Sometimes, I think my career is keeping me here. I know I won’t make as much anywhere else. And I won’t have the same opportunities. At this point, I honestly can’t even imagine what it would be like living anywhere else …
My career has inadvertently made me fall in love with this city. While I may bitch about the problems here, I am truly, madly, deeply in love with San Francisco.
I started off working at a T-shirt shop in the Lower Haight on the weekends and became a blonde tech girl in marketing. I have since grown out the blonde hair, cared less about what people have thought of me and embraced myself. I guess you learn here that you can’t rely on anyone but yourself. Kinda sad but true. It applies anywhere, but I learned it here.
There are times where I feel like I live out the same story again and again. Whether it’s dating, flaking, partying, getting clean, going on a diet — just about everything here is redundant. San Francisco truly shows its stripes when something out of the ordinary happens. It could be my favorite homeless painter screaming about the pigs flying in the sky, or someone working in a community garden. These things make this place beautiful, and inspire love in my heart.
San Francisco, I love you. I love you for all of your faults, regardless of the homogenous population and how they act. This city is a living, breathing and changing organism, just like us. Every morning, I wake up and do my routine. Sprout out of bed, start singing in my head, brush my teeth while putting the coffee on and opening the window — no matter how cold it is. I need that air on my face; I need to look outside and see who is walking to work.
I am always interested in the way people dress here, because you know the 70 degree weather at lunchtime is about to turn into winter come 6 p.m. I see them with their dresses (I don’t understand why), their backpacks, the sunglasses, the bicyclists with their half rolled up pant leg. I see it all because I have to drink in The City everyday. I get to call it home.
I recently went to a writing workshop where they had us write freehand for about five minutes. I couldn’t get off of my city. Although I chose to stay here for my career, San Francisco has changed my perspective. There are more things going on here than anywhere else I have ever lived. The over-achievers congregate and make up these things called “meet-ups.” They plan group dinners that cost $85 a head and throw Burning Man fundraising parties (I won’t even go there). We have places like Novella and Wildhawk that I can’t get enough of. Even though the wait is obnoxious, I can’t live without the mussels from Chez Maman.
I am enamored by the tree-lined Panhandle park that I run across everyday. There are runners I compete with on the path. I love these people. Even the other people, who won’t even say good morning. The insensitive jerks whose cars sit in the middle of the crosswalks. They give me someone to take my aggression out on. “Those assholes,” I think to myself as I proceed to give them the finger while carefully navigating around them trying not to get hit. The laughter of the children who go to the fancy Chinese and French American schools that probably cost their parents an arm and a leg, as they all pull up to the schools in their Mercedes and BMW SUVs.
Who are these women I am surrounded by in this writing class? They seem like cool-ass chicks who don’t want to talk about their careers. They want to talk about being creative. One has blue hair and a Metallica T-shirt, others are over 50 and can’t wait to tell their stories to the youngsters who just moved here about four years ago.
Despite a relationship and the decrepit dating scene, I still have love for the many man-children in this city who just want to focus on their careers. I mean, that’s why I am here. It was The City that made me want to stay. I love you, San Francisco.
With a background in journalism, Melissa Eisenberg has been working in the tech industry for eight years, currently leading the SF FashTech community.