This is the epilogue of a series of posts on San Francisco. Find the others here.
Though brief, my San Francisco adventure reminded me why I love travel. It sharpens the senses and forces you to confront pieces of yourself that surface only in the unfamiliar. It also forces you to look at the you you’ve left behind at home.
This trip made me question some things.
Mainly, my second year in New York couldn’t be more different from the first. The first was full of exploration, curiosity, the new. My second has had a bit of that, but along with it the realization that change is the city’s only constant. This I knew before but hadn’t yet seen.
Time moves quickly here, and so do lives. Things fade into the background as priorities shift. People you’ve grown quite attached to leave as easily as they arrive. Even restaurants are unreliable. I remember eating at my new favorite noodle spot one night and returning the next day to find it had shuttered.
I’ve always thought myself comfortable with change. If life were like the Girl Scouts, I’d wear a badge of mobility on my sash. I can adapt to most things, I’d say, pointing out where I spent chunks and snippets of my life.
But change can also harden you. Perhaps it’s why people here are so tough to get to know. They’re all too familiar with transience, that being here today doesn’t mean you’ll be here tomorrow. Everyone has a guard up, a wall only the worthy can breach.
The only way to cope is to let the city change you, too.
Living here has made me braver, stronger and wiser, but it has also drained me. Now that I can call this home without the term conjuring images of a different place, I’m ready to see what else is out there.
If only for a little while.