by Ellen in ,

Everyone who lives in SF has a nice bottom. It's from the hills. I can even feel mine perking up a little bit already. It's very happy to live in a place where people care about having good bottoms. It's so great to look at all of them.

Sorry, let me back up. You might be reading this for the first time, sorry. Here's a widely known fact about me: I am constantly looking at 2 body parts of other people--teeth and bottoms. I don't discriminate age, sex, race for either, but bottoms are exceptionally fun to look at, especially when you are walking behind people straight up the hills and there's nowhere else for your eyes to go. And believe me, there are some nice looking cabooses around these parts. I mean, I've looked.

Anyway, that being said, you know that I'm enjoying myself.

There are other things happening here, too. Like school, art, languages, food, recycling, water, sunshine, parks, composting, bridges, churches, museums, etc.

Mom left yesterday, but before she did, we got a chance to do some fun touristy things. I made her walk more than she has in years, and while it was slow-moving, she did really well. Way to go, Mom! I think she had fun.

We went for walks:

For all the Hanson fans (yes, they do exist):

We went to the Science Museum/Aquarium:
hello, froggie:

...and he shall be my squishy...
I love seahorses

The albino alligator. Weirdest looking thing I've ever seen
We went to Golden Gate Park:

We saw some great views:

This is what you can see from my front step:

I haven't really taken that many photos. That sounds silly because that's what I'm here to do, but school hasn't started yet and I'm giving Fitty (and myself) time to get used to our surroundings. Right now, I wouldn't even know where to begin, which is why I'm looking forward to assignments from my teachers. Speaking of teachers, I met one that I'm sure to love. He's silly, nice, affable, and a world-renown photographer: Jack Fulton. He's been teaching at SFAI for 31 years, and I can tell that we are gonna be friends.

I'll be honest, though, I am missing my friends. I was talking to someone today, and telling him how I ended up in SF, and he said, "Well, you must have been really unhappy in your life to move so far away and start over." I corrected him quickly, because I was FAR from unhappy in my life in Memphis. I LOVED my job (I miss that the most), I LOVE my friends, and I loved where I was. But I sort of just felt stuck, like I was missing out on something. I made the most of my education, my city, and what I had. Somehow, though, I wasn't really thriving, I didn't feel like myself.

I moved away for many reasons, but this is the main one: in a new city so far away, I can be the best version of myself. I really feel created for this work, and I can live into that purpose. No one here cares what I've done for work, who my family is, where I go to church, or whom I've dated. Although it does feel strange because no one has made fun of me in like a week, and that's weird, because there's someone always teasing me...I consider it the second best display of love and friendship. Hugging and smiling, of course, being tied for first.

Anyway, thinking about not being made fun of only reminds me that I don't really know anyone yet. My first instinct is not to want to leave, which is good. That makes me think about the first few hours at Kanuga when my sweet little friends Grace and Carter wanted to go home immediately because they hadn't become BFF with everyone in the first few minutes they were there. While a part of me wants to complain, another part enjoys the anonymity and freedom to pick and choose the best parts of me to show people. So that's different and good.

Right now, it's just me and God. We're talking a lot...well, mostly it's just me asking for a lot of help, and God patting me on the back. I may have to take back what I said about not being made fun of for a week; God really seems to be getting a good chuckle out of this whole adventure.

But it's beautiful here, and I'm going to be juuuuust fine.