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.

Running in Shadows

Some wounds run too deep.
The sounds of cracking bones or the words of petty fools.
I cannot see the scars.
Time has washed them clear.
I cannot feel the shot.
The bullets have long since been removed.
When all I ever wanted was to run away.
I ran.

Far away.
Deep in the forests of my own thoughts.
Freedom from the antagonists.
Freedom from myself.
All I ever wanted was to be me.
I ran.

Life was simpler back then.
Hide, stay low, avoid the common path.
Be found.
The reward is pain.
Blend in the shadows.
The consequence is absence of pain.
Shadows are made of fear.
I ran.

Year after year the jungle of pain and shadow.
Starving for something lost in my dreams.
Eating pain to give to the shadows.
Everything is living.
Except for me.
Back to old tricks.
Hiding within.
I ran.

The mirror holds truths for me to see each day.
Shadows in my eyes.
Old habits never die.
Dreams are just dreams.
No closer to being me.
Hiding from the pain.
It lives within me now.
So I do the only thing I know how.
I run.

Changing it all…

I have spent my life changing. Trying to change. Trying to improve myself. Working towards a better me. There was a time in my life I did not care. That is no longer me. I admit I am far from perfect. I procrastinate like a pro. I fall back into self destructive patterns as fast as the wind changes direction. I cuss like a sailor. The list goes on. Basically I am my own worst enemy. My fear to live a life better than I am now is fueled by self doubt. Yeah me. I am not the pinnacle of self-confidence I pretend to be. Funny how several people have noted how confident I am upon meeting the for the first time.

I am an INCREDIBLE actress. When it suits me.

But oh how I fall. I have been working for months now with a therapist and self evaluation to try and get past these last seemingly insurmountable hurdles. The irony being all that I have changed about who I am and my life over the last 3 years. You can change or fix just about anything with surgery these days. You can change your entire wardrobe. You can change careers. You can change your hair color, cut and style. You can change jobs and latitudes. You can change your mood with a little help from a friend. And yes you can even change your sex apparently. We are a world fast becoming a planet of designer humans.

But there are two things you cannot change. Your past and your mind. I hear the sound of squealing breaks of disagreement on that last one. I say that out of experience really. So hear me out. We can change the way we feel about a great many things. Education and enlightenment play a big role there. We can OVERCOME, contain or control a great many things in our heads. Just having an open mind and a willingness to change are pivotal in ones ability to modify your thoughts and feelings.

I am struggling. Struggling to change that last bit of me I hate so much. I am afraid to live and free myself of all those fears that hold me back year after year. Those fears that pull me back in to self destructive patterns. The fear that keeps me from living all the dreams I carry with me to protect me from the darkest places of my mind. I feel like a small child that just wants someone to hold my hand. Just long enough to take me across that bridge of fear.

But there is no hand. And all the confidence I can muster seems short lived. I am afraid of people. I meet people and never see or hear from them again or look them in the eyes and feel I am not liked for some reason. Am I too tall, too ugly, too pretty, too weird? I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. This I have felt all my life. I still feel this way.

See all that self defeating stuff. It leads to being lonely. It leads to self doubt. It is that thing I have never been able to change about my mind. The part of my mind I cannot change despite my best efforts. And I don’t know why or how.

If only I could get past the fears in my mind that keep me from truly being the person I am in my own dreams.

Fear to Love

I think of her…
And the words flow from my fingers like the swollen rivers of Spring’s Winter thaw.

I see her image…
And my mind wonders in and out of passion and desire.

I speak to her…
And the weight of long past heartbreaks weigh my words unspeakable.

I wish…
That who I am inside is what she sees despite my cautious way.

I toil hopeful…
That the walls around my heart will fall so that I can let her in.

I dream…
Of the day I am no longer afraid to fall in love.

The Darkest Place

There is a place so dark I cannot go.
The heart runs cold and the soul lives alone.
Thoughts oft surface soon set on the wind.
Hopes no return they should never come again.

My Enemy

I’ve seen my enemy
Perched a thousand strong in shadows surround

One thousand million shells hurled
From cannons self inflicted

Running furious a pace of futile design
All defeated in fields of tortured beauty

Lasting holdouts
Breaking walls of stone and flesh

Hunted down in merciless attack
One by one all traces erased from fertile minds

In the distances over time and endless barrage
Shots cry out last undefeatable foe

Chased, perused, hunted and feared
Exchanges powered raging combat

One on one the battle’s hymn
Still standing, firmly planted and refused to die

Infinity trembles wakes of senseless pride
No wall to high nor barrier too deep

The last yet standing
Stalemate’s tortured for ever more

Looking in to eyes fear defeats
My enemy inside

My enemy is me

Eyes of the World

Today the eyes of the world are upon her. The cold stair of a billion people following her every move. Watching suspiciously and with conviction in their eyes. She is 8 feet tall today and the sign over my head is an unavoidable beacon drawing everyone closer.

The circus freak goes on stage and in the darkness that surrounds her only silence. The deafening silence rips at her ears as the white ring of light probing her from all directions strips her bare. Naked and alone all she feels is fear. Her self-consciousness swells under the skin like a thousand boils of her disease. No escaping the intense gaze from the corner of her eye… either direction the same.

The darkest layers of her clothing can no longer hide the seething pain of vulnerability. Her fingers shake and clutch at her arms crossed over naked breasts. The transparency of her flesh and bones offer not protection from all the unbroken stairs. Each piercing her flesh with divine accuracy. The criss-crossed gazes dissect her every breath. Paralyzed in a pool of fear only the beat of her heart bursting from her chest offers any hint of life within.

Flight of this motionless statue made impossible by the roots of doubt pulling her limbs deeper into the earth beneath her. She can do nothing but fear. Her chest longs to cry out. Heaving only shallow breaths of a dying flower at the center of the universe. If only she could break free. If only the arms of comfort had not abandoned her soul.