day will keep me in practice and I can write my amazing novel in a few months when my life calms down? Or something. If nothing else, I’ll be celebrating November in an appropriate manner.
So, without further ado, in no particular order, THINGS I’M THANKFUL FOR: Day 1. San Francisco.
I grew up in a painfully small town. Population somewhere around 3,000. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things that I really like about Sterling and rural living, but somehow I never quite felt like I fit- especially as I got older. In the months preceding my move I never felt fully content. Plenty of time I was happy, with great friends and a supportive family, but I didn’t feel like I belonged anymore. All my friends were getting married, buying houses, thinking about babies. I was not, am not, ready to settle down. But I was in a place where settling was the thing to do and I was terrified that’s what was going to happen to me. Then Luis emailed me and offered me a job. I’d always wanted to live a city for at least a year and had loved San Francisco the few times I’d visited. So I took it.
I was slightly worried about living in a city, feared that I’d feel smothered by never being able to escape people, but just the opposite, I love being in the middle of everything. I like that I can walk to the grocery store, Walgreens, good restaurants, fun bars, cute shops, the library, and almost anything else that I could want. I like that if I’ve been out at that fun bar too long I can take a taxi or public transit home. I like that I have options. It’s not just the same old thing, every single day. Indian food, Thai Food, Ethiopian food, nerdy lecture, live music, pub trivia, cultural celebration. Everything I want is at my fingertips. I feel mentally nourished, and it’s amazing.
I know San Francisco itself isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. I have managed to find a place full of like-minded, accepting individuals. From costume parties to sitting down to work through our voting ballots, I have found a group of people who care about the same things I do, who want the same things I do. I don’t feel like an oddling, being the only one who listened to NPR or wanted to throw themed parties. Tomato battles, bacon themed parties, trampoline dodgeball- everything I would have once seen and thought “that’s so cool, I wish I could do that”, I’m now doing! It’s making me more the person I’ve always wanted to be. Stronger, more independent, more adventurous. Being here has given me a chance to grow in more ways than I could even begin to describe.
I can’t go over the Golden Gate bridge without taking a billion pictures (as long as I’m not the one driving), because every time I see it I am reminded that I am here. I did this. I moved 3,000 miles from home on little more than a whim and a prayer and it was the right choice.
People ask me if I’ve moved here forever, if I’ve found a new home. I’m not sure. New England still runs through my veins, it’s where my family is. It’s not impossible to say that I’ll never move back, but I also have no clue what the future has in store for me. But for now, I know I’m exactly where I belong.
Cliche, but it fits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kee9xdQbQ4s