Wow. I’m going to get real for a minute here. I never thought I’d be in San Francisco for five years. When I moved to the City by the Bay in July of 2009, I honestly thought I wouldn’t “make it.” I had just joined a startup and had no idea if I’d like it (let alone could do it), I didn’t know if I’d make any friends, if I could deal with the homeless old men sleeping on my apartment stoop, if I could keep up with the fast pace of the tech industry, networking events, long hours at the office, dating.

And then, I did. I “made it.” I loved my job, I made incredible friends, eventually I moved away (slightly) from the homeless men, I slowed down the fast pace of the tech industry (a bit), and I met an incredible man to share my time and life with.

Five years later, I’m still here. And I’m still in love.

The crooked streets, the farmer’s markets, the hipster coffee shops, the four dollar toast, the lines for brunch, the hills, the yoga at Grace Cathedral, the Adobe office, the mom and pop restaurants, the trendy bars, the technology that can help you get anything done, the artisanal everything.

San Francisco is home.

Sure, I get annoyed at tourists clogging the sidewalks, I get angry when MUNI is late (which is all the time), I dream of warm summer nights, and sometimes I just want a plain cheeseburger without goat cheese and caramelized onions and beef that came from a cow named Nancy who had a fantastic life eating nothing but grass before she was slaughtered and made into a foodie-friendly version of a meal.

I have to try a little harder to fall more in love with this city the more I get to know it. But, luckily, there’s so much to see and do and eat and drink and explore that I can never get bored.

Year number five was a big one. In fact, every year I’ve been in San Francisco has been big. They say “change is the only constant,” right?

A visit to New York in August of last year sealed the deal for me. See, I have a huge crush on New York. The building tall enough to kiss the sky. The clack, clack, clack of heels on the sidewalk. The surplus of yellow cabs. The sheer amount of restaurants and bars on every block. It’s hard not to fall in lust with NYC. But that’s just what it is. Lust. San Francisco is love. True, deep, let’s buy a house with a backyard, love.

It hasn’t been an easy year. Perhaps one of the hardest, actually.

I discovered I have hypothyroidism which affected every part of me: my mood, energy level, weight, perception, outlook on life. It was a rough couple of months before I was diagnosed. Think: depression and exhaustion, weight gain and general unhappiness. It took months to get back on track (thanks to my mother’s diagnosis and the overcoming-for-the-most-part my fear of needles), but man, did it feel incredible to get my body back.

I combined my other two loves, food and fashion  into one blog. That, of course, is wildly unkempt. But, I tried. And I still may try if time doesn’t get in the way.

2013 was a year of reflection. I’m a believer that you create your own reality, and as part of that process, you need to decide what you want that reality to be. I reevaluated many choices in my life, and the biggest one was my job. I sat down over the course of several months and really thought about what I wanted. I thought about what “community” means and how social media has evolved dramatically. What would get me up in the morning, excited to go into the office. What did I want to be doing?

In December of last year, I switched roles at Adobe.  This was probably one of the toughest moves I’ve had to make — leaving my team, my family, to start something new. But the opportunity to go back to learning, leading and really impacting a business was too good to pass up. And it was definitely the best decision I made all year.

I made moves this year. And I thought about what I wanted more and less of in my life. More intention, spontaneity, patience, time. Less mindlessness, anxiety, crap. I really honed in on what I want to get out of this life I’ve made in San Francisco. This life I’m creating in general.

Time goes fast. Really fast. But, according to the Internet, we have as many hours in the day as Beyonce (just not as many assistants). I’ve been focusing on how I want to spend those hours. Cooking and spending time taking care of myself and my body. Choosing how I spend my time and understanding that maybe it’s an okay investment to pay someone to clean my house so I don’t have to spend my time that way. Playing and exploring with my friends. Spending time with The Boyfriend — quality time, not just time spent sprawled on the couch watching Netflix, even if those nights and that time are sometimes absolutely necessary. Putting energy into the friendships that matter, the real ones, the friends that you can ugly cry and laugh so hard you almost pee in front of.

Unfortunately, most of these friends for me now live outside of San Francisco. That’s been an adjustment. It’s hard to make friends as an adult. I’m picky. But that’s a topic for another post.

I expanded my worldly travels this year checking two new countries off my list: Singapore and Australia (Australia post coming soon, promise!). These trips were both incredibly inspiring and mind opening. Traveling alone, especially internationally, is both sometimes lonely and incredibly powerful. I’m so thankful for the opportunities my job has given me.

Each weekend this summer, The Boyfriend and I are trying to do something new in San Francisco we haven’t done. The mosaic steps at 16th and Moraga. The slides at Bernal Heights. Exploring Potrero Hill. Urban hikes. Paddle boating in Stow Lake. The Vallejo Crest in Russian Hill. The Point Montara Lighthouse.

There’s so much yet to uncover in this city and nearby. And after five years, I’m still just as excited.

One Year

Two Years

Three Years

Four Years

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