It was one year ago today when I arrived in San Francisco. It has been quite a journey over the past year. I started off living in my car, having everything I own stolen, getting a job about 25 miles north of the city, moving into an apartment, moving back into my car, moving to the city, coming out, getting a job within a few blocks from my apartment, lost 70 pounds, and having my car get broken into for the 3rd and 4th time where it got stolen and torched. It’s been a rough and very bumpy ride, but I wouldn’t exchange the past year of my life for anything.Â
I remember seeing online all the cool events, people, and things to do and see in San Francisco while living back in Tampa Bay, Florida. I was so jealous of all the stuff I was missing out on. San Francisco is the hub of so many things I am passionate about and enjoy it felt like a perfect fit to move out here. I wasn’t working a full time job, just contract jobs and I had nothing really holding me back besides family and 1-2 close friends. I packed up everything I owned into my car, which pretty much was already packed that way..and drove out here a few days after my brother’s wedding.Â
Even the trip out here was filled with disasters, but I continued on and made it across the country in about a week, with some stops along the way for a few days here and there. It was a personal experience by myself which I won’t soon forget and I think everyone should do a cross country road trip by yourself at least once. You learn so much about yourself when all you have is 3,000 miles of road in front of you.Â
I remember driving over the Bay Bridge when I saw San Francisco (at the time I thought I was crossing the Golden Gate). I got out a dollar in change ready to pay the toll, when to my surprise I saw it was FOUR DOLLARS to get across the bridge. The biggest toll I’ve ever paid is $1 to get across the 5.5 mile Sunshine Skyway bridge. That was the first of MANY sticker shocks I have come across living in this very expensive city.Â
It hasn’t been easy at all, but I feel like this is where I was meant to be. I had a dream nightmare dream the other night where I lost everything and was forced to move back to Florida. When I got back to Florida, it didn’t feel like home anymore, and all I could think about was trying to get back here. I woke up upset because I simply didn’t want to leave.Â
Along the way, I’ve met so many amazing people and developed some great friendships. Back in Florida I had but one friend who I would ever see and that was quite rarely. Here, there are so many people who I can see out and about and hang out with nearly every night of the week. I’ve always been sort of introverted and never really had a large group of friends who I can count on and talk to. I still don’t quite have that here, but I know a ton of great people who, while even though I may not even have their phone number or go to a movie/dinner with, I know that they are there if I really needed someone.Â
That being said, this has been one of the greatest years of my life and I’m happy I can be me. I feel like for the first time in my life, I am able to express myself and live the life I’ve always wanted in a city where I feel at home. There is still so much more to see and do here, and I look forward to many more adventures and friendships along the way…in my new home, San Francisco.