The Embarcadero, Just outside the Ferry Building
One year ago today, I flew to San Francisco to stay with my aunt and uncle for a month. Eleven months ago, I flew back here to Nebraska. In between, I soaked in a myriad of experiences as I tried new foods, observed new cultures, and read people on the subway. On that anniversary, I wanted to reflect on the last couple of months, and how that trip lead me to start writing this blog.
I began writing this blog back in November, after discovered the blog of a facebook friend (thanks Eirinn). At the time, I was in a very pent-up situation where I had a lot of thoughts but no way to express them. I kept thinking that everything I wrote had to be some huge book, but I found it was much easier to write a post for 500 words. My first posts were just my betting research, but then I expanded my territory and went with my heart. By mid-December I could produce a post a day.
Now it’s spring. I’ve finished the creative binge I had been on at the time (Stephen King claims that a creative cycle lasts a three months, a season). When my views went down at the beginning of March (spring weather), I decided that I needed to scale back and save some of my posts for this summer, when I’m traveling. I also have learned the value of connecting with other bloggers, and shaping my posts to better address their views.
But I really think the seeds for this blog began on those days in San Francisco, when I wandered the streets, messenger bag over my shoulder, eyes eager for the new. But I didn’t really find what I was looking for, and that was key.
I choose to spend a month in San Francisco because I wanted some perspective on life. My aunt and uncle had moved to the area in January of 2010, and Karen had asked me at a reunion in March of that year when I was going to come and visit them. It was something I had talked with them about years ago, so, in the coming months, I thought about it, and we arranged for me to visit in April of that year.
Scott and Karen had rented a suburban house with an ideal location close to the Interstate and the train to go into the city. Granted, Walnut Crack (as named to me by someone who grew up in San Francisco) is nothing more than Omaha with better shopping, but it’s got great weather and great view.
I will never forget the first time I got off the escalator from the subway and looked up at the skyscraper dominating. You can explain to someone how big a city looks, and it may look big on TV, but when you are looking there and standing in that dominated space, you realize how big the city really feels. Everything and everyone is so packed together in San Francisco, a city that is seven miles from one shore to the other. You can’t helped but feel small.
But what I learned most from walking those urban streets was that there’s a lot of opportunity in the world. I have never seen more people, and so many young people in one place. Everyone is bustling around from one place to the next, attending to their own business. It was when I started to realize, I should just be content with the world I saw.