...in Sam Frank's disco. You have to say it out loud in order to hear what it sounds like. This comes from a joke that Elise's dad told me when I told him I was moving to San Francisco. Of course, it was a long, drawn-out joke (we now know where Elise gets her 'Tis Bottle tendencies), and a hilarious pun=the best kind of joke.
Anyway, I'm writing this 12 days before I jump on a plane to come back to Memphis, but I'm scheduling it to publish while I'm in the air. I'm big on time management these days, and I have to do some things ahead of time because I have a lot to do. Also, I didn't really want to write this so close to my time of departure from this beautiful city. Because I am not coming back here. Well, maybe for vacation sometime in the future, but not to live anymore. If you have ever read this blog, you know how much I love San Francisco and all of the things I've seen and done and learned and gained. I love the views, the people, my school, the hills, the food, the smells, the public transportation, the weather. I don't want to leave...believe me. If I'm being honest, I'm just not sure the whole experience of living here is worth being in debt up to my eyeballs. I love my school so much; I wish I could put it my pocket and take it with me everywhere. And I knew it would be expensive, but I don't want to get to the point where I have to fight to live. I'm willing to work hard and do whatever it takes to pay the bills, but it sucks the life out of you, and I just don't want to get there. Because it would be easy to do here...the standard of living is so high and I don't make nearly enough at my part time job to stay in school full time AND actually sustain myself.
Although my quality of life is different here, and better in some ways, I really miss being able to do the things that really make life wonderful for me because I can't afford it. For example: Spin classes, playing volleyball, having a dog, going on road trips, seeing Ben, sleeping in my bed. I've gotten in some really great runs, but that's about all the exercise I've really had, and my body misses being used to its full potential like rolling on the floor and hitting something really hard. I guess I could do those things in other ways, but I might get arrested.
I haven't felt nearly as homesick as I thought I would, but I totally hate that I've only seen Ben 3 times in the 5 months he's been alive. Seriously? I'm his mother's only sister. And I burst into tears every time Claire sends me a video of him getting bigger and cuter and giggling and splashing in the bathtub. I hate missing so many of the firsts for him, because really, they're firsts for all of us. I don't want to be separated from it anymore. I love that because of him, my whole family sits down to eat dinner together; and by whole family, I mean Dad, Reg, Mom, Claire, Craig, and Ben. I can't remember any times in my life (besides important life events and birthday parties) where my mom and dad and sister and I were all together in the same room and excited about the same thing. Because of this baby, that happens now, and I can't stand being so far away from it. I can't wait to sit down to dinner with my ENTIRE family on Saturday night and play pass/kiss the baby. I can't imagine anything better.
So what am I going to do now? I don't know, I might put down the camera for awhile and enjoy life and just let things happen without feeling obligated to put it on a memory card. Plus, Fitty gets heavy. Don't worry, in reality, this probably won't last very long. I love taking pictures very much; but I'm really going to work on making the kind that I want to make without time constraints or worrying about perfection in editing (I don't have access to Photoshop anymore anyway; it's sort of freeing--like when your cell phone dies while you're on vacation). I want to take great care with every image while I'm there making it with my camera. I want to make a lot of pictures, but take my time doing it, and no one to tell me to hurry it up.
As for work, I'm going to transfer to a LOFT in Memphis and work part time (or full-time if they'll let me), and maybe get a part-time job somewhere else (Kat? Wanna hire me to make cupcakes?) And go visit Claire, Craig, and Ben whenever I'm not working.
And I'll be making up for lost time with my friends. I want to take a trip to New Haven, church hop, dance at Raiford's, run where hills are optional. Staying busy but keeping it simple--I wouldn't want to miss California too much.
I'll be back--I have some great friends to stay with when I visit. Which, lucky for me=free places to stay in the best city in the United States.
Weird, nice people and public transportation--I'll miss you. Thank you for reinforcing my opinion that humans, by nature, are good and for helping me build immunities to all the germs in the world so I'll never get sick again.
And thank you, San Francisco, for helping me live so much life--there are so many experiences I've had that I never would have had if I were anywhere else. I'll probably walk with a limp for awhile after all that wrestling.
And don't worry heart, I know right where I left you and will be back soon to retrieve you.