Shelter in Place: Day 32

Now these numbers don’t even look real. 32? Weird.

It’s sunny today here in Oakland, and I’m busy planning my move to Idaho and the next phase of my life.

I can’t believe I’ll be leaving California in a number of months. On July 4th, I will have been here exactly four years.

I remember the first night driving in with fireworks exploding on the horizon. I was bewildered by the vastness of the change. Before I had never lived outside of the Midwest (although I had traveled a bit), and now I was moving to a new planet (or so it seemed).

Four years have passed. It feels both like an eternity and no time at all. A few of the things that have changed in those four years: I learned how to make coffee; I met David Beckham and Marshawn Lynch; I met Mr. Scout; I came out as non-binary; I got my septum pierced; I worked at a dog collar store; I traveled to Reno and gambled for the first time; I traveled alone in Europe; I won a writing contest; I participated in readings; I made new friends; I explored the world of drag; I found a writing mentor and formed a writing community; I met Lemony Snicket; I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge….

I’ll pause here to take a breath.

Suffice to say, it has been a full four years. I have grown so much as a person and a writer. I am so grateful, again, for all the people I have met here in the Bay Area and for all the amazing experiences I had the privilege of enjoying.

I am also grateful for the difficult experiences: all the times of worrying about affording rent or groceries; my first real encounter with the crisis of homelessness; that time I was mugged; all the times I doubted myself or my motives or my existence. It is never a plateau for me, things are always changing and shifting.

But struggling these last four years has helped me figure out how to tap into my support network. It has forced me to relearn how to communicate and build friendships. It has, in some strange ways, made me closer to my family than ever as I finally had to overcome my hatred for technology.

I’ve complained a lot in the last four years. I’ve cried and laughed and poked Scout and every emotion in between.

This certainly won’t be the last post I write about the Bay Area (and again I’m not leaving for at least several months), but it’s maybe the beginning of the end.

All the love from Oakland,

LAF

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