July 4th, my official SF-versary, was spent on high on Percocet, eating pan-fried hot dogs, and watching Independence Day with Gabe. Four days after my shoulder surgery, I was in no place to reflect on my past year in San Francisco. And then, time got away from me. You know how some people say “oh! I don’t know where the time went!” and you roll your eyes and think “sure. sure.” Well, I don’t know where the time went. This past fall was full of travel, shoulder recovery, crazy busy times at work, the holidays, more travel, hours spent with my physical therapists, basically, it went fast. And lo and behold, it’s 2017.
Which means I’m combining this post with my annual “More and Less” post. You know, because I can’t actually count on myself to post regularly.
Anyway, let’s talk about year seven (and a half). First, seven (and a half) years. I can’t actually believe I’ve been in San Francisco this long. I simultaneously think of this city like it’s the back of my hand and a complete stranger at the same time. I’ve been here long enough at this point to see how the city has evolved. For better and for worse.
There are a lot more “tech bros” here now. It’s absurdly expensive to live. Colorful nooks and crannies of the city are becoming more and more gentrified. And the people moving in aren’t always so appreciative of San Francisco’s culture and history. There are more people here just wanting to make a buck (or a million) than before, and that has definitely changed the feel of the city. Sometimes it feels like it’s an “us vs. them” mentality — a constant battle of who knows best. Then again, who am I to talk. I work at a large tech company, make good money, and live right in the heart of downtown SF.
The influx of newcomers into the city has certainly made me think about and appreciate what I do love about living here. The culture, the people, the diversity, the trendy spots, and the gritty bits. Especially the gritty bits. Perhaps Julie and Gabe have rubbed off on me with their hipster ways, but more and more, I prefer the not-yet-discovered hangouts over the posh new finds.
This past year has felt a lot like settling in. One of the hardest part of living in San Francisco is building and keeping good, strong friendships. I’ve talked about how transient this city is and that makes it very hard to maintain a solid “girl group.” But, it’s oh so important to have friendships that feel like home. And this year, I feel incredibly fulfilled with the relationships and friendships in my life. From face masks to concerts to dinner parties to watching sports to lounging around in yoga pants, the girls (and the boys) have filled a hole I didn’t even know existed. And for that, I’m thankful.
This yearly recap wouldn’t be complete without a mention of my other half. My lady soulmate. My shoulder to cry on, closet-sharing, real-talking, truth-bombing, total badass Fempress of a bestie, Julie. This year would not have been the same without her. You know those people who just make you a better person, who lift you up and inspire you and encourage you to be the absolute best version of yourself? Those people who push you out of your comfort zone in a way that helps you grow as a human? Who just feel like a magical extension of yourself that you don’t know how you’ve gotten this far without them? Well, she is that to me, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have her in my life.
I know I say this in every year’s post, but this past year was full of so many great memories. Tahoe trips with friends and (thanks to my shoulder surgery) we moved our annual father/daughter fishing trip to Cali this year and hiked our hearts out. Loads of dinners, double dates, group dates, girls nights, eating at all the places. Europe trips — Copenhagen, Stockholm, London, Munich. My college roommate got married (and I threw a pretty epic bachelorette party in Austin). Brandon came to visit, mom came to visit, Dad and I went to Tahoe (as I mentioned).
I spent the vast majority of the months of May and June panicking about my surgery (seriously). I faced a huge fear and actually went through with my shoulder surgery. If there’s one big personal accomplishment of mine this year, that’s it.
Gabe graduated and got a job!!! And I seriously couldn’t be more proud of him. It has changed our relationship and lives in many ways, and has only made us stronger. He is my rock and my holy goofball and I’m so happy to be a part of his journey to professional life!
Looking back at my calendar from this past year, I have at least a dozen invites to “World Domination” or “Planning Sesh” with Julie. This year was about thinking ahead and being intentional, that’s for sure.
There were loads of 30th birthday parties (mine included in January). Outside Lands was attended whilst in a sling (so that was interesting). But, the music was off the charts this year. From seeing Animal Collective out in the woods, to St. Lucia (for the dozenth time), it was definitely a good year for jamming out.
Now, probably the biggest highlight of the year was Hawaii. I know, I know, I still need to write that blog post (and I will, someday), but it was the absolute most magical vacation I’ve been on. Gabe and I spent 10 days in Hawaii — 5 on Oahu and 5 on Kauai. I didn’t check email — heck, I didn’t even bring my work phone. All we did was lay at the beach, hike, drink lava flows, explore, eat exorbitant amounts of sushi and shave ice, watch incredible sunsets, go to sleep early, devour lilikoi, and just be together. It was the first “real” vacation we’ve been on and it was perfection.
After the Hawaii trip in October, the rest of 2016 is a blur. Not 48 hours after returning home with a Hawaiian tan, I left for Munich, then London. Then mom visited, then a weekend in Monterey, then it was Thanksgiving (and my BFF’s 30th Birthday SURPRISE!!) in Colorado, then New York City to speak at a conference, then Sonoma for a beautiful wedding, then Phoenix for Christmukkah, and then, before I knew it, birthday celebrations began (which warrants its own post that will happen eventually). WHEW! Needless to say, I’m in need of a nap.
Now, in between all of that travel, something else happened. Something that has rattled me (and many, many others). We elected a new president of the United States. I’m not going to get political here because that’s not my intention with this blog. But I will say that while I’m very afraid for our future, I’ve never felt more woke. I’ve never been more educated on the politics and government of our country. I’ve never really even talked about politics with my family or friends. It’s more than just reading and learning — I’m also fired up and ready to go — to take action for what I believe is right vs. wrong, not conservative vs. liberal.
Which brings me to the final section of this incredibly long annual (and a half) recap. It’s 2017. In fact, one month of 2017 is already behind me. So, what do I want more and less of this year?