A few weeks ago, right after Emelie and I made the decision to move, I was having a conversation with a group of friends about the pros and cons of living in San Francisco vs. New York City. Someone, and now I can’t remember who it was, told me they’d left New York because they wanted to make room for someone who would appreciate it more than they did. I think this is a beautiful concept. (And please, if you’re reading this and you’re the one who said it, make yourself known.) I don’t really deserve my spot in San Francisco, and I hope that when I give it up, it goes to someone worthy.
San Francisco was the first city I ever fell in love with. If you’re prone to falling in love with cities, you’ll understand the severity of that statement. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with several other cities: Barcelona, New Orleans, and of course, the lady herself, New York City, but nothing has hit me quite like the first. San Francisco is something really special to me.
But San Francisco and I never had a great relationship, and I take responsibility for about 75% of that. My first year here was not good. Somehow I managed to ruin 3 extremely important relationships within 6 months, I couldn’t make friends, I was mostly broke, and I just didn’t fit in. I had thought of San Francisco as a refuge for the fringe, and for some reason the fringe didn’t want me. Now, looking back on this period of time, I realize that it was me at fault here. My ridiculous sense of entitlement, my grumpiness, my love for the Los Angeles Dodgers, made it really hard to be liked in this city.
I think, for the most part, this boiled down to my own idealism. When I came here, I had a very specific life in mind, and literally none of it panned out. I know, poor me, I was living in one of the greatest cities in the world right after college, and my life wasn’t falling perfectly into place. Ridiculous.
And then everything got so much better. I found a company that I loved and believed in. I started dating Emelie long distance. (She was in L.A., and I was here.) Eventually I convinced her to move up here—she got a killer job, we found an adorable apartment in my favorite neighborhood in the city, and we got married in front of all our closest friends and family.
We have an incredible group of friends here. And I am so sad to leave them. That’s the hardest part of this move for me: I’ll never have them all in the same place again.
There’s a huge part of me that still feels really resentful toward San Francisco and toward that small portion of my life in general. I’ve been able to reconcile 2 of the 3 relationships I ruined, but the third is a hold out, and it’s devastating. I know I could have been more positive in those early months. I could have tried to make the best out of everything I had, and I didn’t. I promise I will learn from those mistakes.
Emelie and I have a near perfect relationship. We respect each other, we support each other, and we’re just madly in love. I think I have San Francisco to thank for alot of that. I hope that just as I made this beautiful life with Emelie, we can make a beautiful life with New York for the foreseeable future.
I’m leaving San Francisco before I was really ready to go, and now all my SF hater speech feels dirty and cheap. And I hope that when I return as a visitor, this city welcomes me back.
Before I go, though, I believe I owe an apology:
I’m sorry, San Francisco. I’m sorry if I ever hurt you or mistreated you. I love you, San Francisco, and I’m sorry we were never meant to be.
See you soon.
That very first walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.