Saying Goodbye to My Home.

With a very heavy heart, I must leave San Francisco. The place I have called home for over 4 years. The tech industry has both powered and ruined this great city. The rent on my apartment will double the day I move out. Some high paid programmer and his girlfriend will likely be the only people to afford where I live now. Tech has sustained me for 18+ years. It has afforded me a life most would be very satisfied with. Yet it has taken my health and my sanity. I am very good at what I do. But ask me if I enjoy it anymore.

It only takes a few too many bad experiences and unemployment streaks to break a person here. I have had 8 different jobs in 4 years. The startup world can be brutal as war. I gave it my best. I worked my ass off. I put up with an overwhelmingly male driven career field. Unless you are a woman you can never understand what that is like. I have some amazing triumphs in Tech. Many of you see my work daily on various retail and entertainment sites based in Northern California. I am proud of what I achieved. And honored to have worked with some truly phenomenal people here in San Francisco. A few are my friends now and forever. I will miss many things here. Especially the dreams I had that were never fulfilled.

My future lies in my past now. I started off in this world as a full on creative doing production art in a small regional ad agency back east. I still have a piece of the artboard that covered my drafting table when I left as Art Director. I rocked graphic design and photo retouching. I drew constantly. I was deep into ceramic arts, even building my own kilns with another artist.

Now 48, I paint, draw, do photography and even record my music after nearly 15 years out of the arts, in preparation of a complete cold start back to a new old career. My brother asked to me to get back into ceramics last night. He is not the fist. I am amazing with my hands and I will when I land. I am not sure where I will land. For now I will be homeless and jobless. I will survive on a short sabbatical because of the support and love of family and friends.

What I can say is I will move somewhere more laid back, much less expensive where I can eventually have a yard and hopefully my own house and art studio. I will miss the mega conveniences of this most walkable city. But I will gain more freedom to create. I will not miss the near constant worry of how to just get by when most of what I earned went to rent, food, taxes and parking tickets. I will miss a few friends I have made up here. I will not miss the egotistical, ladder climbers that infest and gentrify this city.

I read almost daily about more and more people actually being driven out of San Francisco because of evictions by greedy landlords and a cost of living so high teachers, cooks, barista, artists, musicians, and even life long residents of the city can not afford to live in the city. As for the homeless that litter the streets, they say there are well over 5000 homeless living on the streets here. More daily. There are growing tent cities expanding under the highway around Cesar Chavez and Bayview Ave. Real tent cities of firmly encamped people with furniture and children no less! This is nothing short of a tragedy. The dirty underbelly of technology running wild making millionaires and ignoring the poor. This is a city of mass consumption too. It is easy to fall into that trap. Drugs and alcohol are the norm here. I have seen friends take it much too far. I have seen wasted wrecks of meth users convulsing on the sidewalks and drunks passed out face first in the street. This city WILL eat you alive if you let it.

I will leave this city in tears. Because it is a beautiful, eclectic melting pot of every culture you can imagine. Where it does not matter if you are gay, straight, bi, queer, trans, questioning, intersex, weird, artsy, scientific, nerdy, blue, tall, a bear, hipster, pony, unicorn or a furry. There is something for absolutely everyone here. I had so many hopes and dreams when I moved here over 4 years ago. For me I was never able to get that foothold I needed to make them all come true. That hurts the most. It will be hard to reconcile as I do not accept failure well.

But in some masochistic, ritual way I seem to have perfected, I will pack my shit and just leave as I have done many times before in other cities. I leave this city the same way I got here. Broke, unemployed and full of piss and vinegar and feeling much older. I will start completely over somewhere else with the same dreams and the same hopes I had almost 5 years ago when I decided, Fuck It! I am moving to San Francisco. And I will succeed one way or another. I am older and wiser now. I am experienced in “battle”. I can do this one more time. I just have too because that is what I do. I survive and keep moving forward no matter what.

Adieu et Bon Chance San Francisco.

Cali: Fairytales and Make Believe

I am wondering. Did Cinderella actually dance in those glass slippers? Or is the glass slipper really a metaphor for the endless possibilities in life if you just believe it in your heart? I have been living this fairytale of sorts for the past 2 years now. But the fairytale is real. I never thought the glass slipper would fit but it does and I am dancing my life into each new day.

As many of my friends know by now. I am moving back to the land of make believe. California. Where we have a govenator instead of a governor. Where we pretend the state’s financial crisis will one day be resolved. Where Boys will be boys and girls. Where  H8 is legalized thought out of state religious contributions. Where us white folks are not the majority. And where the potential for fire and earthquakes so powerful is so great Arizona will one day be waterfront property. Yes my beloved, fake as a silicone boob, tree-hugging wannabe state where the cost of a living is so high fairytales turn tricks too make a living. God I love California. I lived there for the last 10 years after having moved out there sight unseen. I said I would never leave. But I did.

I left California for several personal reasons. And I traveled all of 5 hours east to stay with some wonderful friends, Michael and Lillian, who welcomed me into their home while I took care of business. Well that much needed time of reflection and metamorphosis has come to an end. I did what I had come here to do. Though I though I might stay longer, the freaks and geeks of my land of plenty beckon. Neptune has managed to hurl his overcompensating dinner fork against the brutal Santa Anna winds and struck me in the heart yet again. I am a Pisces and therefore unable to hide form my master’s reach.

I must be near the ocean. I will sacrifice unimaginable amounts of income and broken heels too walk along the Pacific shores at will. I will brave the innumerable great restaurants and state parks to satisfy my soul. But I will not do it without loss. I will leave behind a wonderful group of friends as I did when I left San Diego in September last year. Trish who I have gotten to know so well over mass texting and one night of sushi. Angel who I met online and then several times for dinner and nights out at local lesbian clubs. Both women I will miss. Both are beautiful souls who I hope will stay friends for ever.  And all my other friends here who I should have driven to visit but never seemed to find the time. I hate that about myself. But will always be your friend. Alyssa I never got to jam with you. And Joseph I hope I can one day visit you in Sedona. A beautiful place of enormous, natural healing energy.

I am very grateful for all the love and support I have received here in my temporary home in Arizona. I have a special thanks for Addy Jensen. If you had not invited me to the 4th of July party last year none of this might have ever happened. Whether you realize it or not you opened a huge door in y life that when I walked through set in motion so many things I am to thankful for.

In one week I pack some of what I own and will travel nearly 12 hours north to Sacramento to stay with my sexy wonderful friend Rebecca in Sacramento while I look for a job in San Francisco and the surrounding area. I look forward to spending more time with my Becca. 😉 I look forward to exploring more of NorCal. I will be closer to to some good friends. And I will certainly make more as I settle in my new life in Northern California. I will make it work. And I will be more fabulouser. I love California despite ll the craziness. Maybe that is why I love it. There is an energy there that owns my heart and soul like no other place I have ever been. It feels like home.

So onward Cinderella. Follow your heart and follow your dreams back to the land of make believe and all the crazy wonderful things the come with being a California Girl.

Totally!